Why Probiotics Are Essential For A Healthier Body
A probiotic is a live bacteria or yeast that has been proven to keep your digestive system healthy; where your body is full of bacteria, a probiotic containing good bacteria help keeps your gut healthy, preventing bad bacteria to settle. The benefits of probiotics are remarkable. They benefit nearly every system of your body, working in a holistic way to balance and improve many areas – from your gut health to your mood.
1. Boosts Gut Health
Restoring the good bacteria levels in your gut can reduce bloating, ease constipation, and even help with a number of more serious digestive disorders.
Research shows that certain strains of probiotics can improve mild ulcerative colitis symptoms as well as irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. One study even found that supplementing with a probiotic was as effective as prescription drugs in maintaining remission in people with ulcerative colitis. This could be due to reduced inflammation and irritation from having less bad bacteria in the gut. In addition, probiotics can also help fix and even prevent diarrhea.
Eating foods rich in good bacteria and using probiotic supplements may help to provide protection from inflammatory bowel diseases, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
2. Helps With Weight Loss
Interestingly, probiotics may be your next best friend when it comes to losing weight, not only benefiting how you feel on the inside, but how you look on the outside.
It turns out that some strands of probiotics help prevent the absorption of fat in your intestines, encouraging it to be eliminated instead of stored. Research also shows that probiotics help increase satiety, burn more calories, and stop weight gain due to an increase in beneficial hormones like butyrate.
3. Improves Mental Health
Who knew that something as simple as bacteria could have such a profound effect on your mental health and mood? Who also knew that the gut is responsible for creating 95 percent of your serotonin levels? This of course has a significant impact on your brain function and mood.
Research discovered that your gut and brain are directly linked, and as such have found that supplementing with certain probiotics improves mental conditions like anxiety, depression, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder and memory. One study showed that in as little as eight weeks, participants supplementing with probiotics experienced decreased depression levels, with a bonus of decreased inflammation levels.
A slightly more surprising result, however, seems to be the way that probiotics may impact some of the symptoms of autism. Autism and gut health have been discussed for some time, as patients with the disorder typically suffer from a large number of digestive issues.
4. Improves Cholesterol
Probiotics also have the ability to reduce LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind), which is good news for your heart health. They do this by breaking down fat and bile in the gut so that it’s unable to be absorbed into your bloodstream as cholesterol.
Several studies show that consuming probiotic yogurt for two to eight weeks reduced total cholesterol by 4 percent and LDL cholesterol by 5 percent.
A large analysis reviewed available research and determined that probiotics help to lower blood pressure by improving lipid profiles (the amount of heart-related substances in the blood, like cholesterol and triglycerides), reducing insulin resistance, regulating renin levels (a protein and enzyme secreted by the kidneys to lower blood pressure) and activating antioxidants.
5. Clears Skin Conditions
Many people report improvement in their skin tone and texture after introducing more probiotic foods into their diets. Research confirms that probiotics can indeed have an effect on skin conditions, with one study showing it is beneficial in managing acne and dermatitis.
Many avenues of research have examined probiotics benefits for skin, especially in children. Meta-analyses have found that probiotic supplements are effective in the prevention of pediatric atopic dermatitis and infant eczema. The integrity of gut bacteria is also connected to the development of acne, although the reasons appear unclear as to why good gut bacteria prevents it.
6. Heightens Immunity
70-80% of your entire immune system is located in our digestive systems. Also, the enteric nervous system, located in your gut, is the second largest part of your neurological system. Your immune system naturally produces killer T cells and antibodies as a frontline defense against any foreign “invader” like an infectious disease or bacteria. Probiotics lend a hand in this process, promoting the production of T cells and antibodies. One study shows that children taking certain strains of probiotics reduced the severity and length of their respiratory infections by 17 percent.
By using probiotics, it’s possible to help rebuild a poor variety of gut bacteria often seen after a course of antibiotics. In addition, probiotic supplements and foods may increase the effectiveness of antibiotics and help prevent the bacteria in your body from becoming resistant.