This is an eye-opening article. There are so many compelling health benefits to probiotics, you will likely want to add them into your supplement regime.
Health Benefits Of Probiotics You Probably Didn’t Know!
We usually think of bacteria as disease causing agents, but on the contrary, probiotics also known as ‘good’ or ‘gut-friendly’ bacteria can help cure a wide variety of ailments.
Probiotics hold the key for better digestive health and a stronger immune system. It helps treating dermatological disorders like acne and healing your mental and emotional health. They offer an effective cure against cancer too!
Read on to discover the surprising health benefits of probiotics.
If you are not familiar with probiotics, probiotics are cultures of ‘good bacteria’ that help ensure a good balance of intestinal flora. However, the term can also be used when talking about fermented foods, as they also contain good bacteria. If you are taking a probiotic supplement, it is best to take it on an empty stomach when you wake up in the morning or before bed. Probiotics that are taken after a meal have difficulty surviving stomach acid levels as this is when your stomach acid is at its highest.
You can also take the probiotic with food and still get pretty good absorption. The reason this may decrease some absorption of a supplement probiotic is that the probiotic ends up spending more time in the stomach. Also, another reason to take them on an empty stomach is because before the journey to the intestines, the bacteria will have more difficulty surviving the harsh stomach acid during digestion, affecting their potency.
But, don’t take them after a meal! Probiotics that are taken after a meal have even more difficulty surviving stomach acid levels as this is when your stomach acid is at its highest. A study from last year found that when a probiotic supplement was taken after a meal, extremely low levels of bacteria survived.
Probiotics are live microbes ingested through foods (kimchi, yogurt, kefir) or supplements to refill healthy gut bacteria. They help synthesize vitamins and neurochemicals required for normal brain function. An unhealthy gut can cause Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, UTIs, and acne. Stress disrupts the gut microbiota, so stay calm. Avoid fatty, sugary, and acidic foods. They irritate the gut.
Probiotics (live microbes) in miso and yogurt refill good gut bacteria to aid digestion, weight loss, and give support to UTI patients. If the gut’s harmed by fatty, sugary food or bad bacteria, output of neurochemicals and vitamins needed for brain function goes down, leading to autoimmune diseases (IBS) and brain disorders (Alzheimer’s). Probiotics, mostly of the genera Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium, ensure gut health.
Probiotics can help with the immune system by competing with pathogenic microorganisms on binding sites of mucosal surfaces (mouths, nose, throat, and gastrointestinal tract). They have been shown to produce small amounts of vitamin K, B vitamins, and chemicals that inactivate or even kill some pathogens, thus stimulating the body’s immune response.
Recent studies have proven conclusively the potent impact of probiotics in boosting our Immunity Shield.
The scientific literature has only recently begun to scratch the service of what these little critters can do. These studies have unmasked some of the mechanisms these help with the immune system. One way they do this is by competing with pathogenic microorganisms on binding sites of mucosal surfaces. Examples of these surfaces are our mouths, nose, throat and gastrointestinal tract. Another way is that they’ve been shown to produce small amounts of vitamin K and some B vitamins. They’ve also been shown to be able to produce chemicals that inactivate or even kill some pathogens. There’s also some evidence to suggest that by ingesting the probiotics, this in and of itself stimulates the body’s immune system, since they after all, bacteria or yeast.
In conditions such as atopic dermatitis, commonly known as eczema, the redness and bumps are due to the body’s immune response to the infection-causing bacteria. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that patients with acne and rosacea talk to their skin specialist about having natural probiotics like yogurt in their diets or taking probiotics as supplements.
For decades, acne has been the teenager’s curse, with self-esteem and social life often taking a beating because of them. For some, the agony continues well into adult life. How many treatments (“guaranteed results!”) and home-based remedies have we tried, desperately hoping something would work? Now it looks like a bowl of yogurt may go a long way in setting “bumpy face” right. Enter probiotics!
Probiotics essentially strengthen our immunity by releasing substances that can kill the bad bacteria. In conditions such as atopic dermatitis, commonly known as eczema, the redness and bumps are due to the body’s immune response to the infection-causing bacteria. Eliminating the harmful bacteria can help reduce the immune response and, subsequently, the redness and tenderness.
A study conducted in Mexico found over 42 clinical trials in which probiotics helped improve skin conditions. The researchers concluded that probiotics were useful in treating inflammatory skin conditions such as acne and dermatitis and recommended that larger population studies be conducted in this area.
Probiotics and prebiotics can help prevent cancer, especially colorectal cancer, from developing by inactivating carcinogenic compounds, competing with the pathogens microbiota, and altering microflora of the intestine. They also help improve your body’s overall immune response. Probiotics also regulate cell differentiation and apoptosis, preventing the proliferation of tumorous cells.
The big C is something no one wants to have in their lives – ever. Yet, 1.6 million new cases will be diagnosed in America this year and about 595,690 will die from the cancer. Early detection through screening tests is being used as one line of defense as cancer digs its unwelcome talons into the lives of those around us. But the ideal solution is to prevent the incidence of cancer completely or, at least, lower our risk of developing it. Probiotics and prebiotics are being touted as one of the simple ways to get healthier and avoid the dreaded colorectal cancer as well as cancer of the prostate, and even breast cancer and ovarian cancer. But how effective is it?
