What are probiotics?

Labmedewerker van Winclove Probiotics aan het werk in het lab

Probiotics are good bacteria that occur naturally in our intestines. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines probiotics as: live microorganisms that, when administrated in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. The most well-known probiotic bacteria are: lactobacilli, bifidobacteria and lactococci. These beneficial bacteria occur naturally in our gut and appear in various fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut. However, probiotic food supplements, unlike fermented products, contain well studied and specifically selected probiotics bacteria to benefit our wellbeing.

Good bacteria in the gut

Every adult carries 1.5 to 2 kilos of bacteria with them. The majority of these live in the gut, and numbering in billions, they form the so-called gut microbiota. These bacteria are of great importance to our health: they play a role in our metabolism and are crucial in maintaining our immunity. Through for example disease, stress or the use of medicine, our gut microbiota can be disturbed, thereby giving rise to health issues. Probiotics help resolve this disturbance, so that the health issues are reduced.

Types of probiotics

There are many types and brands of probiotics. Most brands make probiotic food supplements that generally contain one or two different bacteria. But the one bacterium doesn’t have the same properties as the other, even if they have the same name. Also there is no single bacterium that can do everything. To achieve the optimal effect it is therefore best to combine different probiotic bacteria with different properties, a so-called multispecies probiotic.

Indication-specific probiotics with various types of bacteria

For the best possible support of the gut microbiota, we develop products consisting of diverse probiotic bacteria: a so-called multispecies probiotic. Furthermore, not every health issue has the same cause and solution. That’s why there are products with probiotic bacteria selected for their properties that combat specific conditions. These probiotics are called ‘indication-specific’.