A probiotic strain is a live bacteria that is considered to be beneficial for the health or the functioning of the human body. Probiotic strains are compatible with all types of human systems and can be effectively used in order to combat a wide range of illnesses and diseases that stem from dangerous germs and bacteria. While probiotic strains can be bought separately over the counter and consumed, in order to fight diseases, some of these are also present in food items that are consumed as a part of a person’s daily diet, such as in cheese, yogurt and certain varieties of pickled vegetables. To know more about the different types of probiotic strains and how can these can be good for you, read on.
What are the Benefits of using Probiotic Strains?
1. Aids in Digestive Functions
There are a number of benefits that are associated with probiotic strains and their use, first and foremost being the fact that these can be used to aid digestion. If you have been finding it difficult to digest your food of late and have had to fall back on enzyme related medication to keep this under control, you can instead opt for the use of probiotic strains and your digestive issues will vanish into thin air.
2. Helps in Preventing Diarrhea
Preventing diarrhea is something that you can definitely do with the help of certain probiotic strains. Bowel movements can be kept very well regulated with the help of probiotic strains, and that too without you having to make any changes to your daily diet.
3. Eases Vaginal Infections
The use of probiotic strains can greatly assist with the easing of vaginal infections. This proves to be especially useful if you are going through a painful menstrual cycle and want to control all the itching and irritation that takes place in your vagina at this time.
4. Controls Auto-immune Infections and Eases Skin Ailments
Some of the other benefits of probiotic strains include the fact that these can be used to control autoimmune infections and ease skin ailments. Suffering from allergic conditions like cold and cough will be less of a problem for you if you take probiotic strains on a regular basis, and skin eruptions like rashes or eczema will be non existent as well.
5. Controls Urinary Infections
Combating issues like urinary tract infection and other types of urinary infection can also be done in a smooth and hassle free manner using probiotic strains. Pain in the urinary tract or bleeding, can be well controlled with probiotic supplements.
Common Probiotic Species
One of the most common species of probiotic is lactobacillus. This is a bacteria that is responsible for the production of lactase, which is an enzyme which breaks down milk sugar or lactose. It also produces lactic acid in the body, which in turn helps in controlling vast populations of bad bacteria. Lactobacillus is also an excellent fuel for the muscles and it increases the ability of the body to absorb minerals. Some of the places in the place where the lactobacillus bacteria can be naturally found are the mouth, the vagina and in the small intestine.
Bifidobacteria is another well known species of probiotic which is used very commonly in both supplements as well as in foods. Bifidbacteria helps in supporting the immune system and prevents the expansion of harmful bacteria in different parts of the body, such as in the intestine. Bifidobacteria also helps in breaking lactose down into nutrients so that the body can use these nutrients for different functions.
Common Probiotic Strains
The probiotic strains are but the genetic subtypes of a species. As a result, different probiotic strains tend to have different effects or results on the body. The name of the probiotic strain appears on the label of a supplement or a food item combined with the name of the species of bacteria from which it has been derived. For instance, probiotic species like Lactobacillus or Bifidobacteria after often mention as L. or B. with the name of the individual strain given right after it, such as acidophilus. Hence what it seen on the label of a supplement or a food product is L. Acidophillus.
Six of the most common probiotic strains that can be found on food as well as supplement labels are as follows –
- Reuteri – This is a bacterial strain that is found in both the intestine and in the mouth. It helps in decreasing the oral bacteria that is responsible for tooth decay and also assists in the functioning of the digestive system.
- Acidophillus – This probiotic strain can be located in the vagina and in the small intestine. It can fight off different types of vaginal bacteria and helps in improving digestion. Some of the foods in which L. Acidophillus can be located are miso, fermented soy products and yogurt.
- Longum – This is a probiotic strain which resides in the gastrointestinal tract and which helps in breaking down carbohydrates. B. Longum can be used as an antioxidant as well.
- Lactis – This is a probiotic strain that comes from raw milk and serve as a starter for different types of milk based products such as cottage cheese, butter milk and other types of cheeses.
- Breve – This is a probiotic strain that resides in the vagina and in the digestive tract. It helps in fighting off infection in both these places, especially the particular bacteria that is responsible for this infection in the first place, yeast. It can also assist the body in absorbing nutrients as it ferments sugars. Additionally, B. Breve plays a vital role in breaking down plant fibers in order to make this digestible.
- Animalis – This is one of the most useful and well known probiotic strains in the market and is used for aiding digestions as well as for fighting bacteria that is food borne. It can play a vital role in boosting the immune system as well.
How to Add Probiotic Strains to Daily Diet
If you want to include probiotic strains in your daily diet, then you can consider taking foods like yogurt and fermented cheese products such as parmesan, cheddar, Swiss and gouda. Some of the fermented vegetable products which you can also include in your daily diet are miso, pickles and sauerkraut.
When it comes to consuming probiotic supplements, there are many different products to choose from. You need to be on the look out for supplements that contain live cultures, and it needs to be live at the time of consumption in order for it to be effective. You should also opt for supplements that are comprised of multiple bacterial strains than a single strain if you want the supplement to work well for you. Finally, the supplements that you buy should have enough bacteria required to form colonies which is usually measured in the form of CFU’s or colony forming units.
Thus, opting for the use of probiotic supplements and foods on a regular basis can definitely prove to be useful for you if you want to lead a healthy life and be free from infection, illness and disease for the most part of your existence.