Trillions of bacteria live inside our bodies and serve many important physiological functions like digestion, metabolism, immunity and so on. In fact without these “beneficial bacteria” humans won’t be able to survive!! Any imbalance in the composition of these microbes in our body causes other “Bad or infectious microbes to grow in number and cause diseases. So, keeping the proper balance of these microbes is the way to preserve our health and fight against the diseases.
Bacteria are not the organisms that only make you sick but also have a lot of benefits for you – Isn’t it hard to believe that bacteria are good? But yes! As revealed by history and centuries of scientific research, bacteria are not only considered the cradle of our lives; they are certain collections and combinations of the living organisms that affect us in many positive ways.
In scientific language the “good bacteria” are termed as “probiotics”.
Here are some startling facts that you would not want to miss about probiotics
- More than 100-300 trillion probiotics (good bacteria) dwell in a healthy human body. That is about ten times more than the overall 10 trillion cells in a healthy human body.
- It is estimated that if the bacteria in our body were laid end to end, they would encircle the globe 2.5 times.
- According to several research studies, our bodies are home to about 400 probiotic strains. Remarkably, only 20 strains account for 75% of the mass of bacteria that live in our bodies.
- All the probiotics in the human body put together weigh over 3.5 pounds, which outweighs the weight of the human brain, liver, and even heart.
- A large number of probiotics live in the colon, but billions also live in the mouth, oral cavity, nasal cavity, the esophagus, around the gums, in the pockets of our pleural cavity (surrounding our lungs). They dwell within our stomach, intestine, urinary tract, inside our urinary tract, around the rectum, vagina, joints, under the armpits, under the toenails, between the toes, and many other places!
- Good bacteria in the digestive system – Help in digesting the food by breaking down nutrients, such as complex sugars into forms the body can use; destroy disease-causing microorganisms; and produce vitamins.
Good bacteria also protect us from various diseases by attacking the pathogens. For instance, the bacteria on our skin, in our airways, and our digestive system are the first line of defense against foreign “invaders” (pathogens) that can cause infection and other problems. Therefore, probiotics are also helpful in –
- treating skin conditions such as eczema
- preventing allergies and colds
- maintaining oral health
- maintaining urinary and vaginal health
- improving immunity in infants
- supplementing a huge number of vitamins, essential fatty acids, and carbs such as lactose especially in people with lactose intolerance
- increasing the digestion power and nutrient absorption
The bottom line
The probiotics are beneficial microorganisms which can be bacteria or yeasts (fungi). It is up to us to make the best use of the probiotic benefits.