Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that, when ingested, promote the balance of good bacteria in your digestive tract. Probiotics prevent the growth of harmful pathogenic bacteria that can cause infections. They help your immune system function at its best. Studies are showing that individuals that regularly take probiotics tend to spend fewer days suffering from respiratory illnesses and even have less incidents of illness than those who do not take the supplement.
This makes sense because 80% of your immune system is located in the digestive tract. So if your gut health is at its best (because the good bacteria in it is supported by probiotics), your immune system will be well functioning and ready to defend against bad bacteria and viruses that you come in contact with. Conversely, if your gut health is not supported, your immune system will not be working at its best, making it more susceptible to attack and failure.
If you or your family members have been prescribed antibiotics for illness, it is even more important to take a probiotic. Antibiotics do not discriminate – they kill every kind of bacteria in your body, not just the bad bacteria! If the good bacteria are killed off, the balance in your gut is disturbed and that has a very negative impact on your immune system. It's going to affect how you feel and function. This is why antibiotic usage is often followed by diarrhea and GI discomfort. The good bacteria MUST be replenished for you to start truly feeling better. Moreover, if your gut balance is not restored, your immune system’s ability to fight off infection will continue to be suppressed, leaving you vulnerable to future infections and illnesses.
Probiotics also help with digestive distress, allergies/eczema, urinary tract infections, yeast infections and weight loss. There are some foods that contain probiotics including yogurt and fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi.
A quality probiotic supplement should be taken to ensure there’s an adequate amount of “good” bacteria in your gut because it is unlikely that an individual will receive all the support they need from their diet alone.