Some of you may have heard that taking probiotics is good for health and much more but do you know what exactly they are?
Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that are naturally found in your body, especially the digestive system. They are called good bacteria because they help balance your intestinal bacteria. They help protect you from harmful bacteria and fight them off to prevent disease or illness. Probiotic supplements are becoming increasingly popular in the UK due to their potential health benefits, such as aiding digestion and supporting the immune system.
Multiple species of bacteria act as probiotics but the most common are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
Benefits of Probiotics on Health
Probiotics help you stay healthy through their effects on many parts of the body, but their major effect is on the digestive system. Even if probiotics are safe, they contain many strains of bacteria with different effects on the body. This is why you need to consult a healthcare professional to choose a probiotic formulation that addresses your health needs.
Let’s have a look at how probiotics can help you boost your healthy state.
Balances Bacteria in Digestive System
When the gut bacteria are balanced, it leads to the normal function of the digestive system. On the contrary, changes to normal gut bacteria can lead to health problems. If you have faced some disturbing digestive conditions, taking probiotics can help repopulate healthy bacteria in the gut.
When you are prescribed antibiotics by your doctor, besides killing off harmful bacteria to treat the infection, it also kills off good ones. So it is highly recommended that you take probiotic drinks during and after antibiotics for a healthy gut.
To Reduce Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Disorders
Irritable bowel syndrome is a digestive disorder that affects the stomach and the intestine. Some of its symptoms include diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, etc.
Even though it is a chronic disease, you can reduce the symptoms by taking probiotics. Since irritable bowel syndrome is caused by changes in healthy gut bacteria, probiotics can help reduce the severity of the disease and help manage it well.
Maintains Gut Integrity
The digestive tract is protected by a strong layer of cells that only allows certain particles (like water and electrolytes) to pass into the blood. This barrier helps prevents the passage of partially digested food and prevents disease onset. The integrity of the gut barrier can be affected by genetics, stress, or poor diet.
In case the barrier of cells is damaged, it leads to increased intestinal permeability, and protein and bacteria may leak through. Many studies show that probiotics improve the integrity of the gut wall and support a strong barrier intestinal barrier.
Help Reduce Stress
When neurotransmitters are released in the body, they act as messengers and help with sleep, mood, bladder, and heart function. Gut bacteria have also been found to release some neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.
When a person is stressed, it disturbs normal gut bacteria and the ability to release neurotransmitters. Probiotics supplements are known to balance good gut bacteria. This is the reason why it boosts the release of neurotransmitters and hence improves stress levels, sleep, mood, and cognitive function.
Boosts the Immune System
Keeping the gut healthy is important as around 70% of the body’s immune cells are found in the GI tract. Certain probiotics can help improve the immune response such as the strain Bifidobacterium and prevents the onset of autoimmune diseases.
When you suffer from an infection or illness, the bacteria in the gut are unbalanced and the immune system is also weak. So in this case, probiotics can help repopulate good bacteria and boost the immune system.
Protection Against Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
Antibiotic medicine is important to consume when you are suffering from an infection. Besides fighting off infections, they also disturb the gut bacteria balance. This property can also reduce their ability to fight against disease-causing microbes.
It happens when a disease-causing bacteria show resistance to the antibiotics and pose a threat to treatment. In probiotics supplements, the Lactobacillus strain was shown to protect the body against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is otherwise resistant to many antibiotics.
Helps in Absorption of Nutrients
Gut microbes help in the absorption of nutrients in food. One such example is iron we obtain from food, which helps transport oxygen throughout the body. Since probiotics help keep beneficial microbes balanced in the gut, it leads to improved nutrient absorption.
Some strains of microbes found in probiotics supplements help in the absorption of iron so that it can be better utilized by the body.
Beneficial for Seniors
The gut microbes usually decline due when a person grows old. Besides age, it is also affected by physical activity, medication, and the immune system.
Probiotics supplements for older adults are beneficial to increase the beneficial bacteria and anti-inflammatory proteins. The immune system also declines with age and probiotics can help improve the immune system in seniors.