Our health is in our gut. It is where our food is digested and absorbed into the body. Within the gut there are millions of good and bad microbes collectively known as the gut microbiome. The good ones keep the bad ones under control (preventing infection) and play a major role in digestion. Any imbalance in the microbiome causes health problems such as yeast overgrowth which causes many diseases in many systems including weight gain, heart disease, bloating and abdominal pain. To keep this aspect of health in order we need probiotics. Unfortunately, the Western diet is poor in probiotics and we tend to destroy the good microbes through stress, taking antibiotics and other factors, which is why we must take them in supplements.
Health Benefits of Probiotics
Taking probiotics introduces more good microbes and creates balance in the microbiome and brings the health benefits listed below.
- Prevent Yeast Overgrowth
The good bacteria from probiotics prevent yeast overgrowth which causes diseases such as bloating, diarrhea, mental health problems, fatigue, joint conditions, skin problems, irritable bowel syndrome and general inflammation. (1)
- Improve Digestion
Probiotics digest fibres (2) and help the body to completely digest proteins and complex carbohydrates and efficiently use the energy and nutrients.
- Control Body Weight
The good bacteria in probiotics control weight. One study compared the microbiome in identical twins and found that the slim twin had good balance while the obese twin had an imbalance. (3)
- Improve Gut Health
Probiotics create microbiome balance, which keeps the whole digestive tract healthy, with efficient digestion. They prevent problems of the digestive tract such as abdominal pain, cramps, bloating and irritable bowel syndrome (4) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
- Promote Heart Health
A healthy microbiome promotes heart health in three ways. First, some good bacteria, such as Lactobacilli, help to reduce bad cholesterol. (5) Secondly, the good bacteria prevent certain unhealthy bacteria from producing trimethyleamine N-oxide (TMAO) which contributes to blocked arteries. Thirdly, the good bacteria prevent certain bacteria from converting choline and L-carnitine found in animal-based foods to TMAO, and that way prevent heart disease (6).
- Improve Immunity
A healthy gut microbiome is the first line of defense against swallowed bacteria, viruses, etc. It produces antimicrobial compounds that destroy the pathogens and competes strongly for nutrients. It also controls the immune system by communicating more efficiently with immune cells, improving the body’s response to infection (7). As a result, pathogens fail to colonize the gut.
- Reduce Risks of Diabetes
A healthy gut microbiome lowers blood sugar levels and reduces risks of diabetes. Scientists discovered that the variety of the microbes drops while the number of unhealthy microbes increases before the onset of type 1 diabetes. Blood sugar levels vary significantly due to the types of bacteria in the gut even when people eat the exact same food. (8)
- Improve Brain Health
Probiotics improve brain health and relieve depression and other mental health problems. The reason is that certain good bacteria produce neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, that help brain health. (9) Also, a balanced microbiome improves communication between the gut and the brain since the gut microbiome controls brain-to-gut-to-brain message transmission. That is why people with various psychological problems have different gut microbes from healthy people. (10)
- Supports Bone Health
Different types of microbes in a healthy gut microbiome increase calcium absorption and improve bones health.
Probiotics improve health in many ways and it is wise to take them as a supplement to improve health. If you are looking for probiotics in Mandurah, get them here.
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- Rooney PJ & Others. (1990, Jan-Feb). Clinical & Experimental Rheumatology. A short review of the relationship between intestinal permeability and inflammatory joint disease.
- Slavin J. (2013, Apr). Nutrients. Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health Benefits.
- Ridaura VK & Others. Science. Cultured gut microbiota from twins discordant for obesity modulate adiposity and metabolic phenotypes in mice.
- Kennedy PJ & Others. (2014, Oct). World Journal of Gastroenterology. Irritable bowel syndrome: A microbiome-gut-brain axis disorder?
- Shimizu M. & Others. (2015, Oct). PLoS One. Meta-Analysis: Effects of Probiotic Supplementation on Lipid Profiles in Normal to Mildly Hypercholesterolemic Individuals.
- Wang Z. & Others. (2011, Apr). Nature. Gut flora metabolism of phosphatidylcholine promotes cardiovascular disease.
- Rooks MG & Garrett WS. (2016, May). Nature Reviews: Immunology. Gut microbiota, metabolites and host immunity.
- Kostic AD & Others. (2015, Feb). Cell Host & Microbe. The dynamics of the human infant gut microbiome in development and in progression toward type 1 diabetes.
- O’Mahony SM & Others. (2015, Jan). Behavioral Brain Research. Serotonin, tryptophan metabolism and the brain-gut-microbiome axis.
- Rogers GB & Others. (2016, Jun). Molecular Psychiatry. From gut dysbiosis to altered brain function and mental illness: mechanisms and pathways.