You've probably come across the word probiotics in association with skincare or gut health. But what are probiotics really?
Probiotics = for life
The word probiotics come from Greek and mean "for life".
Probiotics are specific living microorganisms (bacteria), which ingested in sufficient quantity have a scientifically proven beneficial health effect. They are found naturally in our body and on our skin, but can also be consumed through the diet or supplements. The bacteria used in supplements are often lactic acid bacteria, which is why you often refer to probiotics as lactic acid bacteria. Probiotics are created through a fermentation.
The microbiota in our stomach
To understand what probiotics are and how they can help us, we must first understand one of the body's most important organs: the intestinal system.
In the intestinal system is the microbiota, which consists of many different bacterial families and microorganisms that are of great importance to the health of the skin. The composition of bacteria affects our immune system which protects us from infections and inflammation - including in the skin.
The best known bacteria are the lactic acid bacteria, which optimize the absorption of nutrients in the intestine and at the same time ensure that the intestinal wall is dense so that no harmful substances are penetrated into the body. At the same time, they create an acidic environment in which the many harmful bacteria cannot live.
From imbalance to balance
Digestive health is affected by many factors and is a complex system. Stress, changes in diet, medications such as antibiotics and infections are all factors that can affect our digestion.
In imbalance, there are more harmful bacteria than beneficial bacteria.
Studies have shown that the use of probiotics can help stabilize the microbiota when in imbalance and thus have a positive effect on our well being.
Microbiota in balance can
- protect the body from harmful bacteria
- support the immune system
- support the skin's microflora
- support the absorption of the nutrients in what we eat
- increase beneficial bacteria in your gut
- contribute to restoration of healthy microbiota
Probiotics are thus good bacteria that are selected because of their beneficial effect.
Probiotics supplements should
- Have scientifically documented effect
- Be active throughout the shelf life
- Survive the journey through stomach, the intestinal tract, adhesive to the intestinal mucosa and colonize the intestinal tract
- Produces antimicrobial drugs against pathogens
- Stabilize the intestinal microflora
Choose well documented genera
As mentioned, you can get probiotics (lactic acid bacteria) in the form of supplements containing millions of living bacteria.
Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the most commonly used genera in probiotics. Although there are many other bacteria, these are the most popular and examined types of "good" bacteria used in probiotics.
You will of course find the two well -documented bacteria in our Vild Nord Probiotics-series: