The Pro’s of Probiotics
Many of us by now know the powerful effects of prebiotics on the gut. Studies have shown that living organisms inside our gastrointestinal tract are, at least partially, responsible for maintaining a smooth bowel and digestive functioning and in the prevention or treatment of digestive disorders. Balance the microflora of the gut, as it is called, is an essential step towards healing and increasing immunity, especially for those who believe in the theory of gut-brain connection and potential impacts of gut dysbiosis on the brain and mental health.
Probiotics are living microorganisms also known as friendly bacteria, which can provide numerous health benefits including weight loss, improvement in digestive symptoms, improved immune function, healthier skin and can reduce the risk of various diseases.
Probiotics are found in a variety of foods, and the easiest way to supplement is by incorporating these foods into your diet. It is near common knowledge that yogurt contains living cultures known as probiotics, that are said to soothe the gut. Other popular pickled foods include kimchi and sauerkraut, and probiotics are found in fermented teas of kombucha and jun. Taking a medical-grade probiotic supplement is often recommended as treatment for those with serious gastrointestinal diseases, or for those who are healing and repairing the gut lining for other health reasons, including a potential impact on mental health.
The most common groups of probiotics are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Two well known probiotics include acidophilus and lactobacillus acidophilus are commonly found in yogurt. Each group of probiotics is of a unique species, and each species has many strains. Various other strands of probiotics exist in supplement form or in food sources, so it is suggested to rely on probiotics from a variety of food sources rather than a single source.
Benefits of probiotics include reduction of symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, IBS, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, H. Pylori, UTI, vaginal infections and recurring bladder cancer. Probiotics that can aid digestion and help to maintain gut health are a saving grace for many people in pain. More research is underway to determine which probiotic strands are best for each ailment to provide more accurate treatment and analysis of the effectiveness of probiotics.
Most gut flora is found in the colon, or the large intestine. The gut flora performs metabolic activities in a similar but unique way to the body’s functioning organs. The gut flora produces Vitamin K, which maintains health and strength of bones, and some of the B vitamins. The gut can also turn fibers into short-chain fats which can act as food for the gut lining. Each of these processes further strengthens the immunity of the body and allows for enhanced health and healing of the gut.
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