Did you know that everyone has quite a large organ in their body that they do not even know about? Or that 10% of the cells in your body are not even human?
The human body is estimated to contain more than 100 trillion bacteria at any time - that is nearly 2.5kg of these tiny single-celled organisms.
Our bodies contain 10 times as many cells as there are stars in the Milky Way, but only about one in 10 of these cells is human - the remaining 90% are microbes.
It is important to realise that microbes, and particularly bacteria, can be “good” or “bad”. In terms of being bad, this is easy to understand.
Throughout human history infections have killed hundreds of millions of people. However, some bacteria can actually improve our health and we actually need a lot of bacteria in our bodies to be healthy.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that, when ingested in adequate amounts, produce a therapeutic or preventive health benefit.
Over 2,000 years ago, in 76 BC, the Roman historian Plinius recommended the administration of fermented milk products, which contain bacteria, for treating symptoms of gastroenteritis.
Now, probiotics are one of the most actively researched health supplements and there are currently around 700 medical research studies ongoing globally.
They have been shown to be an effective treatment, or a promising treatment, for a wide variety of medical conditions, and millions of people around the world take them daily as a preventative measure to maintain good health.