Probiotics are live microorganisms such as yeast or bacteria that are believed to provide health benefits when consumed. They are present in certain supplements as well as foods that are prepared by bacterial fermentation such as yogurt, sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir and kimchi.
The most common probiotic groups include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, and there are many different species within each group, with each species having various strains. Probiotic supplements often combine different groups or species together, and are known as broad-spectrum or multi-probiotics.
It is essential to maintain a balance between helpful and harmful bacteria for optimal health. An imbalance is known as dysbiosis, and has possible links to obesity and diabetes. Your digestive health affects every physiological system in your body. An interesting and often overlooked overlooked reason that your digestive tract is critical to your health is because 80 percent of your entire immune system is located in your digestive tract.
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