Probiotics: An evolutionary point of view of why and how they are good for you
We Homo sapiens are comprised of more bacterial cells than human cells, and this number of microorganisms have co-evolved with us in such a way that we delegated many metabolic functions to our microscopic partners. The arrival of modern world perturbators have modified the balance and caused a spread of dysbiosis and its many related disorders and civilization diseases.
It is in this context that probiotics have gained in popularity, thanks to the possibility of re-introducing lost functions.
That probiotics are good for you is true by definition: the definition of probiotics by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) is “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host”. Nowadays, studies are multiplying to show that microorganisms are beneficial for a huge array of health indications, ranging from the most well-known aspects of digestive health to the fascinating area of the gut-brain axis, through the established but regulation-challenged vaginal sphere benefit, but also increasingly recognized in relation to cardiovascular health, auto-immune diseases and even have an effect on survival rates in patients with cancer (1, 2). How is it that bacteria can affect such different aspects of our health?
First, we need to consider bacteria as a huge part of us. In fact, recent estimates suggest our body is comprised of more microorganism cells than our own human cells (38 to 30 trillion) (3). When you look at gene numbers, their supremacy is even more obvious: we Homo sapiens have about 23 000 genes while the bacteria we c ...