Are probiotics beneficial or not?

time:2023-02-03 author:Cry
Are probiotics beneficial or not?

Probiotics is a controversial field, especially driven by its commercial value, and society has produced many unscientific concepts in the face of probiotics. Are probiotics "good" for the body?

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are the so-called "good" bacteria. The concept of bacteria is "bad" and "harmful" to most people. There are many "bad" bacteria in our intestines under normal circumstances, but they do not cause disease because of the "good" bacteria in the intestines. "Bacteria are balancing them. Once this balance is lost, bad bacteria can become disease-causing. Common probiotics are: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium longum, Enterococcus faecalis, Saccharomyces boulardii bacteria etc. So not all lactobacilli or bifidobacteria are probiotics.

Does the human body need foreign probiotics?

No need for normal people! Our bodies produce enough probiotics on their own, but in some special cases, taking probiotics may be beneficial to the body. For example:
  • Diarrhea: Diarrhea or infectious enteritis due to antibiotic use may help relieve symptoms after using probiotics, which is supported by some scientific data.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis): some (but not all) probiotics are clinically shown to help relieve symptoms and relapse .
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Probiotics have been shown to help relieve symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea.
Other so-called "benefits" without sufficient scientific evidence, such as:
  • prevents mold infections
  • Prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections
  • Treatment of lactose intolerance
  • Treatment and prevention of eczema, allergies and Asthma
  • Treatment of stomach and respiratory infections
  • Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
More research needs to be done in this field to support these possible benefits, and do not blindly take probiotics for a long time without sufficient evidence, let alone give up regular treatment.

Are probiotics completely harmless?

No, especially now that the probiotic market is mixed. Probiotics are considered health supplements, so there are no rigorous clinical trials to prove their safety and effectiveness. The adverse effects it may cause include:
  • Allergic reactions: especially gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • People with weakened immune systems can also become infected with these probiotics and cause more problems. Because "good" bacteria are for people with a normal immune system, any bacteria can cause an infection in a person with a weak immune system.
The use of probiotics for children must be based on a doctor's advice, not parents' discretion. Don't think of probiotics as harmless.
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