In cases where the diet is high in processed foods and red meat, as is the case in many industrialized nations, the balance of the intestinal microflora is adversely affected. Normal bacterial species which usually have an advantage in competing with pathogenic bacteria are no longer able to inhibit this unfavorable growth. Consumption of probiotics through lactic cultures in dairy products and yogurt drinks, fermented vegetables (Korean kimchi or German sauerkraut), and fermented soybean (Japanese miso soup or Indonesian tempeh) can help restore this balance.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that have a beneficial effect on the host and are being hailed for their role in protection against tumors. Specifically, findings in the area of colorectal cancer have been most encouraging. Prebiotics can help support the growth of “good bacteria” like probiotics. Foods that are prebiotic include fresh fruit like bananas, vegetables like onions and asparagus, whole grains, oatmeal, and garlic.
It is believed that these probiotics and prebiotics can help prevent the cancer from developing by inactivating carcinogenic compounds, competing with the pathogens microbiota, and altering microflora of the intestine. They also help improve your body’s overall immune response. Probiotics also regulate cell differentiation and apoptosis, preventing the proliferation of tumorous cells.
The American Prostatitis Association recommends probiotics as a natural way to maintain good prostate health, especially for anyone who has had bacterial prostatitis. Antibiotic use to treat the prostate also does away with the good bacteria, something that probiotics can help rebalance. With one study showing a 30% higher risk of developing prostate cancer if you have had prostatitis, it is a good idea to try and keep the condition at bay.
Although there may be no direct clinical evidence of the role of probiotics in cancer prevention, indirect evidence is available in abundance. As such, this remains an area under study. Consuming probiotics as part of your balanced healthy diet could help restore the balance of bacteria in your gut, which will have other health benefits too. As evidence emerges, you might find that this has also helped you with cancer prevention. They also have few downsides, so incorporating probiotic food in your diet can only be a good idea.
Probiotics modulate and balance gut microbiota, protect the intestinal barrier, reduce oxidative stress, inflammation and produce beneficial neurochemicals. Through the gut-brain axis, they influence brain activity in emotional centers, improve mood, reduce anxiety, depression and stress. Traditional fermented foods are excellent sources of probiotics.
It has long been understood that healthy microbiota play a critical role in human development, particularly in areas such as immune development and metabolism.
Probiotics for brain and good mental health: Although in its early stages, the emerging field of human microbiome research has indicated that gut microbiota may also play an important role in influencing brain development, behavior and mood in humans. In a recent study, healthy female volunteers consumed a fermented milk product with a mixture of probiotics for 4 weeks. Results showed that probiotic consumption influenced brain activity in emotional centers in healthy individuals.
Probiotics For Anxiety and Depression: Another study showed improved mood in healthy volunteers following 3-week consumption of a probiotic containing milk drink. More recently, 30-day consumption of a probiotic mixture showed beneficial effects on anxiety and depressive measures and showed reduced levels of stress hormone, cortisol, in healthy volunteers.
Probiotics increase the immuno-protective potential of breast milk helping fight Atopic Eczema and enable the infant’s digestive system to mature faster, improve bowel movements and prevent constipation. They regulate good bacteria helping fight fungal infections like thrush. A healthy brain-gut connection helps prevent Autism, ADHD and mood disorders in kids.
How Probiotics Support Infant Health
1. Prevention Of Eczema
During breastfeeding, the presence of probiotics in the diet will help prevent diseases like Eczema. According to a study in the “Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology”, the consumption of probiotics by pregnant and breastfeeding mothers increased the immunoprotective potential of their breast milk. “Transforming growth factor beta 2” is an anti-inflammatory substance that is increased by the consumption of probiotics.
During a study conducted in Finland, Probiotics while breastfeeding were shown to protect children from Atopic Eczema administered to the mother before delivery and during breastfeeding.
2. Prevents Constipation
There were limited studies regarding the effects probiotics had on a child with chronic constipation. A study conducted in Italy looked to shed some light on this topic. The test was conducted from Jan 2008 to December 2008 on 44 infants admitted to the gastrointestinal ward of a hospital in Naples. The results suggested that regular consumption of probiotics improved the bowel movements in the infants.
3. Positive Effect On Immune System
As a newborn’s diet is based exclusively on a mother’s diet, it is essential for a baby’s digestive system to develop immunity. When probiotics in the mother’s diet are passed onto the child, it helps fortify the immune system and lets the digestive system mature faster.
The gut comprises roughly 60 to 70 percent of the immune system. Inoculating a baby’s gut with probiotics through breastfeeding is an important strategy to strengthen the baby’s overall health. The inclusion of probiotics in a mother’s diet during pregnancy is also an effective way of boosting immunity.
4. Thrush Prevention
Thrush is a fungal infection that can infect a baby’s mouth during breastfeeding. The bacteria responsible for thrush are usually present in our immune system and are kept in check. However, when there is bacterial imbalance, it can cause infections and our immune system will not be able to cope up with the sudden growth.
Probiotics are known for their ability to regulate the good bacteria in the body. This helps fight thrush and should be a vital part of the mother’s diet during breastfeeding.
Wow! That is a wealth of compelling evidence. If you would like to try a quality probiotic, Green Planet Nutraceuticals has an excellent product. It is manufactured in the U.S.A. in an FDA Approved Facilty using the highest quality ingredients. One thing that sets it apart from the competition is that it has 40 billion organisms while most others contain at best half that. You can pick up a bottle at our Amazon.com listing.