Food or beverage products that contain probiotics are increasingly popular in Indonesian society. However, what is actually probiotics and what are the benefits of probiotics that can be obtained by the body?
Unlike the bacteria that are often referred to as causes of disease, probiotics are bacteria or fungi that can support the digestive system, as well as overall body health. The human body is filled with various types of bacteria, good and bad bacteria. Probiotics are often referred to as good bacteria because they help nourish the human intestine.
Probiotics as Good Bacteria
Probiotics can benefit the body by triggering the growth of new good bacteria, which are lost due to antibiotic treatment. Probiotics also help suppress bad bacteria in digestion that can cause interference, and balance the number of good and bad bacteria.
There are several conditions that can be helped to cure by using probiotics, for example:
- Helps relieve diarrhea caused by viruses, bacteria or parasites, as well as those caused by other things such as reactions to antibiotics. Probiotics are one type of food for baby diarrhea that may be consumed.
- Relieve irritable bowel syndrome (irritable bowel syndrome).
- Relieves symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.
- Prevents allergies and colds.
- Maintain the health of the urinary tract and vagina.
- Helps relieve skin disorders, such as eczema.
- Maintaining oral health.
- Reducing the risk of respiratory infections.
Probiotics consist of several types of bacteria with different benefits in the digestive system, including:
Lactobacillus is the most widely used type of probiotic. There are more than 50 types of Lactobacilli bacteria, which can naturally be found in the digestive tract, urinary tract, and genital system. This probiotic is commonly found in yogurt or other fermented foods. This probiotic can also help relieve diarrhea and can help people who are allergic to lactose.
Bifidobacteria have about 30 different types. This bacterium is most commonly found in the large intestine. This type of probiotic intake is believed to be helpful in alleviating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Streptococcus thermophilus can produce the enzyme lactase, which can prevent lactose intolerance. Then there is another type known as Leuconostoc probiotics. This probiotic is widely used in food processing.
Saccharomyces is a probiotic of a fungus that is often used to prevent and treat diarrhea. Consuming this type of probiotics, in the form of food and drinks, can help reduce acne and reduce the side effects of gastrointestinal treatment caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria.
Safe Probiotic Consumption
In general, probiotics contained in food and supplements are safe for consumption. Examples of foods containing probiotics include yogurt, kefir (a fermented milk product that contains good bacteria and fungi), kimchi, and tempeh.
Side effects that have been complained of are relatively mild, such as abdominal pain, flatulence, and diarrhea for several days after first consuming. Probiotics also have the possibility of triggering allergies for some people. If allergies arise, stop consuming and consult a doctor.
Some studies do show various benefits of probiotics, but be careful if you want to take probiotic supplements, especially in children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people who experience immune system disorders.
To stay safe, make sure you always pay close attention to the label on the packaging of products or supplements that contain probiotics. If necessary, consult with your doctor or nutritionist before taking it.