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What are probiotics and how do they support the gut?

People who have problems with their digestive tract are often advised to take probiotics. They are regarded as a miracle cure when it comes to healthy intestinal flora. Probiotics are particularly recommended after a gastrointestinal infection, but daily intake is also said to be worthwhile. But what are probiotics and how can they support the gut? This article looks at the effect and function of probiotics and explains which foods they can be found in.

Probiotics: Protecting the gut and general health

The gut is an important organ. A species-rich intestinal flora results in a strong immune system. This is because the good intestinal bacteria keep the intestinal mucosa healthy and protect it from damage. More than 70 of the human body’s defence cells are found in the intestinal mucosa. It is therefore obvious why general health suffers when the gut is in poor condition.

Probiotics have been underestimated for a long time. But what are probiotics anyway? They are preparations that contain viable microorganisms such as yeasts and lactic acid bacteria. Thousands of strains of different bacteria live in the gut. Together they form a natural intestinal flora, also known as the microbiome.

It is absolutely vital for the entire body that this microbiome is healthy. The intestinal bacteria help to utilise food and prevent pathogens from spreading. It is also the intestinal flora that is responsible for natural bowel movements. Regular bowel movements and healthy digestion are therefore only possible if sufficient healthy bacteria are present in the gut. Probiotics are able to activate so-called T-cells, which are a special form of defence cells. Probiotics can therefore also protect against colds or flu. A healthy gut makes for a healthy person!

Can probiotics also help with allergies, asthma and mental health problems?

The gut affects the entire body. It is therefore not surprising that asthma, allergies, eczema and other skin diseases can also be prevented by a healthy gut flora.

A study from 2009 shows that the administration of probiotics in infancy resulted in these people being less susceptible to the ailments mentioned. It is therefore absolutely essential for infants to be supplied with probiotics at an early age and, above all, on a regular basis. This usually takes place via breast milk. If you cannot or do not want to breastfeed your child, you should provide additional probiotics in the baby food.

Food intolerances can also be alleviated with probiotics. Coeliac disease, for example, is an intolerance to gluten that is often triggered by leaky gut syndrome. This is a permeable intestinal mucosa that can also lead to other food intolerances. The symptoms can often be alleviated with probiotics.

The psyche is also linked to the gut. Probiotics for the gut are said to improve general well-being and can even alleviate autism symptoms. Good gut bacteria are therefore also recommended for good mental health.

What influences the intestinal flora?

If healthy bacteria are naturally present in the gut, is it even necessary to take probiotics to support it? In fact, the intestinal flora is influenced by various things. It may therefore be necessary to additionally support the gut with probiotics.

It is important to realise that every person has different bacteria. The composition of the intestinal flora is very individual. Influencing factors are immunological processes and diet.

Stress or the use of antibiotics in particular can disrupt the bacterial balance in the gut. The intestinal bacteria become imbalanced and health complaints arise. Due to the so-called “gut-brain axis”, even brain activity can be influenced by the intestinal flora.

What do probiotics contain?

When considering the benefits of probiotics, it is also important to consider how probiotics can be taken. There are a number of foods that can restore or maintain the natural balance in the gut. These include, among others:

– Yoghurt

– kefir

– buttermilk

– whey

– kombucha

– Cheese

– Fermented

– Apple cider vinegar

In general, it can be said that probiotics are contained in foods that are fermented or fermented. Sour milk products therefore contain many probiotics. However, fermented foods such as pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso or tempeh also promote healthy intestinal flora. It is therefore important for people with a vegan lifestyle and all others who do not consume dairy products to eat fermented foods.

How do probiotics work in the gut and what influences their effect?

What good are probiotics if they don’t get to where they are needed? This question is very relevant. After all, probiotics have to develop their effect in the intestine and must not be lost on the way there. Can this even happen?

In order for probiotics to reach the intestine and improve the intestinal flora, they have to prevail against the bacteria in the large intestine and survive the passage through the small intestine and stomach. For this reason, it is necessary to consume probiotics for the gut in sufficient quantities.

Experts recommend consuming probiotics regularly. The body should be supplied with healthy bacteria on a daily basis so that the intestinal flora can remain healthy. But be careful: you shouldn’t overdo it with probiotics. If you take too high a dose of probiotics, you can encourage incorrect colonisation in the gut. This can even exacerbate gastrointestinal complaints.

The right amount of probiotics can support the balance of the intestinal flora. They also help the gut to absorb nutrients properly and prevent germs from migrating into the body.

Probiotics are also often used for stomach and intestinal disorders. The symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis can be reduced by taking them regularly. However, it is questionable whether they can be completely cured. This is currently still being researched.

Probiotics are also recommended after diarrhoea. This allows the gut to calm down and the lost gut bacteria are replenished. But be careful: too many probiotics can cause a worsening of the diarrhoea!

How to take probiotics for the gut correctly

Too much and too little probiotics are not good. So how should you take probiotics to reap their benefits? And how much is recommended?

A distinction must be made here between food supplements containing probiotics and foods containing probiotics. Preparations such as powders or tablets are used for acute complaints or other cases in which sufficient probiotics cannot be absorbed through the diet.

The first thing to do here is to establish a certain regularity. It is advisable to take probiotics for the gut on a daily basis. This should be continued over a period of 4 to 12 weeks. It is best not to take probiotics after a meal, but on an empty stomach. Products containing more than 8 strains of bacteria are considered effective.

If you want to take probiotics purely through your diet, it is of course not so easy to dose them precisely. Yoghurts, for example, do not state exactly how many probiotics they contain. Manufacturers only recommend eating one portion a day. This may well be enough to protect the intestinal flora.

Probiotics: Intestinal cure also as a dietary supplement

It is not always possible for people to absorb all the nutrients they need. With probiotics in particular, it can be difficult to cover the daily requirement. In some cases, you may want to take probiotics specifically for the gut because you are suffering from acute symptoms.

Probiotics are then suitable as food supplements. It is important that these are natural preparations, as they can be absorbed much better by the human body and are better tolerated than synthetically produced ones.

When taking probiotics, those affected should always pay attention to the information on the packaging. How probiotics should be taken is also indicated here. At Kingnature, you can order high-quality probiotics in powder form to support the intestinal flora. Probiotic Vida, for example, combines 13 different strains of bacteria for healthy intestinal function.

Does everyone need to take probiotics for the gut?

If the gut naturally contains healthy gut bacteria, are probiotics even necessary? In fact, the answer to this is a resounding “yes”. The intestinal flora should be regularly maintained either through diet or with the help of food supplements.

Even if you eat a conscious diet, you can still ingest harmful or unhealthy foods from time to time. A healthy intestinal flora is able to minimise the consequences of such harmful substances. This means that anyone who eats consciously also has a need for probiotics. Appropriate preparations help with targeted intake and prevent the intestinal flora from lacking anything.

Conclusion: Probiotics as a cure for the gut

If you have problems with your digestive system, you should give probiotics a try. Either in the form of food supplements or specifically by changing your diet, the good bacteria in your gut can be increased. However, probiotics should not only be used in acute cases. Regular consumption of foods containing probiotics can improve general health.