Probiotics – The Key to Solving Health Issues?

Probiotics have strong potential to support human health

(WORLDHEALTH.NET) Probiotics are a trendy ingredient in modern supermarket goods. Products containing strains of bacteria claim to treat digestive issues, skin problems, and a host of other health issues. While current research does not support many of these claims, there is also scientific proof that probiotics can be beneficial.

PHOTO: Pedro Ribeiro Simões, CC

What are Probiotics?

A healthy digestive system is home to millions of different strains of bacteria. Some are beneficial to their human hosts. The good bacteria help the body break down food and allows better absorption of vitamins and minerals.

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Beneficial bacteria use plant fiber as a food source. Modern diets heavy in processed foods deplete good bacteria, allowing bad strains to flourish. Unbalanced stomach flora contributes to gastrointestinal disorders like chronic diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcers.

Current Research on the Efficacy of Probiotics

According to the World Health Organization, the right amount of certain living microorganisms can have a positive effect on overall health. However, there is little clinical research to support most product claims.

The probiotics industry is new territory in the marketplace. Production is currently subject to the same oversight process as other over-the-counter supplements. Lack of regulatory standards and real clinical data mean wide variations between product content. In 2015, a study by the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Davis in California tested the ingredients of 16 popular probiotic products. Chemical analysis showed only 1 of the 16 products actually contained the ingredients on their labels. READ THE FULL POST AT WORLDHEALTH.NET