The healthy human digestive tract is packed with friendly bacteria known as probiotics. These bacteria colonize the intestine and help maintain the natural balance of microflora in the intestine. However, many factors such as diet, climate, ageing, medication (especially antibiotics), illness, stress, pH, infection, geographic location, race, socioeconomic circumstances and lifestyle can upset this balance. An imbalance can cause health problems some of which include digestive problems, a weak immune system, skin problems, allergic reactions.
The most common types of probiotics in food products are the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains. Other probiotic strains include Streptococcus, yeast (Saccharomyces boulardii) and the spore forming bacteria, Bacillus species.
The use of probiotics is the most natural, safe and effective approach to restore the balance of the intestinal ecosystem. They have an essential role in maintaining a strong immune and digestive system and can be consumed as supplements or as an aid in the treatment of various health conditions caused due to depletion of the 'good bacteria'.