The body contains many bacteria that are beneficial for our health, they perform all kinds of activities, including immune functions, digestive aids, maintain healthy membranes and barriers to the outside world, etc. In fact there are ten times the number of bacteria in our body than our own cells. ‘Pro-biotic’ is the name given to the products that supplement the beneficial bacteria of the body. These have been shown to be depleted by the use of antibiotics, vaccines and other medication.
Many cultures regularly take naturally fermented foods that contain these beneficial bacteria, however the use of these products are diminishing as we rely more on commercially available food products. The live nature of these processes means that they cannot be packaged easily, as they would produce gasses that would blow off the packaging lids etc.
Some products are still available where the process can be slowed down sufficiently through refrigeration e.g. yogurt, kefir, etc, some products lose the benefit of these bacteria as they use agents to destroy the bacteria and other processes use various salts and acids to replace the function of the natural fermentation process. Natural yogurt from raw milk, natural fermented cottage cheese, kefir and fermented vegetables of all descriptions, are useful sources of beneficial bacteria, with their associated enzymes, vitamins and minerals.
It is also possible to take pro-biotic supplements of these beneficial bacteria. Some of these supplements also contain a ‘pre-biotic’ which is the name given to the food source in the supplement that will actually feed the beneficial bacteria that you already have in the body. It can be more useful to feed the bacteria that you have, as they have already established themselves in your body, whilst the probiotics that you take in may be more transient and pass out of you, especially if you have difficulty establishing new beneficial bacteria in your body.
One of the world leaders in the field of probiotics is the UK company ‘Biocare’ they specialise in all kinds of products to maintain healthy gut bacteria , visit them here at www.biocare.co.uk
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