Is it true that ferments to drink and probiotics are good for you?

Is it true that ferments to drink and probiotics are good for you?

Ferments to drink and drinks rich in probiotics such as Yakult, Actimel and LC1 are they really good? We asked our nutritionist.

The probiotics are lactic ferments , namely live microorganisms of bacterial origin, normally present in our body. Thanks to their ability to be resistant to gastric acid and bile and to adhere to cells, to produce bactericidal substances (called bacteriocins) and to colonize the intestine, they can modulate the balance of the intestinal bacterial flora . They can also enhance the immune system by stimulating the activity of intestinal lymphatic tissue (GALT). They are therefore important to regulate not only certain intestinal functions that can be altered, but also to stimulate the entire immune system.

The recognized probiotics are:

  • lactobacilli (casei, paracasei, acidophilus, rhamnosus, bulgaricus, reuteri)
  • bifidobacteria (bifidum, short, infgantis)
  • streptococcus termophilus
  • saccaromices boulardi

Foods rich in probiotics

Among the foods richest in probiotics is fermented milk : a dairy product obtained from the fermentation of milk by microorganisms. Yogurt is an example , but not all fermented milks are yoghurt. In fact, according to Italian law it is possible to call yogurt only milk derivatives obtained by adding two specific microorganisms: Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus . In all other cases, the product of fermentation is more generically defined as fermented milk or takes on other names. On the market there are products such as Yakult, Actimel, Activia, LC1 and so on.

The kefir , for example, is a typical fermented milk Eastern Europe, obtained by the action of a large variety of different species of microorganisms (including yeasts): it, in addition to lactic acid in the yogurt and aromatic compounds, contains also alcohol, acetic acid and carbon dioxide.

Benefits of fermented milk and probiotics

Fermented milk brings with it all the nutritional benefits of milk with an advantage: the lactose present in milk is predigested by bacteria added for fermentation, therefore fermented milk is more digestible . From a nutritional point of view it is a source of vitamins allied to the proper functioning of the body and of minerals important to protect the health of bones and teeth. However, the health benefits associated with their consumption can also be other, especially in the case of products to which probiotics have been often happens. The probiotics most often added to fermented milk are lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. Among their beneficial properties are included:

  • ability to regulate intestinal bacterial flora
  • barrier action that protects the intestine from other microorganisms
  • filtering action against toxic substances
  • Prevention of colon cancer
  • prevention and treatment of urogenital infections
  • production of biopeptides from proteins
  • promoting the proper functioning of the immune system

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