Probiotics: your health depends on your microbiota

A diverse, well-balanced and stable microbiota is key to good health. Here are four benefits you can get from probiotics.

The microbiota is the group of microorganisms that live in our intestine. A person can have more than 100 trillion of these beings in their digestive tract, and approximately 95% of them live in the colon. They constitute a complex ecosystem that is composed of 500-1000 different bacterial species and other microorganisms, such as yeasts, which live in symbiosis with our cells.

The intestinal microbiota begins to be acquired at birth. During birth, the bacteria that are present in the mother’s vaginal flora begin to colonize the newborn’s digestive tract. Afterward, in the first stages of life, other species of microorganisms also get to the digestive system. Firstly, during lactation, the growth of bifidobacteria is enhanced, and then, gradually, as new food items are included in the diet and the interaction with the environment increases, other species are acquired until the child finally presents a mature microbiota, which is similar to that of adults, where anaerobic species predominate. 

We must consider the fact that the intestinal flora of different people may be quite different, even though they live together in the same environment. This fact suggests that genetic and environmental factors such as gender, age, body mass index, medication intake, diet or hygiene may influence the composition of the microbiota.

4 benefits of probiotics


Traveler’s diarrhea is one of the most frequent disorders when we travel and may transform our trip into a real hell. It is mainly caused by bacteria and viruses that enter our body when we consume polluted water or spoiled food, normally when we visit a place where hygiene and health conditions are not the most suitable.

To prevent “traveler’s diarrhea”, we should take certain precautions, such as always drinking bottled water, not accepting ice cubes, and eating well-cooked foods. Probiotics are also efficient in preventing this disorder. Several studies prove the efficacy of the fungus Saccharomyces bouladdi in the treatment of any kind of diarrhea, as it decreases the secretion of water and electrolytes in the intestine.


The intestinal flora plays a defensive role in our body. It is one of the main defense mechanisms we have to protect ourselves from the entry of pathogenic agents. We must consider that the digestive system, and mainly the small intestine, is the entry point for a multitude of germs or foreign substances through food. We should try to maintain a healthy microbiota in good condition so that it acts as a barrier. However, our pace of life is a drawback here, as stress, insufficient rest and poor diet may make it difficult. Probiotics help us reinforce local defense mechanisms at the intestinal level while stimulating defenses at a general level. Probiotics generate certain substances (lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, etc.) that reduce the intestinal pH that pathogenic germs cannot tolerate.


The consumption of antibiotics may cause side effects on the intestinal flora. Though these medicines help us tackle bacterial infections, they also cause significant damage to our microbiota, as they decrease the number of beneficial bacteria in the intestine and enhance the growth of other pathogenic bacteria that are normally in smaller quantities. Therefore, it is essential not to consume antibiotics in excess. A supplement based on probiotics will help our intestinal flora recover its balance more rapidly and suitably.


The most important function of the digestive system is the transformation of foods into nutrients, which involves enzymes and probiotics that cooperate in the metabolic processes of foods. Both work so that digestion is more efficient and the absorption of nutrients is more complete. In addition, their action reduces the production of toxins as a consequence of poor digestion, which sometimes causes flatulence, stomach acidity, headaches, etc. In short, probiotics help prevent and avoid gastrointestinal disorders.

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