Normal flora of gut: What it is and what is its function?

Inner lining of our gut or digestive tract is inhabited by several bacterial species that have established a mutual relationship with our gut. This population of so called “good”, “friendly” or “beneficial” bacteria is known as the intestinal microbiota.

These bacteria aid digestion, development of immunity and resistance to colonization from pathogenic microorganisms or so called bad bugs. They also produce much needed nutrients like short-chain fatty acids and essential vitamins.

For these reasons and considering their presence in huge numbers, some experts call intestinal microbiota as a separate organ of our body.

In adverse conditions this protective system is disrupted. Common causes of making unfavourable conditions for beneficial bacteria are food habits including irregularity in meal volume and time, consumption of more junk foods and less vegetables and fruits. Other factors such as stressful lifestyle, lack of physical activities, sleep impairment and antibiotic use also disrupt normal flora of gut.

Doctors have associated defects in the intestinal barrier function with different gastrointestinal disorders including IBS, constipation, gas, and diarrhoea.

In addition to gastrointestinal function research is ongoing to explore the link between gut microbes and other body functions including mental health, and skin health.

Probiotics: why everyone is talking about it?

If there is disturbance in quality and quantity of flora inside gut, can we consume good bacteria externally? In diabetes, when there is insulin deficiency and we take its replacement externally. Likewise is there any replacement or supplement of good bacteria so we can consume it? Are there any?

Yes, probiotics can be used for this purpose. Probiotics are an external source of live bacteria. Probiotics function like the “friendly bacteria” that already live inside us.

Probiotic replenish the optimal quantum of beneficial bacteria. They have been used for their beneficial functions and consumed when there is disturbance between beneficial bacteria and harmful bacteria in the gut.

They improve gut health by helping to flourish beneficial bacteria and fighting against bad bugs with release of anti-microbial substances. They prevent attachment of bad bugs in the gut. With their molecular level action probiotics assist in building and boosting gut immunity. They also help with digestion and make sure the body absorbs the right nutrients from your food.

You might be thinking why shouldn’t I take probiotics regularly? And yes, you are right! We should take it. Prevention is always better than cure.  By taking probiotics we not only improve our gut health but also prevent different ailments related to it.  This is why, as awareness increases probiotics are being used on a regular basis and not only when facing gastrointestinal issues.

Which Probiotics should I take?

Not every bacteria becomes candidate of probiotic. Bacteria from handful genus are tested and qualified as probiotics. These are Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Saccharomyces and Bacillus. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria though are being used since long time, they have their own limitations in viability inside gut.

In general, consumers should ensure that the probiotic strain is well supported by clinical research, has guaranteed CFU counts during the product shelf life and survives stomach acid to survive the intestine.

About Sanzyme Biologics

Sanzyme Biologics (formerly known as Uni Sankyo Ltd) is a probiotic producer based in Hyderabad, India. Sanzyme produces more than 30 distinct strains in a dedicated probiotic manufacturing facility located in Genome Valley, located in the outskirts of Hyderabad. Currently, the company produces probiotic strains for different segments – human health, animal nutrition and bioremediation. The company’s bestselling strains include Bacillus coagulans SNZ 1969, Bacillus subtilis SNZ 1972, Bacillus clausii SNZ 1971, and Saccharomyces boulardii SNZ 1986.

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