Present naturally in our digestive system, probiotics play a key role in our daily health.
If today this name has become very fashionable, do you really know what a probiotic is?
In this article, we will return to the definition of probiotic and we will also see what are the benefits of these microorganisms in the form of food supplements.
What is a probiotic?
The term probiotic comes from 2 Greek words, “pro” which translates as “in favor” and “biotikos” “life”. Probiotics are microorganisms that are naturally present in the human body.
It constitutes in particular the oral, vaginal and intestinal flora.
Official definition from the World Health Organization
The notion of probiotic is relatively recent since it is a postulate of the Russian Nobel Prize winner Ilya Ilitch Metchnikov in 1908. The current concept was defined by a Briton, Roy Fuller at the end of the 1980s.
According to the official definition of the WHO (World Health Organization) , probiotics are " live microorganisms which, when ingested in sufficient quantities, exert positive effects on health, beyond nutritional effects ”.
It should be noted that in the European Union and in France particularly, the term Probiotic is not accepted by the administrative authorities. The latter prefer to replace it with the term lactic ferments .
Two names for the same reality. Expert debates are underway on this secondary semantic question!
Billions of bacteria in our digestive tract
100,000 billion is the order of magnitude of the population of microorganisms that colonize our digestive tract when we are in good health.
Probiotics, conveniently called “good bacteria,” play an essential role in many processes within the human body. They notably limit the proliferation of “bad bacteria”. They also contribute to digestion and our general health.
The stable ecosystem that these microorganisms constitute can be disrupted by an infection or medical treatment, for example. This results in various disorders such as diarrhea.
On a daily basis, the numerous additives and preservatives contained in our food and our environment also act negatively on the intestinal flora, and even more so as we consume prepared or ultra-processed foods.
What are the benefits of probiotics?
Probiotics have many benefits and act on numerous mechanisms at the intestinal level:
- Prevention and treatment of traveler's or infectious diarrhea : in addition to rehydration, probiotics help to relieve acute diarrhea , whether viral or caused by the Escherichia Coli bacteria.
- Prevention and treatment of constipation : in children, adults and seniors
- Relief from symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome : Also called functional colopathy, irritable bowel syndrome results in bloating, pain, flatulence and intestinal transit disorders. Research shows an improvement in patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome thanks to taking probiotics.
- Stimulation of the immune system : numerous clinical studies have shown that the action of probiotics on the immune system is not limited to the digestive system alone. These micro-organisms have a more global action on immunity thanks to their stimulating action on the production of leukocytes (white blood cells). This action is also very important in children during growth. Furthermore, the production of white blood cells in elderly people can be stimulated by the consumption of probiotics.
- Prevention against certain chronic diseases : particularly in infants and children. Probiotics have been shown to have a beneficial effect on atopic eczema.
Probiotics would have other benefits for the body , particularly with regard to certain pathologies such as ulcerative colitis, colic in babies, vaginal infections, complications linked to antibiotic treatments or recurrences of pouchitis.
What foods contain probiotics?
As always, the secret to good health lies first and foremost on your plate. A varied, balanced diet with a preponderant share of minimally processed 'homemade' foods allows you to maintain your intestinal flora.
Among the foods rich in natural probiotics , we find first of all fermented products or products resulting from fermentation:
- Yogurts and cheeses, with very variable proportions depending on their method of production
- Prevention against certain chronic diseases, particularly in infants and children. Probiotics have been shown to have a beneficial effect on atopic eczema
- Fermented vegetables including sauerkraut
- Fermented vegetables including sauerkraut
- Sourdough bread
However, it must be kept in mind that the acidity of the stomach destroys the majority of these living lactic ferments . It is necessary to accompany them with regular consumption of prebiotic fibers which will allow the proper development of probiotics in the intestine.
Food supplements rich in probiotics
Unbalanced diet, additives , medical treatment, the intestinal flora can be unbalanced and cause very unpleasant disorders (bloating, flatulence, etc.).
A course of probiotics in the form of food supplements then promotes a faster return to normal. These food supplements rich in probiotics are also recommended as the bad season approaches, which is conducive to illness.
Our Vegaflore formula which combines Pre & Probiotics has 3 remarkable qualities:
- It is one of the rare vegan probiotics on the market , with 4 different ferments in significant quantities (10 billion bacteria)
- It combines pre and probiotic . A prebiotic is any food or substance that helps the development of intestinal bacteria by serving as a nutritional substrate. This is particularly the case for the majority of dietary fibers.
- It is protected by a gastro-resistant capsule that does not open in the stomach to avoid damage from gastric acidity.
Argalys supplements are not a substitute for a better lifestyle. In addition to taking food supplements rich in probiotics , you must also opt for a healthier and more varied diet and regular physical activity.