Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that live within your body. Different probiotics play different roles in your body and health. Some digest nutrients that you cannot digest yourself. Others help fight off harmful bacteria, and still others support the immune system. If you are looking into taking probiotics to support your immune system, then you need to pay close attention to which probiotics the supplements contain. Here are three probiotic microorganisms that are especially good for immune support.
Lactobacillus bacteria are a type of bacteria that convert sugar to lactic acid. They are primarily found in fermented dairy products, such as yogurt and kefir. Inside your body, they colonize your digestive tract. Here, they help fight off pathogenic bacteria. In doing so, they decrease the amount of work that your immune system has to do. If you have a good population of lactobacillus in your body, you may notice fewer bouts of digestive illness and less nausea, and you should also notice fewer immune-related issues in general. Many people with eczema and other skin conditions notice an improvement when they take lactobacillus probiotics because these skin conditions are related to immune function.
These are another type of bacteria that colonize your digestive tract. They are often found in fermented dairy products, but they can also be found in sauerkraut, kimchi, and some fermented vinegars. Bifidobacteria are known for their effects on the digestive tract, specifically. They help digest certain nutrients, like some types of fibre, and can therefore help prevent IBS symptoms like diarrhea and nausea. Taking supplements with bifidobacterium can help manage ulcerative colitis when used in combination with prescription medications recommended by your doctor.
Saccharomyces are not bacteria; they are yeast! These yeast are quite beneficial for the immune system. They proliferate in the small intestine and help fight off pathogenic bacteria, taking the burden off your immune system. The yeast themselves may also form a barrier over the intestinal wall, preventing certain bacteria and harmful compounds from entering. Saccharomyces are easy to find in beer and sourdough bread. There are also plenty of supplements that contain this type of yeast.
If you are looking at probiotic supplements with the specific goal of boosting immunity, then you need to pay close attention to the ingredients. Look for an immune support probiotic supplement that contains one or more of the above microorganisms, and you should be in really good shape.