What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are becoming an essential part of a proper gut health regimen. Here’s how they work. Your gastrointestinal tract (otherwise called your gut) is filled to the brim with trillions of tiny microbes. Many of the bacteria and yeasts that make up your microbiome are quite good for you. However, others can be somewhat harmful and could lead to serious health issues.
For optimal health, your good gut microbes should outnumber the bad. This is where probiotics come into play. Probiotics are useful microorganisms that support healthy gut bacteria.1
You can get take in probiotics either through eating probiotic foods like kimchi or sauerkraut or through taking dietary supplements. But as a reminder, you should always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet, including supplements.2
History Of Probiotics
One could say the history of probiotics began 2000 years ago when ancient Greek physician Hippocrates declared that “bad digestion is the root of all evil.” The word probiotic actually comes from combining the Latin prefix “pro” with the Greek suffix “βιοσ.” The literal translation means “for life.”
Over the years, the term has assumed several meanings. Still, in the early 1990s, editor and researcher Roy Fuller defined probiotics as “a live microbial feed supplement which beneficially affects the host by supporting its intestinal microbial balance.”3 The definition sticks today.4