What are lactobacilli? Benefits and properties

The lactobacilli they are microorganisms that we find in our digestive system, and that help positively when correcting the imbalance of the intestinal flora.

Among these microorganisms are the bifidus, casei or acidophilus species, among others. In this sense, to put only a simple example, known are the so-called prebiotic foods.

As we can verify from time to time, these names are very well known in the food industry today, due to the introduction of lactobacilli in the food market.

But what are the benefits of lactobacilli when we take them in the form, for example, of yogurt ?.

What are lactobacilli? What does it consist on?

Basically we could define lactobacilli as a type of bacteria which is beneficial for our body, existing different species of lactobacilli depending on the place or area of ​​the body where we are. Thus, there are different types that live normally in our digestive, genital or urinary system. And they say they are beneficial not only because they tend not to cause diseases, but because they can help us positively in certain diseases or diseases.

We also find them in certain foods, as for example it could be the case of yogurt(which has a large number of beneficial bacteria for the digestive system) and certain dietary supplements. For example, in the case of yogurt, the bacterium is usually usedLactobacillus bulgaricus, which helps to clean dairy products and provide protein, especially when it is made homemade.

However, there are other Lactobacillus species of recognized popularity, such as, for example, the case ofL. acidophilusorL. casei, which are part of the composition of some yogurts known in the market, although in fact there are not enough scientific studies that demonstrate their qualities for defenses, as was already alerted in a meta-analysis in 2016 and published inGenome Medicine.  

What benefits do lactobacilli offer us?

The lactobacilli They are very beneficial for our organism, since as they have shown a very diverse amount of scientific studies, correct the imbalance of the intestinal flora, while stimulating the immune response of the body and facilitate digestion.

For this main reason, it is advisable to take yogurts with lactobacilli in these circumstances, but as long as they are not taken too often, nor change class or type in such a short time.

Ideally, as recommended by some specialists, is to eat two yogurts a week, of the same type of lactobacillus, for one or two weeks.

However, as indicated in 2016 in a meta-analysis in which a review was made of all the studies published to date, regarding the supposed benefits of probiotics for health, it was concluded that "There is no convincing evidence that probiotics have any consistent effect on the fecal intestinal flora of healthy adults".

But there are studies that have found that, in the case of certain disorders in the intestinal flora, probiotics can help recover the flora, reducing or alleviating related problems such as diarrhea or intolerances to certain products. For example, in the case of consumption of antibiotics for a prolonged period of time or other aggressive medications.

That is, it seems that probiotics have a benefit palliative, more than preventive.

Properties of lactobacilli for the digestive system

The lactobacilli They are known mainly for their properties for the digestive system:

  • They facilitate digestion.
  • Correct imbalance of the intestinal flora.
  • Useful to correct the intestinal flora before excessive consumption of antibiotics or gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Suitable for treating intestinal ailments in babies and children.
  • They help to treat diarrhea problems.

Benefits of lactobacilli for general health

In addition to the main properties and virtues that lactobacilli provide for the digestive system, their properties for health in general.

For example, they are useful and recommended at the time of increase defenses, thanks to the fact that they are capable of stimulate the body's immune response.

Therefore, consume products rich in lactobacilli help in a healthy way when it comes to strengthen the immune system.

Where to find lactobacilli?

A good option is to consume products rich in lactobacilli. One of them is yogurts, being ideal to take two or three yogurts a week with lactobacilli. And it also highlights another food like kefir, a probiotic with many qualities for health.

But to enjoy the properties of lactobacilli without losing their medicinal properties, it is best to take the yogurt with the same lactobacillus (although of different flavors) for one or two weeks, and then switch to other lactobacilli with yogurt. And it is not advisable to mix different kinds of lactobacilli, since they can compete with each other.

However, the best thing to take care of our intestinal flora is to maintain a balanced diet and as healthy as possible, regularly consuming fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir or olives. In addition, foods rich in vegetable fiber are important.

Images | Istockphoto This article is published for informational purposes only. You can not and should not replace the consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist. ThemesFeeding

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