Probiotics: Don’t let it bug you

  • Lynn Lambert Amayeza Information Services
Keywords: probiotics

Abstract

The human body is a complex system, with the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) being one of the largest interfaces between the outside world and the internal system of the body. The GIT is also home to a large community of bacteria, also known as the intestinal flora. The intestinal bacteria within the GIT form a diverse ecosystem that provide many benefits to the optimal functioning of the body such as digestion, metabolism, regulation of the immune system and protection against harmful bacteria that cause disease (pathogens). In addition, the intestinal bacteria synthesise vitamins and may play a role in preventing diseases, such as colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. Therefore, any disturbance to the balance of the intestinal bacteria may lead to the production of toxins, disease or infection. Antibiotic use commonly causes disruption to the normal ecosystem in the gut, resulting in diarrhoea. Studies have shown that taking a probiotic with a prescribed antibiotic can reduce the extent to which the antibiotic alters the balance of the intestinal bacteria.

Author Biography

Lynn Lambert, Amayeza Information Services
BPharm Amayeza Information Services
Section
Gastrointestinal Tract