Types of beneficial bacteria

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Types of beneficial bacteria
Not all bacteria are harmful. (bacteria image by chrisharvey from Fotolia.com)

Beneficial bacteria or probiotics are a "good bacteria" found in the human digestive tract. It makes up about 90 per cent of the bacteria found in a healthy digestive tract. Beneficial bacteria produce antibiotics that help fight the invasion on toxic bacteria. Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria and Streptococcus are examples of beneficial bacteria.


Lactobacilli are found in a healthy human intestine and vagina. Lactobacillus acidophilus produces vitamin K, lactate and hydrogen peroxide that help kill harmful bacteria like candida, which causes yeast infections in women. Lactobacilluys acidophilus is also helpful in treating diarrhoea. Yoghurt is a food that often contains live cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus. Lactobacillus acidophilus should be avoided by people with intestinal damage.


Bifidobacteria boost the human immune system and promotes good digestion. This bacteria also secretes lactic acid that kills Candida albicans. Bifidobacteria is also used to treat atopic eczema in infants, lactose intolerance and mumps, and to lower cholesterol. When antibiotics are used to kill harmful bacteria, the beneficial bacteria can be killed as well. Bifidobacterium while taking antibiotics can help minimise the death of the good bacteria. Always consult your physician before introducing additional vitamins and supplements to your diet.


Like the other beneficial bacteria, Streptococcus thermophilus and faecium also prevent and treat diarrhoea and promote a healthy digestive systems. It also reduces the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and baby colic, and helps manage AIDS symptoms and nasal cavity infections. Streptococcus thermophilus is used in making cheese and sometimes pasteurised milk. There is also a harmful strain of streptococcus that can cause a painful sore throat known as strep throat. If you think you may have strep see your physician immediately.

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