Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the W.T. Rawleigh. Assumptions made within the article are not reflective of the position of W.T. Rawleigh.
Every year across the world, 150 countries celebrate World Food Day on October 16. This year's theme "Our Actions Are Our Future. A Zero Hunger World by 2030 is Possible," signifies the dire need to eradicate global hunger. People and organizations around the globe come together with the commitment to raise awareness, gather support, and develop strategies to further this cause.
World Food Day is an annual platform to promote food security by supporting access to affordable, abundant, healthy, and reliable food sources. By broadcasting the urgent need, there is an increasing awareness of food security, hygiene, as well as food quality. One study reports in a world of billions, about five million children under the age of five die of malnutrition every day. Necessary actions are being taken around the world to help people who suffer from hunger.
With a rising focus on nutrition and food quality, it is imperative to understand how probiotics play a key role in improving the ability to absorb critical nutrients to alleviate health risks. In view of the beneficial results stemming from probiotic foods organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) & Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have examined the benefits of probiotics in food concluding that certain probiotics containing specific strains may confer positive health benefits.
Thoroughly researched probiotics may have the potential to emerge as key players in the fight for food hygiene and quality as they contribute and benefit our immune, digestive, and respiratory systems.  It is important to understand how probiotics came to play this role. Gone are the days, when we used to consume a complete nutritional meal. Over the last century, our eating habits have changed drastically mainly because of our lifestyle. Balancing both personal life and work, we often ignore our health and grab a quick bite instead of a complete meal, or much on fast-food and prepared meals which is full of sodium and unhealthy fat that may satiate our hunger for a while. Over farming, soil depletion , and genetically modified foods, along with poor food choices have a negative impact of health and wellbeing.
Recent studies have shown functional properties of living micro-organisms in food, such as the strains found in probiotics, play a crucial role in our immune system. The benefits extend to more than just our immune system. Probiotics are live micro-organisms offering a host of health benefits. They help to enrich and replenish our immune system in many ways. They absorb essential nutrients and help in proper digestion. Our body is 90% microbial, which means the microbes in our body perform several activities, including breaking down foods, absorbing nutrients and preventing illness. Recent study show probiotic supplements are gaining popularity due to their amazing benefits. They not only bolster immunity but may help prevent diseases such as type-2 diabetes, heart diseases, Alzheimer's disease and colorectal cancer. They have also shown considerable effect on alleviating the risks of infectious diseases especially in children and high-risk groups. The health benefits have shown to help with gastrointestinal infections, bowel disorders, allergies and urogenital infections that have been linked to malnourished children. In addition, probiotics may also help healthy individuals by preventing gastrointestinal diseases and strengthening immunity.
In order to be able to contribute to the world at large, it is imperative for you to first take care of yourself. This World Food Day, understand your food better, the sources of your meal and the nutritional gap that you may experience. Learn ways to better take care of your health by becoming more aware of what your body needs and the products and foods you eat. Supplementing with vitamins and probiotics may enable you to live a healthier life and fill in the nutritional gap that your regular diet may not be able to provide you.
- Armuzzi A, Cremonini F, Bartolozzi F, Canducci F, Candelli M, Ojetti V, Cammarota G, Anti M, De Lorenzo A, Pola P, Gasbarrini G, Gasbarrini A (2001): The effect of oral administration of Lactobacillus GG on antibiotic-associated gastrointestinal side-effects during Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy. Aliment Pharmacol Ther, 15(2): 163-169
- Collins JK, Thornton G, O’Sullivan GO (1998): Selection of probiotic strains for human applications. Int Dairy J, 8: 487-490.