8 Ways "good" bacteria works to your advantage

8 Health Benefits of Probiotics

By: Arlene Gentallan

health benefits of probiotics
8 Ways "good" bacteria works to your advantage

        Probiotics is the term we use to refer to live bacteria that benefits our health. You may have already stumble upon these microscopic allies in your cup of yogurt. You know that they are healthy, but do you wonder what exactly they do once they get in your body?

Among the most popular beneficial types are Streptococcus thermophilus, bifidobacteria and lactobacillus strain such as:

Lactobacillus acidophilus 
Lactobacillus casei
Lactobacillus bulgaricus

Streptococcus thermophilus, bifidobacteria and lactobacillus  are normal inhabitant of your gut.

Are probiotics killed by stomach acid?

        The above mentioned probiotics are generally acid-resistant bacteria, so they generally can survive stomach acid and travel to your intestine where they multiply and thrive.

1. Allergy

Studies has shown that dietary intake of yogurt can prevent allergy. A study by Aldinucci, Bellussi, Monciatti et al., shows that eating yogurt benefits individuals suffering from rhinitis.

2. Vitamins

        Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria produces B vitamins such as vitamin B9 (aka. folate) which is needed to produce healthy red blood cells, maintain function of the brain, and fetal development.

3. Fights "bad" bacteria

        Probiotics produces lactic acid as a by product of lactose metabolism which keeps the pH of the small intestine low. This reduces growth of "bad" bacteria like Salmonella (which is attributed to food poisoning) and Clostridium difficile (which causes diarrhea.)

4. Immune booster

        Intake of probiotic is associated with reduce risk of respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pnuemonia.

5. Lactose intolerance

        The lactobacillus strain of bacteria produces and enzyme called "lactase" which breaks down milk sugar "lactose" into glucose and galactose which are easier to digest. People with lactose intolerance can better tolerate yogurt compared to milk.

6. Diarrhea

        Antibiotic kills both "good" and "bad" bacteria. It's prolong use can lead to diarrhea. Consuming probiotics is an effective way to restore the normal bacterial population of your gut and stop diarrhea. Taking probiotics while on antibiotic therapy can prevent diarrhea.

7. Irritable bowel syndrome

        Taking probiotics can relieve symptoms of IBS. Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation. Symptoms of IBS usually relieve by defecation.

8. Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis

        Taking fermented products with live culture of probiotics benifits people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease such as crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis by lengthening the period they are symptom-free.


One of the most popular fermented product containing probiotics are yogurts. But keep in mind that yogurts are not created equal. Not all of them contain live culture of the sought after "good" bacteria so make it a point to first check if they have the "Live active cultures" seal before purchasing.