The fact is, however, that the intestinal flora has an enormous influence on both physical and mental health. Thus, the intestinal bacteria living in us not only control our immune system, but also our emotions. However, if the intestine is weakened by an unhealthy lifestyle, harmful microorganisms take over and displace the useful intestinal bacteria – the environment in the intestine gets out of balance. Our defences are diminishing and pathogens have an easy job.
and the healthy intestine
There are between 400 and 500 types of bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract. If the gastrointestinal tract were laid flat, it would have the size of a tennis court and the bacterial colonies living there would weigh about three pounds. For a long time, however, the importance of intestinal bacteria was completely underestimated, because probiotic bacteria have many more functions than just help with digestion. For example, probiotics activate immune reactions throughout the body, including the activation of certain immune cells – the so-called T cells.
In a healthy intestine, about 85% of the entire intestinal flora should consist of useful bacteria, while a maximum of 15% of bacteria should be pathogenic. Since about 80% of our immune system is located in the intestine, this bacterial ratio also plays an important role in our defence. Studies also show that the composition of the intestinal flora even has an enormous influence on our emotions and mental performance. Taking probiotics or probiotic foods actively supports the development and maintenance of our intestinal flora and can therefore improve our physical and mental health.
In the following section we will give you 10 reasons for taking probiotics daily, which illustrate their role for our body very well.
Ten reasons why probiotics are important
A double-blind clinical study in intensive care patients has shown that probiotics can prevent what is known as multiorgan failure, i.e. help prevent a condition that is considered to be the main cause of death among intensive care patients. If probiotics can do this, one can guess how they can also protect against simple colds or the flu. If the intestines are healthy and the environment is in equilibrium, the person concerned is also healthy.
Against allergies, skin diseases and asthma
Effective probiotics, which regenerate the intestine, lead to a strong immune system and thus to better health. A 2009 study showed that probiotics can strengthen the body’s own defence against skin allergies. After the women gave birth, most of their children remained under medical supervision and received probiotics for another twelve months.
Until the age of two, the children were observed and even at this age there was still a clear difference between the groups. If breastfeeding is not possible for the mother, probiotics and prebiotics can also be administered to the baby food. But not only allergies and skin diseases, but also asthma can be prevented and alleviated by a healthy intestinal flora.
Against food intolerances
A study was published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2009, in which probiotics were administered to mice to investigate their influence on possible food allergies. The mice all suffered from a milk allergy, which manifested itself in rashes as soon as they drank milk. Immediately the milk intolerance of the mice improved visibly – there were almost no skin reactions. Today, up to eight percent of children have various chronic food allergies.
If this study were extended to humans, it would be possible to find out whether probiotics are also suitable for preventing or even curing food intolerances in children. By taking a probiotic, food intolerances such as celiac disease or gluten intolerance can apparently also be alleviated, because a healthy intestinal flora protects the intestinal mucosa from the Leaky-Gut syndrome, which is often responsible for the development of food intolerances. Prebiotics are substances that serve as food for the microorganisms of a healthy intestinal flora.
Against intestinal diseases
Probiotics can suppress ulcers and are used in the treatment of diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, chronic inflammatory bowel disease and other inflammatory diseases, which also break out due to a lack of probiotics. Treatment with probiotics