probiotics

Probiotics are living microorganisms that can be consumed in the form of fermented food items or supplements. There are many studies which show that the balance or imbalance of bacteria in the digestive system is associated with the overall health of the individual. Probiotics help in maintaining a healthy balance of the gut bacteria. They have also been linked to a vast range of health benefits. Probiotics help in losing weight, improve digestive health, immune function and give a healthy, glowing skin. Advantages of including healthy and natural probiotics in daily life are briefed below:

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  • Balances the Friendly Bacteria in the Digestive System- Probiotics are rich in good bacteria. Probiotics are live microorganisms that can give health benefits when consumed. These benefits can from the ability of probiotics to restore the natural balance of gut bacteria. An imbalance in it means that there are too many bad bacteria and not enough good bacteria. This can happen due to sickness, medication such as antibiotics, poor diet and more. Consequences can include digestive issues, allergies, mental health problems, obesity. Probiotics are commonly found in fermented foods or are taken as supplements. Taking sufficient amounts of probiotics each day, the natural gut balance of the bacteria present in the gut can be restored.

 

 

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  • Prevents and Treats Diarrhea– Probiotics are well appraised to prevent diarrhea. A person suffering from diarrhea can also reduce the severity of the condition by regular intake of probiotics. Diarrhea generally occurs as a side effect of taking antibiotics, especially regularly. Diarrhea occurs as the antibiotics can badly interrupt the natural balance of good and bad gut bacteria. There are many studies that suggest that probiotic use gives many benefits such as a decreased risk of diarrhea because of antibiotics. It has been found out by researchers that the intake of probiotics reduces the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea straight by 42%. Intake of probiotics also helps prevent and treat other forms of diarrhea which are not associated with antibiotics. Probiotics also lower the risk of diarrhea by 57% in children and 26% in adults occurring due to various causes. The effectiveness of the use of probiotic varies, as per the type and dosage of the probiotic taken.

 

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  • Treats and Improves Various Mental Health Conditions– There is an increasing number of studies which link the gut health to the mood and mental health of an individual. There are many studies that prove that probiotic supplements have the tendency to improve some mental health conditions and disorders. Regular intake of healthy probiotic supplements can help improve anxiety, depression, autism, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and also sharpen memory. To better study the benefits of probiotics, a study was conducted on 40 patients suffering from depression. After taking probiotics regularly for 8 weeks, there was observed decreased depression levels and hormones such as insulin as compared to those who did not take any probiotics.

 

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  • Keeps the Heart Healthy- Probiotics help to keep the heart healthy by lowering the blood pressure and cholesterol level. There are various lactic acid-producing bacteria that can help in reducing the cholesterol level. Bile is a naturally occurring fluid and is mostly made up of cholesterol and helps in easy digestion. The probiotics lower the cholesterol level by effectively breaking down the bile. Probiotics help to prevent the bile from being reabsorbed by the gut as the cholesterol. As per various studies, consuming probiotic yogurt regularly, for 2–8 weeks, gradually reduces the overall cholesterol by 4%. In the same research, it was found that regular intake of probiotics increases the level of good cholesterol and lowers blood pressure.

 

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  • Reducing the Severity of various Allergies and Eczema- There are some probiotic strains that can help reduce the severity of skin disorders such as eczema among children and infants. There are various studies that state that eczema symptoms are decreased and improved among infants who were fed probiotic-supplemented milk, as compared to those infants who were just fed milk, without any form of probiotics.
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  • Probiotics Can Help in Reducing the Symptoms of Various Digestive Disorders– A huge population suffers from various inflammatory bowel diseases, mainly including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Some types of probiotics which come from the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains are known to improve the symptoms of mild ulcerative colitis among people suffering from the condition. Probiotics have benefits for individuals suffering from various bowel disorders. Probiotics may also help reduce symptoms of IBS or irritable bowel syndrome.
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  • Probiotics Can Help to Boost the Immune System- Probiotics can also help give the immune system a boost and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut. Probiotics can also boost up the immune cells, T lymphocytes, and natural killer cells. A study found out that upon taking probiotic, the likelihood and duration of respiratory infections were reduced. A probiotic called Lactobacillus Crispatus is also known to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections or UTIs among women.
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  • Probiotics Can Help to Belly Fat and overall Body Weight– Probiotics can help a person lose weight by a certain number of different mechanisms. Some probiotics can prevent the absorption of fat in the intestines. The fat is then excreted through the fecal matter rather than being stored as fat in the body. Probiotics can also help the stomach feel fuller for a long time, burn more calories than usual and also decreases the storage of fat.

 

Types of Probiotics

The most commonly consumed probiotics are components of two main species mentioned below:

Bifidobacteria: This species of bacteria is commonly used in foods and supplements. They’re thought to:

  • Support the immune system
  • Control the growth of harmful bacteria in the intestine
  • Help in breaking down lactose to healthy nutrients for the body to use.

Lactobacillus: This species of bacteria produce lactase. Lactase is the enzyme that is responsible for breaking down lactose or milk sugar. These bacteria also are responsible for producing lactic acid in the body. Lactic acid helps to control the extent of bad bacteria in the body. It also serves as the muscle fuel and readily increases the ability of the human body to absorb the minerals. Lactobacillus bacteria are found naturally in the:

  • Mouth
  • Small intestine
  • Vagina

Foods Rich in Probiotic

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Probiotics are suggested to be consumed naturally. Probiotics are richly found in many food items. There are also artificial supplements available which can be consumed as probiotic supplements. Probiotics can be consumed by people of any age group. Even children should be given a moderate amount of probiotic in the form of natural foods each day.

For people who are new to probiotics, it should be added slowly to the diet. You can start by introducing a small number of probiotics in the diet. It should be taken regularly for a few days. After taking it continuously in small amounts, you can increase the number of probiotics in your diet. It is suggested to consult your doctor to check with the amount of probiotic you should take. Some common food items rich in probiotics are listed below:

  • Cottage Cheese
  • Cold Potatoes
  • Chocolates
  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Tempeh
  • Kimchi
  • Miso
  • Kombucha

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Also Read: Home Remedy For Constipation – Let Your Stomach Smile

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