Natural Health and Fitness

Benefits of Probiotics: Improve Your Gut to Improve Your Life

 The Truth About Probiotics

Benefits of probiotics

The human gut is packed full of bacteria. Many of the strains of bacteria in the human digestive system are enormously beneficial to health. These are often called “good” or “friendly” bacteria. In this article we shall look at the benefits of probiotics and why you need them.

Besides helping us maintain a healthy balance of micro-organisms, probiotics may also be useful in helping protect against colon cancer, help cut risk of allergies in children as well as the reduce adverse effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.[1]

Unfortunately, due to exposure to excessive antibiotics, yeast and urinary tract infections, and overly sanitized living conditions, many individuals lack adequate amounts of healthy bacteria in their stomachs and lower intestines.

The Many Benefits of Probiotics

  • Probiotics have been proven to effectively fight diarrhea.[2]
  • They may help prevent and treat urinary tract infections: a common problem in women.
  • They may offer hope to people with Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), two illnesses that are not very responsive to current therapies.[3]

Why are Probiotics Able to Make Such a Difference?

The human body is best viewed as a complex ecosystem. In that ecosystem, there are an enormous variety of critical participants. Some of these participants are health-promoting bacteria. They usually work by displacing unhealthy bacteria and facilitating digestion. There are literally thousands and thousands of types of health promoting bacteria, and more research needs to be done to identify which ones are the most effective at combating illness.

Which Probiotic Should I Take?

The benefits of probiotics are often strain-specific. That is, different probiotics have different positive health effects. Having said that, one of the most popular probiotic strains available (Lactobacillus acidophilus) has a wide variety of potent health effects.

Ideally, you should take the probiotic best suited to your individual physiology. Unfortunately, since there aren’t yet any lab tests that can help you determine exactly which probiotics will benefit you most, you may have to use some trial and error. Try taking a variety of popular strains of probiotics for a couple months, and try to figure out which ones enhance your digestion and general health the most.

There are no negative effects associated with probiotic overuse, so you don’t have to worry about developing any health problems from using them regularly. All the same, consulting with a physician is always a good idea.

Brave New World?

In the distant future it is possible that clinicians will use tests to determine which probiotic agents to give which patients. New “super probiotics” might be created by genetically altering existing beneficial strains. The field of “probiotic medicine” is still developing. It is impossible to know what kind of life-altering advances the future might hold, but it is possible that probiotics will someday be used to treat medical conditions as diverse as cancer and obesity.[4]

Your Gut is Key to Good Health

People tend to underrate the importance of the digestive system. Often they fail to understand that the main function of the digestive system (eliminating waste products from the body) is one of the most important functions that the body has. Without adequate waste elimination, no one can be in good health. And the more effectively your body eliminates wastes, the healthier you will feel.

It’s a sad fact that the typical American diet is not kind to the digestive system. You can compensate for some of the damage caused by eating a high-fat, low-fiber diet by using probiotics regular. To take maximum advantage of the benefits of probiotics, you should take at least one probiotic supplement daily. Taking probiotics less often than once a day is much less effective than taking probiotics daily.

The benefits of probiotics are not yet completely understood but have been well enough established by scientific research that there can be no doubt probiotics powerfully improve health. If you feel that you are not yet quite as healthy as you want to be, adding a probiotic supplement to your diet could make a big different. Take care of your digestive system if you seriously want to maximize your health and well-being.

 

References:

1. NCBI: Use of probiotics in the management of chemotherapy-induced diarrhea: a case study

2. Harvard: Health benefits of taking probiotics

3. NYU Medical Center: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

4. Stanford: The future of probiotics

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