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What are probiotics?

Get a quick introduction to the world of probiotics – also known as the “good bacteria”

Probiotics awareness increasing

Perhaps you know them already – probiotics. Do you like to bring along probiotic capsules while travelling to help keep your stomach in order as you try out foreign food, etc.? Or maybe you give your baby probiotic drops to support his or her microbial balance inside? More and more people are becoming aware of probiotics and how they may support our wellbeing.

Probiotics are “good bacteria”

Probiotics are natural cultures. The term is derived from Greek and means “for life” as opposed to antibiotics which means “against life.” In 2001, the FAO/WHO defined probiotics as:

Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host

FAO/WHO, 2001

In other words, 1) the probiotic microorganisms must be alive when you consume them; 2) the dosage must be high enough to have an effect; and 3) there has to be a beneficial physiological effect. All three things are needed in order to call bacteria probiotic. At present, most probiotic bacteria belong to the Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium genera.

Your body contains around 100 trillion bacteria 

As humans the number of bacteria living in and on us outnumber our human cells. The human species consists of approximately 37 trillion human cells, but the number of microbes is around three times higher, i.e., 100 trillion.

The microbiome

We refer to all these bacteria as “the microbiome.” Not surprisingly, the microbiome plays a major role in our wellbeing as it interacts with our body. Most of our bacteria live in the intestine, and you will therefore sometimes hear the term “gastrointestinal microbiota.” Much scientific research is taking place in the area of our microbiota and the role that probiotics may play. 

Want to learn more?

We have been fermenting lactic acid bacteria for more than a century and have vast expertise in this field. Please contact us for more information.

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