Probiotics – Part II

You’ve learned a little about the importance of probiotics from my last post “Probiotics – what’s the hype?“, but if that left you wanting more, I would suggest a longer read from WebMD’s website here.

For our Part II of Probiotics, I wanted to outline the different types of probiotics and what they are thought to do. This list has been summarized from a more detailed list found here.

There are 2 common species of probiotics; Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus. Each species has strains that are basically sub-types.

Species of Probiotics

Bifidobacteria:

  • common in foods and supplements
  • supports immune system
  • breaks down lactose for body to use

Lactobacillus:

  • found in mouth, small intestine, vagina
  • produces lactase (enzyme that breaks down lactose or milk sugar), and lactic acid
  • fuel for muscles
  • increased absorption of minerals

Strains of Probiotics

B. Animalis:

  • aids digestion
  • fights food-borne bacteria
  • thought to boost immune system

B. Breve:

  • lives in digestive tract and vagina
  • fights off infection-causing bacteria
  • helps body absorb nutrients
  • breaks down plant fiber for digesting

B. Lactis:

  • from raw milk (buttermilk, cottage cheese, other cheeses)

B. Longum:

  • lives in gastrointestinal tract
  • breaks down carbohydrates

L. Acidophilus:

  • found in small intestine and vagina as well as yogurt and fermented soy products
  • aids digestion
  • helps fight off bad bacteria

L. Reuteri:

  • found in intestine and mouth
  • may decrease oral bacteria
  • aids digestive system
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