People are finally starting to take notice of the importance of gut health and the essential role it plays in the overall functioning of our physical and mental well-being. Up to 80% of our whole immune system is located in the gut and our digestive system is actually the second-largest component of our neurological system! But when you’re getting all of this information at once, it can be a little overwhelming! In this post, we’re going to take a look at one particular supplement that can benefit absolutely everyone: a daily probiotic.
The word “probiotic” is a translation of two Greek words meaning “the promotion of life”. This is bacteria that coats the digestive tract and is especially found in fermented foods and digestive supplements. Probiotics have been linked to a vast range of health benefits such as prevention and/or treatment of urinary tract infections, digestive issues, IBS, eczema, autism, liver disease, Crohn’s disease, and a boosted immune system. The success of probiotics is thought to be due to their ability to restore the natural balance of bacteria in the gut.
If you’ve ever picked up a course of antibiotics in the pharmacy you’ve probably been advised to start taking probiotics also. This is because antibiotics disrupt the balance of good and bad bacteria that is essential for a well-functioning gut. You currently have trillions of bacteria living in your digestive system and we call these your gut microbiome. When your gut is healthy, you have about 85% “good” bacteria and 15% bad bacteria hanging out there.
However, when this balance is disrupted, a condition called dysbiosis sets in, which means that you have a microbial imbalance that negatively affects your body, causing irritation and malabsorption of nutrients. This imbalance of bad bacteria can happen due to antibiotics, other medication, illness, an unhealthy diet, and many other factors. This can lead to a number of issues such as digestive difficulties, mental health problems, and chronic inflammation conditions.
By making sure you have a sufficient intake of probiotics on a daily basis you can avoid experiencing the symptoms of a bacterial imbalance in your gut and also treat and prevent a number of problems such as:
Probiotics are a well-recognized treatment for the prevention and treatment of diarrhea. If you’ve ever been on antibiotics, you’ve probably experienced this very common side effect at some point. Studies show that probiotics reduce the risk of antibiotic-related diarrhea by restoring the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut. One such study noted that supplementing with probiotics reduced antibiotic-induced diarrhea by 42%!.
Probiotics can ALSO help with other types of acute diarrhea that aren’t caused by antibiotics and they have been proven to reduce the duration of diarrhea by 25 hours on average.
Eczema Treatment in Children/Infants
Probiotics have been shown to reduce the severity of childhood/infant eczema symptoms. One particular study found that symptoms improved in infants who were given probiotics-supplement milk compared with those fed non-supplemented milk.
Your gut is also referred to as your “second brain” because it houses your enteric nervous system which works independently of your brain and spinal cord. Did you know that you actually produce more neurotransmitters in your gut than in your brain itself?! With this in mind, it makes sense that research has shown that problems with your gut health can also have an effect on your mental health.
Since a healthy microbiome is essential for a healthy gut and a happy you, it’s no surprise that studies have found that probiotics supplements can improve a number of mental health conditions. An in-depth review of 15 studies found that a 1-2 month course of probiotics can improve depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism, and memory. In one specific study of 40 patients suffering from depression, a daily probiotic taken over 2 months reduced their levels of depression compared to those who did not supplement with a probiotic.
Probiotics promote heart health by lowering your levels of LDL cholesterol and reducing blood pressure. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is a type of cholesterol that can cause buildup in your arteries increasing the risk of heart disease. In a review of 5 studies in this area, participants who ate probiotic yogurt for 2-8 weeks lowered their LDL cholesterol by 5%.
A study of participants on a low dose of probiotics for 12 weeks showed an 8.5% reduction in abdominal fat. Probiotics can help with weight loss by preventing the absorption of dietary fat in your intestine causing it to be excreted rather than stored in your body.
You’ll feel fuller for a longer period of time after eating and your metabolic rate may increase, partly as a result of the increase in certain hormone levels in the body.
Over 3 million adults in the US alone suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Research in this area has shown that probiotics can improve symptoms in patients suffering from ulcerative colitis, and one study even found that supplementing with a probiotic strain called E.coli Nissle was equally as effective as medication in maintaining remission for people with ulcerative colitis. Further research has shown that probiotics can also help the 15% of the worldwide population suffering from IBS.
How to Add More Probiotics to Your Diet
Fermented foods are a great source of probiotics and you’ll find them in foods such as kefir, kimchi, pickled vegetables, yogurts, soy products, miso, and tempeh. Adding a probiotic supplement is also one of the best ways to ensure that you maintain the natural bacteria balance in your gut, so we definitely advise adding this to your daily dietary regime.
Our Gut Reset Kit contains an Advanced Probiotic AND our Detox Cleanse supplement which will aid weight loss, improve digestion, reduce bloating, heal your gut lining, and re-energize your body for complete wellness!
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