Why are probiotics so important?

21 September 2023 473 view(s)
Why are probiotics so important?

Why are probiotics so important? 

More than 2000 years ago, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, suggested that all disease begins in the gut, and modern medicine continues to demonstrate that very often, this is indeed the case. If you look through the enormous amount of literature on the subject of the gut microflora, you will find some connection with almost any condition you can think of.

There are approximately 100 trillion microbes in the human gut, which are often referred to as the gut flora, microflora or microbiome. The gut is a complex ecosystem where our gut flora, nutrients and our own cells should coexist in a symbiotic partnership: we provide nutrients for the microbes that inhabit our gut and, in return, they help us maintain the health of our gut. In many of us, however, this partnership can become easily disrupted, through factors of modern living such as stress, poor diet, excess alcohol, illness and antibiotic use.

Our microflora supports many essential processes within the body, such as assisting in digestion, vitamin production, helping to protect against pathogens, maintaining the integrity of our gut lining (which acts like a security system, deciding what can and can’t be absorbed into our bloodstream) and acting as a communication centre. With that in mind, it becomes clear that that our gut flora plays a pivotal role in all areas of health, and when it is imbalanced, the health effects can be far-reaching.

Probiotics are live microorganisms, commonly referred to as “friendly bacteria” that help to support a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut. They act as a barrier against harmful bacteria that pass through the gut, helping to ensure they don’t take up residence.  You can read more about some of the numerous areas of health that probiotics can support in my previous “ask the expert” question here. In reality, our modern diet and lifestyles have now become so detrimental to our gut flora that most of us would benefit from providing some extra support by introducing probiotic foods, or by supplementing with a good quality probiotic.

Replenishing gut microflora with a multi-strain probiotic supplement offers a safe, simple and effective way to support the gut, and therefore overall health and wellbeing. There are a number of different probiotic supplements available on the market, so this guide can help you to decipher the best product for you – or do get in touch with our team of nutritional therapists at nutrition@cytoplan.co.uk

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