Effect of Probiotics on Gut Health And Disease
Our overall health depends on the ecological community of pathogenic microorganisms that live in our bodies. These trillions of microbes, along with their genetic material, are known as gut microbiota. Any alterations in the composition of this intestinal microbiota may directly affect its host, i.e., the human body.
We also need to understand the role of probiotics which prove to be very beneficial to our gut health and immunity. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO), probiotics are defined as ‘living microorganisms.
These days, probiotics are marketed and consumed widely as dietary supplements.
Effect of Probiotics on Gut Health
Probiotics or living microbes not only aid in better digestion but are also used in treating many chronic inflammatory diseases like Crohn’s disease. Therefore, the effect of probiotics on gut health and disease needs to be understood. Here are some significant facts:
- Probiotics are natural supplements and do not fall under the category of medicines.
- They have an immediate effect on improving digestion
- They are safe to be taken every day.
- They improve the frequency and regularity of bowel movements and alleviate bloating and gas.
- They have anti-cancer, anti-obesity, and anti-diabetes effects.
- They last in your gut for 1-3 weeks.
- Probiotics must be taken at least 30 min before the meal or empty stomach. This way, bacteria can reach your gut with minimal damage.
- Some common probiotics are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species which can be consumed as live and active bacteria.
- Some common foods rich in probiotics are yogurt, kefir, kombucha, pickles, kimchi, sourdough bread, and some cheeses.
EFFECTS OF PROBIOTICS ON GUT HEALTH MICROBIOTA
Intestinal microbes or gut microbiome, if present in adequate amounts, regulate food digestion and nutrient absorption.
Any change in this microbiota or alterations in the bacterial genes and metabolic pathways may result in problems like obesity and even some life-threatening diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, type-2 diabetes, etc.
The effects of probiotics on gut microbiota have been discussed in scientific communities since the 1960s. Hence, daily intake of probiotics can help in the proper functioning of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT).
Some benefits of Probiotics include:
- Restoring the perturbation in the composition of the gut microbiota
- Restoring the changes in patterns of biochemical reactions in the intestinal lumen.
- Inhibiting the colonization of pathogenic bacteria in the intestine.
- Helping the host build a healthy intestinal mucosa protective layer
- Prevention of diseases causing gut inflammation and other intestinal or systemic diseases.
In totality, probiotics help in the healthy functioning of the GI tract and suppress the growth of harmful microorganisms in your gut. A study has also been conducted to show the effect of probiotics Lactobacillus on the gut.
Effect of Probiotics on Gut Health
- enhances the maintenance of the intestinal barrier
- enhances our immunity
- decreases the translocation of bacteria across the intestinal walls
PROBIOTICS IN DISEASE PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
The intestinal microbiome plays a very important role in maintaining the function and integrity of the GI tract along with a strong immune balance.
Any underlying infection can lead to disrupted interactions between the microbes and the host. This may further lead to low-grade inflammation and metabolic disorders resulting in metabolic syndromes, obesity, and diabetes.
Many medications have been discovered to treat various diseases in this world. But preferring a natural supplement over medicines can be a better choice. Using probiotics as a treatment modality will enhance the functioning of existing microbial communities.
In several clinical trials, probiotics have been shown to treat GI tract diseases. Probiotics affect the composition and functioning of the microbial communities by:
- competition for nutrients
- suppressing the growth of pathogens
- modulation of intestinal immunity
1) PROBIOTICS HAVE ANTI-INFLAMMATORY PROPERTIES
Probiotics modulate the intestinal immune system by producing secreted factors and metabolites. These metabolites show anti-microbial activity against pathogens and other intestinal bacteria. They also help prolong survival and reduce inflammation in multiple organs.
2) PROBIOTICS REDUCE PAIN
Many studies have been conducted to provide evidence that probiotics have the capacity to impact the nervous system. They can activate specific receptors in the gut, which can reduce visceral pain and benefit patients with chronic inflammatory diseases.
Several diseases are cured by taking probiotics:
a) Acute infectious diarrhea
Probiotics tend to reduce the purging and duration of diarrhea by approximately 1 day. L. rhamnosus GG, a probiotic strain, has been found to be beneficial when used as a part of the treatment regimen.
b) Antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD)
AAD is the most frequent side-effect of antibiotic therapy affecting approx. 11% of all children who receive antibiotics. A study with the lactobacillus strain has shown positive results in patients suffering from AAD.
c) Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
It is a functional bowel disorder and affects about 10% of all school-aged children. A recent update in China has shown an association between probiotics ingestion and improvement in IBS symptoms such as flatulence, abdominal pain, and constipation.
d) Upper Respiratory infection
Probiotics play a vital role in increasing the immune cells in respiratory as well as gastrointestinal mucosa. A daycare center study showed that consuming probiotics daily by healthy children resulted in approx. 25% reduction in the number of school days missed.
e) Infant colic
Infant colic is associated with crying plus fussing for more than 3 hours daily. It occurs in infants between 3 weeks to 3 months of age. L. reuteri strain of probiotics is found to reduce the crying and fussing time approx. 1 hour per day within 2 weeks of consumption.
f) Allergic diseases
People suffer from allergies when their immune system fails to maintain the balance between defense against foreign microbes and allergies. Some common allergic diseases treated with probiotics are asthma, eczema, and food allergies.
Probiotic foods and supplements are generally considered safe for our bodies. Although, some people may experience a few side effects for the first few days after starting.
- Mild stomach upset
- Trigger allergic reactions
Learning the effect of probiotics on gut health and disease has helped us achieve new heights in the field of immunology. New types of probiotics or medicinal compounds derived from the microbiome will be used as future strategies to prevent disease and treat different disorders. Download the JOYSCORE APP for managing your health, whether physical or psychological, in a better way.
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