The term probiotics refers to supplements that contain specific species of bacteria that alter the composition of the intestinal flora by forming colonies in the intestines, contributing to a healthier digestive tract. Probiotics naturally occur in certain foods and can also be obtained by means of dietary supplements. They are found in considerable quantities in products derived from milk like yoghurt or kefir, or in fermented foods such as miso and sauerkraut. The different methods of processing and packaging of these products have considerable influence on the number of live microorganisms, and probiotics-based supplements are therefore considered a very convenient and reliable alternative.

There are different types of supplements with biotics:

  • Prebiotics - these provide the nutrients that are required for the formation of bacteria, like fermentable fibres, inulin, pectin and fructooligosaccharides. In other words, they provide support for microbial proliferation in the intestines;
  • Probiotics - these are live microorganisms that form colonies in the intestines and alter the composition of the intestinal flora, such as the bacteria of the Lactobacillus type.
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