The benefits of taking probiotic supplements
Probiotics are the good living bacteria that is not only essential to have a healthy gut and digestive system. More research and studies have found that it could also benefit other areas in your body. When you lose good bacteria, probiotics can help replace them and help with the balance of both good and bad bacteria in your body to keep it working the way it should. These friendly bacteria convert fiber into short – chain fatty acids, synthesizing certain vitamins and supporting the immune system.
These days, probiotics can be taken not just by fermented foods but also through probiotic supplements. Taking the right amount and the right probiotic can increase the number of beneficial bacteria that reside in your gut and can boost your health.
Your colon contains billions of bacteria with hundreds of different species, which exact composition is unique to every individual. Probiotics with various strains of Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and Saccharomyces have been found to provide health benefits. Some probiotic supplements have a combination of different strains in one supplement.
Probiotics are measured in CFU’s known us colony-forming units. It is important to take probiotics in adequate amounts. Most studies have found that the higher the dosage the better the results. Effectiveness will vary as some probiotics may be effective at 1-2 billion CFU per day while some may need a minimum of 20 billion CFU to reach the desired effects, though there is no evident harm found in taking high doses.
Let’s jump into the powerful benefits of taking probiotics:
- Probiotics may help relieve constipation and IBS especially for people who experience these issues chronically. It also helps relieve IBD or inflammatory bowel disease, other infectious diarrhea that are caused by bacteria, parasites or viruses and can help relieve diarrhea caused by antibiotics. Taking antibiotics kills harmful bacteria but also destroys the good ones and so taking probiotics can help replace the good bacteria that was lost.
- In some studies, taking probiotic supplement may help you achieve weight loss with a healthier body composition. In some animal and human studies found that certain bacterial strains may decrease the amount of fat and calories your gut absorbs therefore promoting a healthy balance of gut bacteria which can affect body weight. During times of high calorie intake, probiotic supplements may help limit weight gain although researchers feel there isn’t enough evidence to tie probiotics with weight loss.
- While probiotics supports gut health, it is also known to support brain health as the brain and gut health are strongly connected. When the bacteria in your colon digest and ferment fiber into short-chain fatty acids nourishing the gut, research has shown that these compounds may also benefit the brain and the nervous system. In some studies, probiotics has shown to help improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, autism, obsessive – compulsive disorder and poor memory.
- Believe it or not in some studies, probiotics have shown to improve heart health and can reduce the risk of heart disease. In several studies include a decrease in “bad” LDL cholesterol and an increase in “good” HDL cholesterol.
- Probiotics may also help lower blood pressure. A study has shown that after taking probiotic treatment longer than eight weeks with a dose higher than 10 billion CFU per day had significant reduction in their blood pressure.
- Taking probiotics can help boost your immune system as it helps balance the bacteria in your gut promoting an increase in your body’s defenses against infections, allergies and cancer.
- In some studies, taking probiotics have helped with skin conditions like eczema, urinary and vaginal health in women, and helps enhance oral health limiting gum infection and gingivitis.
- Probiotics have also shown to reduce inflammation in the body which is a common risk factor for many diseases.
Taking probiotics can impact your over all health although we strongly recommend taking them with a good and healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle otherwise probiotic benefits will not be as beneficial. Moreover, although taking probiotics are safe for most people, they may cause harm in those who have compromised immune systems and who are extremely ill. If you are unsure about how it would benefit you, we strongly advise that you consult with your physician before taking them.
In general, as we get older, having a healthy gut microbiome is essential to have an overall healthy body. As all the food and nutrients, we take gets processed in our digestive system and distributed all over our body and brain, maintaining a good gut health is extremely important. Taking the right type of probiotics can help improve your health, target specific issues therefore improving your wellness and quality of life.