We all know that healthy gut bacteria are essential for optimal health. But do you know that probiotic supplements can do wonders for your gut? Despite being a relatively new trend, research has already shown the benefits of adding probiotics to your daily routine.
With a fast paced lifestyle, it is nearly impossible to acquire your nutrients from only food, however, you can always rely on supplements.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial for health, specifically the digestive system. They are often called 'good' or 'helpful' bacteria because they help keep our gut healthy by maintaining a balance of microorganisms in our intestines .
They can also be taken in supplement form, alone or combination with other nutrients. Probiotics are important for a range of health benefits, including promoting regular digestion, boosting the immune system, preventing the growth of harmful bacteria, and even helping to reduce symptoms associated with IBS and other gut conditions.
How do Probiotics Improve Gut Health?
When taken regularly, probiotics can promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your digestive system, which helps break down food more efficiently and absorb nutrients more effectively. This improved digestion can reduce symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders, such as bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea.
Additionally, they may provide relief from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms as well as improve mental health by reducing feelings of stress and anxiety .
Reduce the Risk of Infections
Probiotics have also been found to reduce the risk of infections in the gut, which can cause diarrhea, bloating, cramps, and other gastrointestinal issues.
Research has shown that probiotics can help reduce the risk of infections in several ways. First, probiotics produce compounds that have antimicrobial and antiviral properties, which can help combat harmful bacteria and viruses in the gut. Additionally, they compete with pathogens for space and nutrients, making it harder for them to establish a foothold in the digestive tract . Finally, probiotics stimulate the immune system by activating white blood cells and producing anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help protect against infections.
Regulates Hormone Production
Probiotics have been studied for their potential to improve overall gut health by regulating hormone production. Studies suggest that probiotic supplements or dietary changes may help regulate hormones like cortisol, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, and sex hormones.
Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that helps regulate our body's stress response. Research suggests that probiotics can help reduce cortisol levels in the body by stimulating the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, which is thought to contribute to feelings of relaxation and well-being.
Leptin and ghrelin are hormones that regulate hunger and appetite. Several studies have found that probiotics can help regulate these hormones by promoting the production of a hormone called glucagon-like peptide 1, or GLP-1, which is involved in feeling satiety after eating.
Help Lower pH levels
When the pH levels in our gut become too high, it can lead to inflammation and various illnesses, so keeping the pH level balanced is essential for good health.
Probiotic bacteria help reduce acidity in the gut by breaking down food and releasing lactic acid, which helps reduce the overall pH level of our gut environment.
Studies have shown that consuming probiotic-rich foods or taking probiotic supplements can help improve gut health by reducing inflammation and maintaining optimal pH levels in the digestive tract .
Maintain the Inner Lining of the Digestive Tract
Another way is by maintaining the inner lining of the digestive tract, called the mucosal barrier . This layer serves as a gatekeeper between the body and harmful bacteria or viruses that may enter through food, water, or other sources.
The mucosal barrier also helps maintain healthy levels of good bacteria in the gut. When probiotics enter the body, they help replenish the beneficial bacteria that naturally exist in the intestines and keep them at a healthy balance. This helps maintain proper digestion and absorption of nutrients from food.
Which Foods Are High In Probiotics?
Common foods that are high in probiotics include
- Sourdough bread
Additionally, many other fermented foods are also good sources of probiotics.
Are There Any Side Effects of Probiotics?
Like all supplements, there is a potential for side effects. Although probiotic side effects are usually harmless, it is important to be aware of them so that you can take steps to limit any potential risks.
Common side effects of probiotics include abdominal discomfort, bloating, gas, and nausea. In some cases, people may also experience an allergic reaction to certain strains of probiotics. If you experience any of these symptoms after taking a probiotic supplement, you should discontinue taking probiotics and consult with your healthcare practitioner or doctor.
Furthermore, you should also keep in mind that probiotics are live microorganisms that can interfere with the normal balance of bacteria in the gut. Taking large doses of probiotics or taking them for extended periods of time could disrupt the natural balance and cause an overgrowth of bad bacteria.
Probiotics have a range of health and digestive benefits. They help to protect against infections, modulate hormone production, improve digestion, and balance the inner lining of the digestive tract's pH levels. Furthermore, probiotics can be obtained from multiple dietary sources, such as fermented foods, yogurt, drinks, and supplements. While probiotics generally do not present any significant safety concerns, but it is still important to practice caution.
By adding probiotics-rich foods to your diet, you can manage your gut health and avoid a number of gut conditions. Rucir offers you’re a wide variety of nutritional supplements including multivitamins, probiotics, and nutrients to help you manage and maintain your wellbeing.
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