How Probiotics Can Help with Viral Infections

What is viral infection?

Due to drastic changes in human ecology like the increased movement of people to geographical areas, global warming, etc. the risk of viral infections has increased dramatically. Whenever we visit a doctor for cold, cough or fever, the most common reason given by the health professional is a viral infection. Viral infection as the name suggests is nothing but the infection caused by a virus that has entered our body. Viruses can invade our body only with the help of host as they are unable to reproduce on their own. Viruses use the host as a medium to introduce their genetic material into the cells and start multiplying the count of viruses. During this process, the host cell is killed thus making a freeway for the newly formed virus particles. Once these virus particles are set free they are all set to attack the other cells in the body. Viral infection can be caused by food, air, water, touch, insects, contaminated needles, sexual contact etc.  To prevent the attack of viruses and to increase our immunity it is essential that you include probiotics as a part of your diet or if required in the form of supplements. Let us see in detail how probiotics can help us to fight viral infections.

How Probiotics can help with viral infections

Vaccination is one of the best measures to prevent the attack of viruses. In case it happens then taking antiviral drugs is the best measure to fight it out or to just let the illness run through its course is another way out. Antivirus drugs do not kill the virus but its growth is inhibited. The most common viral infections are gastrointestinal and respiratory infections.  With increased resistance to antiviral drugs and antibiotics, treatment of viral infections is really becoming a challenge.  In such scenarios including probiotics is a safe alternative to reduce the risk of such type of infections.

The exact mechanism of how probiotics work is not known. However, a recent study shows that they might be balancing the local microbiota or alleviating the severity and duration of the acute virus. It may also be enhancing the immune response or inhibiting the growth of the virus.

Our body contains good bacteria and bad bacteria. The overuse of antibiotics hampers the immune system thus removing both good and bad bacteria. In addition, antibiotics cause side effects like diarrhea. This creates an adverse effect on our immunity and health. Recent research has led to the conclusion that probiotics can be effective. Moreover if given in combination with antibiotics it can reduce the risk of diarrhea. The digestive tract contains a maximum number of good bacteria thus providing a direct effect on our immunity. Therefore it is essential to keep these bacteria alive. This can be done by including a diet that contains good bacteria, the most popular source being yogurt. Stick to naturally fermented foods for your daily dose of probiotics. In case this does not suffice your requirement you can take a probiotic supplement by consulting your health professional.

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