We know it sounds a little unappealing, but our gut is lined with about 100 billion bacteria consisting of up to 1000 identified species. Some of it is unique to each of us, much like our finger print. This thriving ecosystem performs important functions like aiding the immune system, producing the feel-good brain chemical serotonin, making energy from the food we eat, and disposing of foreign substances and toxins.
Reason enough to ensure our gut always stays in the pink of health, right?
Sometimes, our gut flora loses its balance and the bad bacteria starts to rule. This can be a lot because of bad diet, infections, regular travelling, hygiene and sanitation habits, or illnesses like diarrhoea. It’s important to preserve and rebuild this balance so that it can continue to carry on its beneficial functions.
This is when probiotics must intervene and become the hero!
Simply put, probiotics are "friendly bacteria" which are known to benefit our digestive health. They should be such that they are able to survive the acidity of our gastric environment, reach the intestine, fight the harmful germs, and restore the balance of the gut flora.
Why do you need probiotics?*
Probiotic microorganisms have many different properties. Some of them are:
Overcoming the gastro-intestinal barrier (which is essentially to prevent bad bacteria and pathogens from acting up), and thus come alive in the gut to do its good deeds.
Being able to survive the action of an antibiotic and go on to carry out the beneficial effect in the gut.
Be flexible when it comes to storage and consumption. They can be taken on the road without special storage conditions and can also be given in lukewarm drinks or baby bottles.