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Probiotic Power

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What are probiotics?
The gastrointestinal tract is inhabited by a mass of microorganisms called the microbiota, which support digestion and immune system health. The term ‘probiotic’ describes the families of ‘good’ microorganisms (bacteria). These resident bacteria are established from birth and play a huge role in bowel health and overall wellbeing. Probiotics are thought to restore intestinal microbial balance by competing with ‘bad’ bacteria for space and nutrients. They are also thought to support immunity by producing lactic acid and reuterin.

What are prebiotics?
Prebiotics are the food for the probiotics – specialised plant fibres that nourish the good bacteria already in the large bowel or colon. They are found in lots of vegetables, legumes and fibres.

Why should we take probiotics?
Factors like taking antibiotics, poor diet, illness and chronic diarrhoea can disrupt the balance between the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ bacteria. Research is promising for the use of probiotics in supporting traveller’s tummies, and respiratory tract in children. Another new and exciting area where probiotics may be of assistance is in the body’s response to allergens.

What’s the best way to ingest them?
Many of the foods we eat contain probiotics, including cultured milk products, miso, sauerkraut and yoghurt. When we don’t eat these foods in high enough amounts to get an adequate intake, probiotic supplements are recommended.

Probiotics are also important for vaginal health
Healthy vaginal flora act as a first line of defence against pathogens. A vaginal imbalance can occur when the dominant bacteria in the vagina, Lactobacilli, are overtaken by other bacteria or fungal microorganisms. Common predisposing factors that can alter the vaginal flora include taking medications such as antibiotics, increased hormone levels and poor immunity.

Do you have concerns about your gut health?

Talk to your Unichem or Life Pharmacist to find out whether taking probiotics may be right for you.

Probiotic Power

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition, associated with a range of symptoms including abdominal cramping, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation.

Probiotic power

The term ‘probiotic’ describes the families of ‘good’ microorganisms (bacteria). These resident bacteria are established from birth and play a huge role in bowel health and overall wellbeing

THE IMPORTANCE OF BOWEL CANCER SCREENING

Bowel cancer occurs when cells in the colon or rectum (parts of the large intestine, or bowel) grow abnormally and form a lump or tumour.

WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH DIARRHOEA?

Diarrhoea is usually more disruptive than dangerous, and in most cases will clear up by itself within a few days.

WHAT CAUSES NAUSEA AND VOMITING?

Vomiting is the body's way of getting rid of stomach contents that are harmful or irritating, by forcibly emptying them from the mouth.