Before reading this post I want to make clear on certain terms which you might encounter in this post.
Antibiotic – A chemical substance derivable from a mold or bacterium that can kill microorganisms and cure bacterial infections.
Probiotic – A beneficial bacterium found in the intestinal tract of healthy mammals. Or in other words live bacteria which help in Digestion.
Recently I came across two things, one being a blog post by my friend Doctor Ganesh and other being an advertisement of a diary product called “Yakult”. In the POST he has written about the probiotics and stressed on taking natural probiotics rather than frozen pills. The latter thing was the advertisement that irked me. In the ad they were telling about the need to take live bacteria and it is branded as probiotic diary product. On further digging on their website I came to know that it is made my fermenting a mixture of skimmed milk with a special strain of the bacterium Lactobacillus Cesai shirota. The above mentioned bacterium is a producer of enzyme amylase. We have heard about this enzyme amylase in our primary school as an enzyme helping in digestion of carbohydrates.
It also states that the standard Yakult contains 18g of sugar in 100 ml. We have seen that the increased consumption of soft drinks such as Coca Cola increases the sugar level itself contains only 10g of sugar for every 100 ml. This is pretty high according to the normal standards even. So Yakult itself states that to take the product in small quantity. In Wikipedia there is a line that states that “Through nutrient profiling guidelines current health claim regulation in European Union may forbid the use of claim on food products that are nutritionally unbalanced, but diary and probiotic drinks are likely to be considered as a favourable carriers because their health benefits outweighs the fact that they might be high in one of the designated unhealthy ingredient”. This clearly states that there is a presence of so called unhealthy ingredient.
Above all there is no clear answer whether these probiotics have a positive effect. From the post I mentioned above the only hard evidence is from a Cochrone Review. So what I conclude from this post is that is of the same that my friend concluded in his post, when natural probiotics are available why rely and spend of specific injection of probiotic through special means. Curd contains the live bacteria and other fermented foods give us the probiotic as we take it as a part of our daily food which causes no side effects. The so called medical means of intake is waste of money and may even cause side effects.
In writing all the above paragraph gently I am able to remind of the one scene in the movie “Imsai Arasan 23m Pulikesi” where the King talks to the foreigner about trade of this products as kind of health products. In here we can sell anything in the name of anything, if someone who wears a doctor in an ad says this will reduce fat or some hero endorses a shit we will do it right away rather than the real doctor who sitting in the clinic says a fact. We are all used to believe in products displayed in the TV rather than the reality. These actors and people in media exploit the people with their vulnerability in believing the endorsement given by the star. The day is not far where someone in the ad says that this food is called Fermented rice product and named “IDLY”.
P.S: The above given information are all gathered from the Wikipedia and various sources from the internet (including the image).