The modern word Probiotics has its origin in Latin and Greek words .The Latin word pro (“for”) and the Greek bios (“life”). In 1907, Russian scientist called Elie Metchnikoff gave the idea that micro flora of the gut can be constantly modified and can be replaced with healthy and friendly microflora.His proposition stressed on toxin production by harmful bacteria thus resulting in auto intoxication of intestine. Metchnikoff is considered to be the “father of Probiotics”.A widely used definition by ` World Health Organization ’ and the `Food and Agriculture Organization’ of the United Nations is –
Probiotics are “live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” These microorganisms can be bacterial, viral, or yeast, and can generally only be seen under a microscope.
Before Metchnikoff gave the above scientific proposition; some thousand years back in time, a Roman naturalist named Pliney the Elder advocated fermented milk drinking for intestinal related problems and issues. References of Fermented foods are also found in sacred books of Hinduism and Christianity. Therapeutic uses of Probiotics were well known even before the bacteria present in them. Indeed `some connected links were known even before they were linked’.
Our gut is homely and friendly place providing many symbiotic bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium etc to live in comfortably. Microbial ecosystem density of the colon is reported to be 1012 cells per gram of intestinal content. Well known abundance of bacteria in the intestine makes a percentage of 60 in the dry mass of fecal matter. An imbalance of microbial flora known as dysbiosis in the colon results in constipation. Common causes of constipation include
- Drinking less water
- Low fiber food diet
- Lack of exercise
- Hormonal disorders like related to underactive thyroid
- High laxative use
- Medical condition like Irritable bowel syndrome
- Certain ongoing medications like calcium and iron supplements, diuretics, narcotics
- Poor bathroom habits
- Lack of sleep
- Old age
How do Probiotics relieve constipation?
Probiotics are the effective non-drug concentrated remedial cure for constipation. They work as preventive agents like natural home remedies including high fibrous diet food, doing exercise, drinking appreciable amount of water daily etc. Supermarkets are filled with diverse arrays of different Probiotic supplements mostly containing bacterial genus like Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium (and its various species) . Probiotics with specific strains of these wonderful species of these bacteria are found to be significantly advantageous in reducing constipation.
These wonderful friendly bacteria work by two mechanisms-
- Few Probiotics lead to production of lactic acid and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs)helping in lowering pH of the colon leading to increased muscle contractions in the colon (peristalis).So Probiotics help in regular and smooth bowel movement.
- Other Probiotics can lead to regular bowel movement and causing mucous secretion by conversion of bound bile salts into free bile salts. Free bile salts helps in water to be pulled towards the colon leading to soft stool formation and easy elimination.
The effect of all the Probiotics is not the same. Depending on the species and strain which are used, the direct and indirect effects of Probiotic supplements vary. Permutations and combinations of different species and their specific strains are the ongoing research trials which are happening around the globe. Whereas one set may have 90 percent efficacy, other may be 30-20 percent effective. In addition to Probiotics, Prebiotics may also be helpful in relieving constipation. Now what are Prebiotics? Prebiotics are food sources or the substrate on which Probiotics containing bacteria happily use and thus helpful in enhancing the activity of colonic bacteria family.
List of some Probiotic bacteria
- Saccharomyces boulardi
Some well known Probiotic foods
Probiotics may help you restore your micro flora imbalance in the gut. A health history status should be kept in good records before starting a Probiotic. Combine Probiotic intake with Prebiotics, balanced diet, exercise, yoga and drinking good amount of water in a day. Take help of Nutritional consultations often and don’t ignore acute constipation symptoms as to may play havoc with the ecosystem of gut leading to chronic constipation.
‘Have a healthy living
Wish you all long companionship with friendly bacteria’
Probiotics for Constipation Relieve ? In case of any info or query regarding this, please add in comments.