Probiotics can boost immunity and aid digestion – expert advises full list of benefits


Live bacteria supplements may help with supporting the immune system, digestion, mood, exercise recovery and general health, says Plaza, Bio-Kult’s nutritional advisor. (www.bio-kult.com)

Immunity

Immunity is very much at the front of our minds at the moment and could be one way that live bacteria supplements could help.

Plaza explained: “A healthy immune system requires balance and control, for instance in distinguishing between foreign and self-cells. If the immune system is too low, we may be at risk of getting ill easily, however if our immune system is too sensitive we may react to substances that don’t actually cause us harm (such as pollen).

“The majority of our immune system is located in the gut, in fact approximately 70 percent of our immune cells are located here. Live bacteria supplements work with us through a variety of mechanisms to ensure that our immunity is balanced and controlled appropriately. These mechanisms include direct impact on potentially harmful microbes, taking up space on the gut lining, competing for nutrients, as well as creating an acidic environment, which is favourable to good gut health.

“A number of systematic reviews have found evidence that the average duration of respiratory illness episodes, the number of days of illness per person and the number of days absent from day care/work/school are significantly reduced with live bacteria supplementation compared with placebo.”

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