Should you take a probiotic?
From reinforcing your brain to thinning your belly, you’ve likely heard about the benefits of probiotics. Many headlines and people call them the future of preventive medicine and malady treatment. Yet, for the time being, the catchphrase is future. For those who have slow bowel movements or urinary tract infections, it is well-known that probiotics help but when it comes to healthy adults, some experts say things are still open to interpretation. Stay tuned to find out more about probiotics and when to use them.
What are probiotics
Your body houses several trillions of microscopic organisms, huge numbers of which live in your gastrointestinal tract. 90 percent of the gut bacteria are said to be system-supporting or friendly. Those are the probiotics, which means “pro life”. What’s more, the more sorts or “strains” of probiotic microscopic organisms you have in your gut, the better.
When there is a lack of balance between the good and bad bacteria, health issues occur. Since the greater part of our immune system is located in our guts, it is normal for us to be more vulnerable to diseases, viruses and infections when there are more bad bacteria than good ones in our intestinal tract. This means the immune system is weak and so is the body’s strength to protect itself from harmful microorganisms and diseases.
Remember, a strong immune system is your number one barrier against sickness, and in order to keep a solid immunity, you ought to have a healthy balance of good and bad microorganisms in your gut (the perfect balance is around 85 percent of “good bacteria” and 15 percent of “bad bacteria”).
The use of supplements and foods that contain good bacteria is said to improve assimilation, fortify your immune system, help in weight loss, protect against periodontal malady, treat diarrhea and cosntipation, treat even skin issues, promote brain clarity and support general wellbeing. Still, further studies are needed in order to find out more about how probiotics help.
The benefits of probiotics
More and more studies focus on the benefits of probiotics. Although, further research is needed before knowing exactly and for sure the true benefits of probiotics, many experts and research studies run so far suggest the following benefits of probiotics intake:
- Probiotics boost energy and vitality. Many people say they eat as healthily as possible but they still feel tired and with low energy. One reason might be the bad bacteria in your gut. If there are more bad microorganisms than good ones, your body will have difficulties in absorbing the nutrients, minerals and vitamins in the food you eat. Not to mention the constipation which means toxins will stay longer in your body. All these aspects justify exhaustion and tiredness. With the use of probiotics, your body’s capacity to assimilate will improve and so will your energy since the nutrients to be in shape will be absorbed.
- Probiotics improve hair and skin health. Wondering why your hair and skin lack volume and shine, respectively? It’s just the same cause we’ve mentioned earlier. If your digestive system does not function properly, the necessary minerals and vitamins for you to stay and look healthy won’t be assimilated. Probiotics are incredible with regards to keeping your intestinal health solid and they will help you process and better absorb the nutrients in your food. This means both your hair and skin get more vitamins, minerals and cell reinforcements. When these are better absorbed, you skin will recover its sparkle and your hair its shine and volume.
- Probiotics help you thin your belly. Many people with belly fat have digestive problems. People who’ve used probiotics have treated their constipation or slow bowel movements, which in the end helped them lose weight. Plus, good bacteria are said to reduce cravings for alcohol, sugar and carbohydrates. Once these substances no longer enter your system, your weight will and should get closer to the normal one. Studies have found out that obese people have different gut bacteria than people with no weight issues. According to scientists, good bacteria can prevent you from gaining weight.
- Probiotics help with with keeping infections and diseases away. Diseases and infections talk about a weak immune system. Since your body is not strong enough to fight against harmful microorganisms and viruses, you may encounter all sorts of health conditions. Among them there are cold and flu. Studies have shown that children who were given either a single strain or a mix of probiotics twice per day for six months, unlike the children who took placebo, noticed a higher fever reduction, significantly decreased coughing as well as reduced runny noses.
- Improve urinary tract. Research studies suggest that the use of Lactobaccili has been successful in treating frequent urinary tract infections in women. Probiotics are thus believed to normalize the vagina and prevent infections.
Sources of probiotics
Probiotics sources include fermented foods and beverages like Kefir, lassi (an Indian yogurt), yogurt, natto, sauerkraut, Tempeh (like thick veggie burgers, tempeh is produced using cooked matured soybeans) and raw vegetables. However, it is said that probiotics supplements are more effective thanks to the coatings and ingredients they contain to protect their contents from the gastric acids. Still, there are other important factors to keep in mind when talking about the efficacy of probiotics. Your age, your current microflora state and your diet among others make it difficult to offer broad recommendations regarding the use of probiotics.
Final thoughts about probiotics
Before jumping to supplements, no matter what sort of supplements they are, whether it’s a probiotic supplement or an energy-booster, make sure to check it with your doctor first. Plus, remember that living a healthy life is not only about introducing supplements in your diet. They are not a substitute for healthy living. Make sure your diet is a healthy one, you exercise regularly, get enough sleep and stay away from bad habits like smoking, drinking and other such harmful activities. Using probiotics is just a piece of the puzzle that a healthy life means.