Now what about probiotics? What are they? Many companies are now advertising that they are adding probiotics to the food (cereals, yogurt, and other foods). Why would you want to include them as a supplement or as part of your diet?
Well, probiotics are essentially the good bacteria that live in your gastrointestinal tract. These bacteria help with your digestion and also help to keep you healthy particularly if the proportion of good bacteria is much higher than the bad bacteria. Typically the good bacteria should be about 85 % of all the bacteria present and the bad bacteria only 15%. If that balance changes for some reason like taking antibiotics –which will kill off both the good and the bad bacteria–then a person may experience problems with getting yeast infections or diarrhea, or problems with digestion. Probiotics are thought to play a major role in boosting people’s immunity.
Now there are a lot of companies that make probiotics–some which contain only one or two different bacterial subtypes, and some which contain 10 to 13 different subtypes. Which probiotic is the best? (Of course each company that makes the probiotics will claim that their particular formulation is the best). My general recommendation when you are looking to purchase probiotics, is to find one that is stable at room temperature and one that has the most bacterial subtypes. There are some that do need to be refrigerated, otherwise the total number of colonies that are said to be present on the label may not actually be present.