Probiotics 101

Probiotics 101

By Bushra Hassan, MBA, RD, LDN 

Medline Dietitian

Even if you have no idea what probiotics are, there's a really good chance you've heard the word before. Probiotics are one of the hottest topics in healthcare right now, and for good reason. They support good digestive, mental, and skin health. Also, because probiotics live in our gut where the majority of our immune system resides, they can boost our immunity against illness and infections, too.

The word "probiotic" comes from the Latin preposition "pro," which translates to "for," and the Greek word "biotic," which translates to "life." It's an apt name because they're not only good for our life, but they are actually alive. The World Health Organization defines probiotics as "live microorganisms, that when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host." These microorganisms live as a variety of good bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria that absorb nutrients and support immune defenses. Understanding how these good bacteria work on our behalf can help you live a healthier life.

 

In this series, we'll offer you further insight to how you can make the most of all the work being done in your gut by these diligent, friendly bacteria.


1THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR COMPLEMENTARY AND INTEGRATIVE HEALTH (NCCIH)

 

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