Our bodies are hosts to a great population of microorganisms, mainly yeasts, and bacteria. Probiotics are made up of live bacteria that assist our digestive systems in staying healthy. Countless colonies of microorganisms in the body are important in maintaining physiological processes in tune. Especially the conversion of food to vital nutrients and the transport of those nutrients to the rest of the body.
The live bacteria that make up probiotics are present in many types of fermented foods such as kimchi, miso, yogurt, kombucha, cheese, and pickled vegetables. The idea of supplementing probiotics or eating foods rich in microbes has been around since the early 1900s. Scientific research is still waiting for a conclusive result that confirms the benefits of probiotics for daily life and to treat diseases.
There are two species of probiotics that are the most popularly consumed and studied, they are bifidobacteria and lactobacillus. A subtype of species is called a strain, and there are six common ones including:
- B. animalis
- B. breve
- B. lactis
- B. longum
- L. acidophilus
- L. reuteri
If you’re looking to use the best probiotics and need somewhere to start, this article will discuss the six common strains of probiotics and their use for your reference. But first, let’s cover the benefits of probiotics.
What Are the Benefits of Probiotics
The World Health Organization (WHO) provides a report that states that probiotics are live microorganisms (mainly bacteria and yeasts) that are full of health benefits when consumed in significant amounts.
Clinical studies show that probiotics can regenerate the body in the following ways:
- Provides nutrients for healthy skin
- Modulates the immune system
- Eliminates toxins
- Manages gastrointestinal issues
- Improves the absorption of nutrients
- Enhances mood and ability to cope with stress
Common Species of Probiotics
The two most common species of probiotics are bifidobacteria and lactobacillus. They are the most consumed and the most studied.
This type of species of probiotics is frequently found in supplements and foods. They have been found to support immune function, limit the growth of unbeneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. It is also thought to help break down lactose into nutrients used by the body.
This other common species of probiotics produce lactase, which is the enzyme that breaks down lactose, the sugar found in milk. It leads to lactic acid being produced, which helps control the population of undesired bacteria. This probiotic also functions as muscle fuel, and it increases the body’s ability to absorb minerals better.
Common Strains of Probiotics
Each various type of strain of bacteria provides a different effect on the body.
- B. animalis is known to boost the body’s immune system.
- B. breve is mostly found in the digestive tract and the vagina. It helps maintain the body free from infection-causing bacteria or yeast. This microbe also helps the body absorb nutrients by fermenting sugars.
- B. lactis is a microbe that is found in raw milk. It is a base ingredient for baby formula and is a starter for buttermilk and certain types of cheeses.
- B. longum is a very helpful microbe in the gastrointestinal tract by breaking down carbohydrates and is also an antioxidant.
- L. acidophilus this strain of probiotic is found in the vagina and the small intestine. It helps fight off infection and helps promote healthy digestion. It is found in fermented soybeans in the form of miso and yogurt.
- L. reuteri is a strain found in the mouth and the intestine. Clinical studies indicate that it may prevent tooth decay by decreasing the number of bacteria in the mouth that causes it. It is also known for helping the digestive system.
Probiotics are an excellent addition to anyone’s diet. They are full of the necessary components to maintain a healthy digestive system and overall condition.
The six main strains of probiotics are unique and have individual functions. Diversifying your body with every type is the best way to consume healthy bacteria. Ready to bring more life to your body? Click here to learn more about the best probiotics available on the market.