Not all bacteria are harmful to your body. While some diseases have been blamed on bacteria such as salmonella and E.coli, there are some micro-organisms that have been medically proven to yield several health benefits to the human body. These beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus are collectively known as probiotics.
Lactobacillus is found and produced naturally within the small intestine and the vagina. Its presence is necessary to maintain a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria present in the body. When the intestine is infested by bad bacteria, lactobacilli works by attacking the bad bacteria to restore their growth to a normal level. Sources of lactobacilli include fermented vegetables, cultured drinks, and probiotic capsules.
Lactobacillus may be said to be essential to good health. It has been found to be useful in a number of situations such as:
Antibiotics may be prescribed for the treatment of a bacterial infection. Most antibiotics, however, kill a broad range of bacteria including the good bacteria in your body. A colon that is bereft of good and bad bacteria leads to a weakened immune system as there are less white blood cells and defensive chemicals left behind to guard against sickness. Lactobacilli, whether as a cultured drink or in a capsule form, helps restore the good bacteria in your intestine while stimulating the production of white cells that form part of your body's immune system.
Waste and toxic build-up in your colon can prevent proper elimination of feces. In other cases, eating contaminated food introduces bad bacteria into your colon. Both situations may lead to constipation or diarrhea. Lactobacilli helps ease your digestive system by feeding on the impacted waste and bad bacteria found in your intestine. Some swear by the immediate relief that lactobacilli has in stopping diarrhea even without medication.
A yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of the Candida albican fungi. Lactobacilli produce high levels of lactic acid which alters the pH level of the intestines making it more acidic. An acidic environment makes it difficult for harmful micro-organisms to thrive. Thus, lactobacilli have been found to be an effective treatment for yeast infections. When lactobacillus is present in your body, it not only feeds on the Candida fungi but it also stops their excessive growth in your colon. Studies also indicate that lactobacilli are an effective treatment for bacterial vaginosis, a condition that affects many women.
Some individuals experience gas and stomach discomfort as a result of poor digestion of milk or milk-based products. For others, overeating may unduly stress the digestive system as it can only produce so much gastric juices and enzymes to help dissolve food. Lactobacilli contains enzymes that break down lactose (milk sugar) and convert it to a more useful form while also dissolving food substances and making them ready for absorption. As such, lactobacilli have been generally recommended for those suffering from lactose intolerance and sluggish digestive systems.