The human gut is complex and has a huge impact on our overall health. A healthy digestive system contributes to effective digestion, heart health, healthy sleep, brain health, improved mood, and a strong immune system. Also, it may help prevent some autoimmune diseases and cancers.
A healthy gut contains immune cells and healthy bacteria that fight infectious agents. These healthy bacteria are called probiotics. Learn more about probiotics by reading below.
What Are Probiotics?
‘Good bacteria’ or probiotics refer to live microorganisms that provide health benefits by improving the gut flora. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods and food supplements.
Frequently experiencing an upset stomach, sleep disturbances, food intolerances, skin irritation, or unintentional weight change are signs of an unhealthy digestive system. If this is the case, you’ll need to consider taking probiotics. Check this blog post to know how probiotics can help combat digestive problems.
Gut-Friendly Bacteria Help Restore Natural Balance
Probiotics are good live bacteria that help balance the digestive system’s microbiome, which consists of both bad and good bacteria. This imbalance can happen because of poor diet, illness, and medication, like antibiotics.
If the gut has too many bad bacteria, it can lead to digestive health problems, obesity, allergies, and even mental health problems. So, taking probiotics helps restore digestive health.
Here’s how probiotics work to restore the natural balance of bacteria in the digestive tract:
- Probiotics release chemicals, breaking down damaging toxins produced by bad bacteria.
- Probiotics increase the gastrointestinal tract’s infection-fighting or immune cells, which helps detox the body.
- Change the gut environment to prevent bad bacteria from colonizing or surviving in the intestines.
- Probiotics stop bad bacteria and their byproducts from entering the rest of the body.
Help Fight Off Infection
The American College of Gastroenterology explains that probiotics can help combat infection and provide the following health benefits:
- Prevent Diarrhea: Along with rehydration therapy, probiotics help prevent and treat infectious and antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
- Prevent Autoimmune Diseases: With an autoimmune disease, the body mistakenly attacks the normal cells, leading to self-destruction, such as ulcerative colitis and celiac disease. Probiotics influence the body’s systemic immune responses, ensuring the homeostasis of the intestine’s healthy microbiota. Therefore, probiotics can be used as adjuvant therapy to boost the immune system and treat autoimmune diseases.
- Ease Other Infections: Poor feminine hygiene causes the bacteria from the anus to spread through the vulva, which may result in vaginal infections. Lactobacillus acidophilus and lactobacillus rhamnosus are certain strains of probiotics that can help fight Candida or fungal infections. Probiotics can also help ease skin problems and treat urinary tract infections.
Probiotics Can Help Boost Digestion
Probiotics improve carbohydrate and lactose digestion and reduce digestive symptoms, like diarrhea, constipation, gas, and bloating. Also, probiotics aid certain vitamin production.
Check the following tips to help boost your digestion when taking probiotics:
- Include Probiotics In Your Regular Diet: Probiotics are found in fermented dairy products, such as yogurt, kefir, and milk, and foods such as sauerkraut and fresh kimchi.
- Proper Preparation: Including food sources of probiotics in your regular diet is a good idea. But keep them fresh, cold, and unprocessed as much as possible. Heating can destroy good bacteria.
- Best Time To Take: The best time to take probiotics is on an empty stomach. You can take probiotics first thing in the morning, at least an hour before your next meal, or before you go to sleep.
- Recommended Dosage: The recommended probiotics doses range between one billion to 10 billion colony-forming units (CFU) several days per week. This amount is contained in one to two capsules of probiotics. A daily supplement of probiotics, once or twice a week, may improve antibiotic-related and infectious diarrhea.
How To Choose The Right Probiotics For You
When choosing the right probiotics for you, it’s important to keep the following things in mind:
- Identify Your Symptoms: Match the illness’s symptoms to the probiotics strain because not all probiotics work for every illness.
- Choose The Right Probiotic Strain: Some examples of probiotic strains include Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum. Choose a microbe based on your symptoms.
- Know Your Right Dose: Talk to your doctor before taking a probiotic supplement to know the right dose for you. A 5 billion CFUs of probiotics or higher is useful for treating gastrointestinal problems. Read the label carefully because doses differ from one brand to another.
Probiotics restore the natural flora in the digestive system to boost the digestion of carbohydrates, lactose, and other body nutrients. They can be obtained from foods or supplements, effectively improving digestion and fighting off harmful bacteria in the gut.
Probiotics help combat many digestive problems, such as infectious diarrhea, upset stomach, and autoimmune conditions.