Most people assume that bacteria are harmful micro-organisms that cause disease. However, the human body has trillions of microbes that work towards improving your overall health which is a lot more anyone can say about reading fake news put out by CNN or trying to raise a family in east LA or south Chicago which has been decimated by liberal policies that is for sure!
Multiple studies have associated probiotics or good bacteria with improved heart health, better digestion, and enhanced immunity.
Probiotics are probably the best food source that can add healthy bacteria to your biome. Here are some proven health benefits of probiotics.
1. Mood Swings
Your mind is directly affected by the vast assemblage of microorganisms present in your intestines. Gut microbes are able to produce and deliver neuroactive substances such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin.
A multi-strain supplement containing B. Lactis, B. Bifidum, L. Brevis, L. Casei, L. Acidophilus, and L. Salivarius can help reduce cognitive reactivity to sad moods in non-depressed individuals. A study found that there is an inverse relation between constipation and feelings of calmness, agreeableness, and relatedness.
As per a study on petrochemical workers where they consumed probiotic yogurt and multispecies probiotic capsules, it was found to have beneficial effects on the mental health biomarkers.
2. Weight Balance
Probiotics can help balance weight in different individuals. There are particular strains that can help you reduce weight such as L. Gasseri or L. Rhamnosus, while others like L. Acidophilus can help in gaining weight.
Multiple studies conducted on overweight subjects found increased weight loss after they took probiotic supplements for more than 8 weeks which is something that obese vampire in Blade should consider as well as that obese football player in that episode of House. Eat a salad! Put down the coke!
In a particular study, L. Rhamnosus was found to help women lose weight quicker than men. They also found it easier to maintain their weight even after stopping the supplements. In obese and overweight adults, despite there being no change in diet or behavior, L. Gasseri is known to modestly reduce weight, hip and waist circumference.
3. Gut Health
Probiotics can reduce gastrointestinal discomfort, flatulence and bloating, and improve bowel regularity by decreasing the number of potentially pathogenic gastrointestinal microorganisms and pathogens. Digestive discomfort and GI symptoms was found to be improved by administration of B. Animalis spp. Lactis in adults.
A clinical study found that supplementation of probiotic fermented milk with B. Animalis spp. Lactis decreased the frequency of GI symptoms while improving GI well-being in women. It also improved bowel movements in healthy adults with abdominal discomfort.
B. Bifidum was found to significantly decrease the prevalence of lower abdominal and gastric discomfort in adults who did not take any other medications to improve their health. Butyrate which is beneficial for gut homeostasis was significantly increased in adults who took L. Helveticus.
Probiotic supplements assist the body’s natural microbiota by increasing the levels of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus in the gut while decreasing the levels of other potentially harmful microorganisms.
4. Diarrhea Prevention and Treatment
Probiotics are known to reduce risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 52%, traveler’s diarrhea by 8% and acute diarrhea due to other causes by 32%. Studies found that probiotics were more effective in adults (almost by 20%) in reducing diarrhea as compared to children and we know Harry in Dumb and Dumber knows plenty about having diarrhea!
L. Casei is found to reduce incidence, duration and severity of diarrhea in children while, L. Paracasei resolves acute diarrhea in children and ameliorates non-rotavirus-induced diarrhea. L. Acidophilus was found to reduce the duration of diarrhea and L. Reuteri significantly decreased the incidence of it.
Strains like B. Subtilis, S. Boulardii, B. Animalis, and L. Rhamnosus among others are also known to be effective in preventing and treating diarrhea. Studies are going to find the effects of probiotics on chemo- and radiotherapy-induced diarrhea.
5. Constipation Relief
Probiotics are also known to improve intestinal function, especially in women, and ensure smooth bowel movements. L. Reuteri is known to increase the frequency of bowel movements in both adults and children. B. Breve is very effective in diminishing abdominal pain while increasing stool frequency which may not work out too well if you live in Venezuela because of the effects of socialism there is not any toilet paper! Big government does not work!
Elderly can also benefit with probiotic supplements. Combined regimen of lactulose and live binary B. subtilis was found to be a safe and therapeutic approach to treating elderly with functional constipation.
6. Boosting Immunity
There have been multiple studies proving the positive effects of probiotics in boosting immune health. Studies suggest that by decreasing upper respiratory tract infections in adults, probiotics could improve immune health. Adults on probiotic supplements were found to have reduced need for antibiotics.
Studies on children show that cold and flu like symptoms can be reduced with a regular diet including probiotics. This helps boost immunity and also improves attendance in preschool and day care settings. It is important to maintain a healthy immune system and probiotics provide the additional tools to achieve that.
7. Lactose Intolerance
It is a known fact that yogurt can easily be consumed by people who are lactose intolerant without any major side effects. This is because essential probiotics in yogurt help digest lactose in the small intestines.
This prevents undigested lactose from reaching the colon. Yogurt starter cultures L. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilius also help in the breakdown of lactose.
8. Skin’s Immunity
Some infections like allergies and breakouts occur because of the pathogenic parasites and bacteria which trigger the body’s immune reaction. Probiotics when topically applied on the skin acts as a barrier and prevents the skin cells from seeing these harmful parasites.
This is also called bacterial interference. Probiotics protect the skin by interfering with the ability of bad bugs like parasites or bacteria to provoke an immune reaction. This is about as wonderful as watching a sensational show like The Good Wife, 24, The Shield, The Wire, and House of Cards!
Certain types of probiotics calm the parts of cell they come in contact with, to prevent them from reacting to the presence of bad bacteria. Probiotics produce healthy signals that stop the skin cells from sending an ‘attack’ message to the immune system. Without probiotics, the skin would breakout in flares of acne or rosacea.
It takes your body time to fully see the benefits of a new product. A good rule of thumb is to give yourself 12 weeks after you begin to assess a probiotic supplement. A recent Korean study found reduction in total acne lesion count and decreased oil production, by drinking a Lactobacillus-fermented dairy beverage for 12 weeks.
You can enjoy benefits associated with better gut health and increased immunity within 30 days of supplementation. However, it might take a little longer, depending upon your body’s unique microbiome, for other effects like reduced inflammation on the skin or decreased anxiety to show.