Why Take Probiotics? Do You Need to “Take” Them?

Probiotic supplements are very popular in recent years. Many people take them, but have never…

Probiotic supplements are very popular in recent years. Many people take them, but have never really thought about the question, “Why take probiotics?”
There is no doubt that probiotics are part of our body’s flora, all of the non-self organisms that inhabit our mucous membranes and skin. We rely on our flora to help our immune and digestive systems mature and be regulated. In fact, nearly all creatures, including mosquitoes, rely on their flora to keep them healthy. What people don’t realize is that their flora is a complicated mass of living organisms.
Some of these organisms are helpful (and some of those are called “probiotics”). Some of the flora microbes are neutral (usually don’t harm or specifically help), and some of them are harmful (like virulent E. coli strains). They all live in a delicate balance which can be easily upset by stress, antibiotics, antimicrobials, steroids and other medications, drugs, foods, drinks, and many other factors.
The probiotic microbes and their allies keep the balance of the flora. The flora starts developing shortly after birth, so the status of the mother’s flora and the method of delivery heavily influence a baby’s microbes. Since probiotic supplements are a recent phenomena, how did people survive without them in the past?
The way they survived was through eating and drinking fermented foods and fermented drinks (not alcohol-laden ones!) that were cultured out of necessity, since refrigerators weren’t around back then. They also ate fresh fruits, nuts, berries and vegetables. Those cultured foods and drinks which became parts of their heritage contained beneficial bacteria and yeasts that helped them to be healthy.
As modernization took over, less and less people consumed those cultured foods and drinks of their ancestors and today we see most people eating fast or processed foods and beverages as the basis of their intake. These newer consumables are basically empty of any beneficial microbes.
As time progresses, less and less of a balanced flora is passed from generation to generation. Antimicrobial Chemotherapy Slideshare Which leads back to the original questions: “Why take probiotics? Do you need to “take” them?
I think the answer to the first question is simple: Probiotics are essential St Vincent Medical Center Los Angeles for healthy maturing and functioning of the digestive and immune systems.
The answer to the second question is more complicated, but I believe that people need to go back to their roots and incorporate fermented foods and fermented drinks into their diets on a regular basis first, and then decide if they want/need to “take” probiotic supplements.
Deciding which foods and drinks to introduce into your diet, which microbes may benefit you, and when and which probiotic supplements may be suitable for you, can be confusing.