Last month we discussed the role of a good multi-vitamin in helping to maintain good health. At Hoye’s Pharmacy, we believe that three types of supplements are important for building a good foundation for good health. These are:
- Probiotics (commonly known as acidophilus, bifidus, etc.)
- Essential Fatty Acids (commonly known as fish oils)
This month we will focus on learning about probiotics. Read on and don’t forget to check out our store specials this month on selected probiotics. Save money while getting healthy!
The following article is reprinted without permission from the NIH. It’s a great explanation of probiotics and their important role in maintaining good health.
What are Probiotics?
One widely used definition, developed by the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, is that probiotics are “live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” (Microorganisms are tiny living organisms—such as bacteria, viruses, and yeasts—that can be seen only under a microscope.)
Probiotics are available in foods and dietary supplements (for example, capsules, tablets, and powders) and in some other forms as well. Examples of foods containing probiotics are yogurt, fermented and unfermented milk, miso, tempeh, and some juices and soy beverages. In probiotic foods and supplements, the bacteria may have been present originally or added during preparation.
Most probiotics are bacteria similar to those naturally found in people’s guts, especially in those of breastfed infants (who have natural protection against many diseases). Most often, the bacteria come from two groups, Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. Within each group, there are different species (for example, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidus), and within each species, different strains (or varieties). A few common probiotics, such as Saccharomyces boulardii, are yeasts, which are different from bacteria. (Read More)