Probiotic History

History of Probiotics

Humans have regularly consumed probiotics for thousands of years in various forms of fermented and cultured foods and drinks - such as yogurt, kefir, cheese, sauerkraut and pickles. Elie Metchnikoff, the Russian physiologist credited for discovering the benefits of probiotics, postulated that regular dietary consumption of good bacteria throughout man's history has protected him from potentially harmful microorganisms present in the environment. However, today, with the over-processing of modern day foods and beverages, fragile probiotic organisms are not as abundant in today's diet as they once were. This, combined with the increasing amount of stress, including dieting, traveling, and overuse of antibiotics and other pharmaceutical drugs, has created a deficiency of these beneficial bacteria in a majority of the population.

Modern Consumption of Probiotics

On a daily basis, the human body has to protect itself from invasion by undesirable organisms and thus it is critical to maintain a proper balance of microflora throughout the bacterial ecosystem of the intestinal tract. Keeping an ample population of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) throughout the intestinal tract will help to protect intestinal integrity and thus improve overall health.

Daily consumption of probiotic foods will ensure that you are ingesting proper amounts of "friendly" bacteria. Common dietary sources of probiotics; however, are generally limited by refrigeration requirements and short shelf lives. In addition, they often contain only a small number of beneficial bacterial strains, providing only a partial benefit. It is also important to note that individuals with sensitive gastrointestinal tracts may have difficulty ingesting a large quantity of fermented products as well.

Over the past 30 years, advances in the production of probiotic dietary supplements have increased the availability of these items in a variety of dosage forms (capsules, chewable tablets, and powder) that are easy to take. Jarrow Formulas® quality line of probiotic dietary supplements is formulated to help maintain a healthy balance of microflora throughout the digestive tract and support immune function. In addition, Jarrow Formulas® new oral probiotic product for women, Fem-Dophilus®, has been clinically documented to help maintain and restore healthy microflora throughout the vaginal tract and support overall urinary tract health.