Probiotics is a huge buzzword in today’s modern society. Consumers are spoiled with a huge
variety of probiotics products in the market, from supplements such as probiotics drinks, probiotics pill, to probiotics food such as milk and ice cream with probiotics, kombucha, yogurts and to skin care products with probiotics. But what are probiotics and are probiotics really good for our health? Is it scientifically proven?
Probiotics are live microbes (organisms that are so tiny that one can only observe them under a
microscope) that are needed by our body to promote health. In plain language,
probiotics are friendly microbes or “good” microbes to humans. I say “good” microbes here because
they bring a lot of health benefits to us such as help in digestion, stimulate the immune
system and to protect us against the “bad” microbes that will make us sick.
This is the most common probiotics bacteria in supplements, yogurt, etc. Lactobacillus is
commonly found in our guts and a number of body sites, and plays an important role in maintaining
our well-being. The common species of Lactobacillus include lactobacillus acidophilus,
Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Lactobacillus casei.
Just like Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria is also a common probiotics bacteria in supplement and
food. Bifidobacteria normally live in our intestines and stomach. They help our body perform
important functions such as digestion and competing with “bad” bacteria for food so as to starve
them to death. Examples of Bifidobacteria are Bifidobacterium bifidum and
It is a type of Lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Some of the species of Streptococcus may cause disease
in humans, but the majority of the Streptococcus species are not harmful, but live naturally and
peacefully inour mouth, skin, guts and upper respiratory tract. Streptococcus is used in the making
of Swiss cheese.
WHY DO WE NEED PROBIOTICS?
Many people are very afraid of microbes, or some refer microbes as germs. Have you met someone who is so obsessed with cleanliness and personal hygiene that they probably wash and sanitize their hands every now and then? If yes, you may notice that this someone would probably develop eczema easily or have some sort of skin infection as over cleaning would remove and kill the natural microflora on the skin surface that protect us from the attack of “bad” microbes in the environment.
Scientific study reveals that there are about as many microbial cells in the human body as there are human cells.