What if you could improve your gut health, boost your immunity, and restore balance to your life?
With probiotics, you may be able to do just that. Diet is arguably now more important than ever. About 25% of your immune cells live in the gut—making a balanced biome key to overall wellness.
But what are probiotics? This post will feature a breakdown of how they work, the benefits they may bring, and what it means to consider probiotic supplementation.
What Are Probiotics?
The body is home to both “good” and “bad” bacteria—and probiotics are the healthy kind. These live and active bacteria, can help support a healthy immune response..
Does this sound counterintuitive? While many people view bacteria as something that makes us ill, probiotics have the opposite effect. We’ll use the word “balance” again here—because probiotics are rooted in the idea of balance. When a person gets feeling bad, they could be dealing with higher quantities of bad bacteria. The good bacteria, or probiotics, can jump in and promote recovery.
Here’s how they work: In the body, probiotics make up a person’s microbiome, a diverse group of organisms that work together to encourage good health. These are active microorganisms that alter the gastrointestinal flora after being ingested—quite possibly encouraging a number of health benefits.
Consider the numbers. Roughly 100 trillion microflora (bacteria found in the gut) encompassing 500 species are found in every healthy bowel. Instead of making us sick, these microorganisms help to keep pathogens at bay in the body. They also promote digestion and nutrient absorption, and elevate immunity.
Foods with Probiotics
Probiotics are prevalent in a number of fermented foods and beverages, including:
- Yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, and cottage cheese
- Pickles, sauerkraut, and kimchi
- Sourdough bread
Probiotics ultimately help to ferment dietary fiber—producing nutrients for the cells lining the intestines. This can result in a number of health benefits.
Benefits of Probiotics
Since probiotics occur naturally in the body, probiotic foods and supplements are typically considered safe. The potential advantages of probiotics are expansive and may range from healthy weight loss to relief from allergies.
Probiotics for immune health
Probiotics may be able to strengthen the immune system by slowing the growth of harmful bacteria. Some researchers have found that certain strains can possibly speed the production of natural antibodies—boosting the number of immune cells and decreasing the severity and duration of respiratory problems. Essentially, probiotics may be able to keep you healthy, or speed recovery
Probiotics for weight management
Probiotics may also help with weight management by helping to excrete fat instead of absorbing it in the digestive system. Additionally, people may experience higher satiety from probiotics—staying fuller longer, burning more calories, and storing lower quantities of fat in the body overall.
Probiotics for digestive health
From diarrhea to constipation, probiotics have been found to potentially treat a number of digestive health issues. Some studies show that probiotics may lessen diarrhea caused by antibiotics by 60% compared to a placebo. Additional research found that in the case of constipation, probiotics might be able to increase weekly bowel movements by a factor of 1.3—even softening stools so that they pass easier.
Probiotics for heart health
Probiotics may help to improve cholesterol, lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol by breaking down bile in the gut (and keeping it from being reabsorbed). A review of five studies found that eating a probiotic yogurt over the course of several weeks could decrease total cholesterol by 4% and LDL cholesterol by 5%. In addition, researchers found that probiotic supplements might be capable of lowering blood pressure.
Probiotics for relief from allergies
Some researchers believe that certain probiotic strains can lessen skin conditions like eczema and other common allergies. One study revealed that the children of women who took probiotic supplements during pregnancy had an 83% decreased risk of developing eczema by age two. While more research is needed, some studies show that certain probiotics can also reduce inflammation in people with dairy allergies.
Probiotics for mental health
As mental health increasingly enters the public discourse, a number of researchers have begun exploring the gut health-mental health connection. Several studies have found that probiotic supplements taken over the course of 30 to 60 days may help improve symptoms of anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and autism. Results were seen in research conducted on both animals and humans.
Of course, probiotics aren’t a cure-all for mental health challenges—but the benefits involving mood and memory could be promising. It’s worth repeating, though, that more research is needed to determine whether taking probiotics can have a lasting effect on mental health.
Introducing Probiotic Supplements
Some people view probiotic supplements as a way to promote good health. However, not all probiotics are the same—and different strains can have different effects. The probiotics most often found in stores include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
A reminder that before you start a new supplement, you will want to speak with a medical professional. Your healthcare provider can point you in the right direction, helping you navigate your options and evaluate the potential risks involved in supplementation.
One option you may choose to consider is the Balanced Health Adult Balanced Biome™ Probiotic Gummy. The probiotic supplement is super-charged with 5 billion colony-forming units (CFUs), or live microorganisms, that support good gut health. Our probiotic strain Bacillus Subtilis, or DE111, has been clinically proven to boost the immune system, reduce harmful bacteria, and communicate with the digestive system.
Vegan-friendly, non-GMO, and free from artificial flavors and ingredients, our product could lead to a number of benefits. The delicious gummy supports exercise recovery, normal fat metabolism, and healthy immune function.1 With a delicious fruity flavor, it’s a treat that may be worth adding to your daily health and wellness regimen (with your doctor’s permission, of course).
How does that sound? Do you have questions about our probiotic gummy, or about probiotic supplementation in general? Please contact us for more information.