8 Key Benefits of Probiotics Backed by Science
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are becoming increasingly popular nowadays. You can find probiotics infused in virtually all kinds of food from naturally-occurring probiotics in yogurts to popcorn products with a probiotic additive. But with probiotics being a current health buzzword, it’s important to know exactly what they are, how they work, and how much you should be taking. This article aims to inform you of not only the general nature of probiotics, but how they can benefit you in your daily life.
Probiotics are made up of good bacteria that live in your body. More specifically, you have probiotics living in your mouth, gut, skin, lungs, vagina, and urinary tract. But don’t be alarmed to read this, because these are “good” bacteria. You body is covered inside and out with trillions and trillions of microbes that include bacteria, fungi (like yeasts), viruses, and protozoa. While it may seem unnerving to read this, know that the probiotics are the good bacteria that live in constant battle with bad bacteria that invades your body throughout each day, keeping a balance between the two and in turn maintaining your health.
The scientific names of the most common probiotic bacteria include lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and the yeast probiotic saccharomyces boulardii. These are essential to your body’s health and well-being. Their main job in keeping the healthy balance in your body’s “ecosystem”, or rather “microbiome”, is to help you digest your food, keep the bad bacteria from taking over and making you sick, create vitamins in your body, breakdown and absorb medications, and help the cells that line your gut fight off bad bacteria from entering your blood from the foods and drinks you consume.
Where do you Find Probiotics?
Speaking of food and drinks, your body can usually get enough probiotics naturally from eating yogurt, buttermilk, sourdough bread, cottage cheese, and many fermented drinks and vegetables like Kombucha, fermented pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, and miso soup. However, more and more people are turning to probiotic supplements when they are not eating enough foods with naturally occurring probiotics due to diet preferences or, more commonly, diet restrictions. This is where probiotic supplements come in handy. There is a plethora of different types of probiotic supplements, as well as other vitamin-based products that include probiotics in their formula. We at NutriCelebrity always recommend that you if you take probiotic supplements, you take the ones that are clinically proven, all-natural and organic, and backed by science. There are a lot of options out there, so please do consult your physician if you are thinking of taking regular doses of probiotics.
Now one of the key facts about probiotics is you need to keep a balance. You do not want to have too much or too little of probiotics in your body. The key again is maintaining a healthy balance. But probiotics have been tested with some promising results on extra benefits outside digestion and warding off bad bacteria.
What are the Key Benefits of Probiotics?
- Boost immune system – research proves that probiotics are by their very nature immune boosters. They fight the bad stuff that gets in your body and keeps that healthy balance. Having more probiotics in your body, but not too much remember, is proven to keep your immune system in combat-readiness to fight off sickness including bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.
- Maintain healthy skin – probiotics are essential to maintaining healthy skin. Scientific studies have shown that probiotic skin care products can help reduce acne, moisturize your skin to avoid dryness, and help with eczema. Dry skin is more prone to bacterial infection, and probiotics can help keep that away.
- Decrease antibiotic resistance – research is still being conducted, however, with the increase in use of antibiotic medications globally, more strains of bacteria are proving antibiotic resistant, and probiotics may help fight them off.
- Improve digestive health – science has proven that probiotics are essential to a healthy gut and digestion. While most people have no issues with their digestive tract, people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s Disease, and chronic diarrhea can benefit the most from taking probiotic supplements or eating more food with naturally occurring probiotics.
- Food allergy protection – recent clinical trials have discovered a naturally-occurring probiotic in infants that prevents food allergies. This research is still undergoing but very promising for those who suffer from food allergies. Please consult your physician if you suffer from food allergies, and ask if they feel you could benefit from probiotics.
- Prevent cold – while research continues to show how probiotics help your immune system, it’s important to note that taking probiotics can also help prevent colds, not just fight them.
- Promote weight loss – clinical research studies have shown a promising link between probiotics and weight loss. However, we do not recommend you stock up and start taking any probiotic with the hope that it will eat away the fat. It can certainly help to reduce fat content and promote weight loss, but usually when coupled with diet and exercise. Again, please consult your physician.
- Lower blood pressure – there are currently some exciting research studies that link probiotics to lower blood pressure. We highly recommend consulting your physician about this, because if you suffer from high blood pressure probiotic supplements can help.
Do I Need to Take Probiotic Supplements?
Now that we have covered some key benefits of probiotics to your body’s general health, highlighting some key conditions that are particularly helped by probiotics, it’s important to address the question: do I need to take supplements? The easy answer is neither yes or no, it’s … well it depends. So far, top clinical research claims that the best way for your body to obtain probiotics is through food. However, as we mentioned earlier, this can be complicated if you suffer from dietary restrictions, certain allergies, or simply don’t like the eat the foods that are rich in probiotics. This is where supplements can help. Again, we like to stress that if you suffer from any medical condition, including but not limited to those listed above, please consult your doctor before making any major decisions about your health.
But if you have digestive issues, skin problems like eczema, or are suffering from a cold try some probiotic supplements. Research from Harvard University makes the following recommendation for taking probiotic supplements: “The recommended doses range from 1 billion to 10 billion colony-forming units (CFU)—the amount contained in a capsule or two—several days per week. A daily supplement for one to two weeks may improve conditions such as infectious or antibiotic-related diarrhea.” (1) We at NutriCelebrity recommend you take the recommend amount, try it for a few weeks, and see what results you get. It might make a significant difference in your overall quality of life.