7 Essential Benefits of Probiotics

 

To most, the idea of taking in more bacteria seems crazy, but in the case of probiotics it could dramatically improve your health. Probiotics are products that deliver the “good bacteria” that naturally reside in your intestinal tract. Due to different environmental circumstances, such as stress and the use of antibiotics, these good bacteria come under attack. By taking a probiotic, you restore balance to your bacterial flora and to your health. If you are still on the fence about adding bacteria to your diet, here are 7 essential benefits of probiotics.

1. Probiotics support gastrointestinal health

By restoring balance directly within your gastrointestinal tract, there is no wonder that taking a probiotic can help your GI health. According to Dr. Weil, taking a probiotic helps to keep your digestive system working at its best. This can result in less gastrointestinal bloating and discomfort, and more regular bowel movements. There are even some studies that suggest that taking a probiotic can have therapeutic effects for those suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases. In a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, the use of probiotics was shown to decrease gastrointestinal inflammation in mice with colitis.


Probiotics support gastrointestinal health


2. Probiotics can boost your immune system

Boosting the number of good bacteria in your gut can help your body to defeat pathogenic (or bad) bacteria. This is because your gut flora may play an important role in producing and regulating important immune cells, according to Harvard Medical School. By boosting the number of these naturally occurring bacteria, you help the balance between good and bad bacteria in your body shift back into your favor. According to Dr. Weil, a sign that you should be taking a probiotic is that your immune system is not working like it should. Although it seems contradictory, adding probiotics to your life can help you to take out pathogens and boost your immune function.


3. Probiotics can help you lose weight

If these little microorganisms aren’t fighting hard enough for you already, studies have shown that taking a probiotic can even help cut those extra pounds. In a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, women who were given probiotics lost an average of 4 pounds more than those who received the placebo over a 12-week period. A different study, published in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery, linked the use of probiotics after gastric bypass surgery to more weight loss and higher vitamin B12 levels. Although the direct link between probiotics and weight loss is not fully understood, there is evidence that upping your level of good bacteria can help to slim your waistline.

Probiotics can help you lose weight


4. Probiotics support urinary and genital health in women

Like the colon, the vagina balances good and bad bacteria. When the good bacteria come under assault, by spermicides, birth control pills, and many other contraceptive methods, it important to replenish them. According to Harvard University School of Medicine, taking a probiotic can decrease the recurrence of urinary tract infections, yeast infections, and bacterial vaginosis.


5. Probiotics can give you more energy

Believe it or not, our gut flora plays an important role in how we get energy. It does this through producing many vitamins that we as humans are unable to make including biotin, folate, and vitamin K. These vitamins are important cofactors for the biological processes that allow us to extract the energy from the food we eat. According to Dr. Oz, our good bacteria makes up as much as 10% of our daily energy. That is a huge energetic cost for causing an imbalance in our gut flora.


6. Probiotics can lower your blood pressure

If you are part of the 29% of American adults that suffer from hypertension, studies show that taking a probiotic may help to lower your blood pressure. In a study published in the medical journal, Hypertension, participants who took probiotics on average saw a decrease of 10 (systolic)/4 (diastolic) in their blood pressure. Although a probiotic is neither a cure nor a replacement for the treatment for hypertension, it may aid you in lowering your overall blood pressure.


Probiotics can lower your blood pressure


7. Probiotics may reduce the risk developing allergies (when taken early in life)

A study performed by the Institute for Care of Mother and Child and published in the Journal of Allergy and Immunology, linked the use of probiotics to lower occurrence rates of allergies. The longitudinal study found that in children who were administered probiotics after birth, there were lower rates of allergies and repeated infections. Although you should consult with a pediatrician before administering any type of probiotic to your child, studies are finding that there are some real health benefits to introducing probiotics early in life.


By taking a probiotic, you can unlock all of these health advantages, and possibly more. Currently being researched is the role of probiotics in preventing type 2 diabetes and obesity. If you want to find optimal health by restoring your good bacteria, look for a product that has at least 3-5 billion live organisms and provides a diverse supply of bacteria. Most health food stores, and your local vitamin store carry probiotics. If you are looking for a good buy online, Emuaid’s First Defense Probiotic is a product that fits both of these categories and can be purchased here.


Shift your flora in your favor, and lead a healthier and more energetic life by taking a probiotic.