Probiotics, also known as “good bacteria,” are incredibly helpful for maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. They are live bacteria and yeast that are good for your digestive system and are available in the form of supplements and fermented foods like yogurt and kefir. Probiotics help your body to digest and absorb nutrients, keep the gut free from harmful bacteria and infections and can even support your immune system. Here are some scientific studies that highlight the importance of probiotics.
According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2017, probiotics can help in reducing inflammation in the gut, decrease bloating, and improve overall gut health. The study included participants who consumed a probiotic blend consisting of Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus paracasei, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus. After twelve weeks of consistent supplementation with the aforementioned probiotic blend, the participants showed better gut function and lower levels of inflammation.
Additionally, there is also some evidence that suggests that probiotics can help in relieving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is a common gastrointestinal condition that is often hard to manage. A study published by the British Medical Journal in 2018, for example, found that patients with IBS who were treated with probiotics noticed an improvement in their overall IBS symptoms, including abdominal pain and bloating.
Moreover, probiotics can help in supporting the immune system. One study published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology in 2018 suggests that probiotics can enhance the function of immune cells and help in preventing infections. The study found that probiotics like Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium animalis improved the immune function in healthy adults, particularly in the prevention of respiratory tract infections.
Not only are there physical benefits of probiotics, but there are also psychological benefits too. Studies have shown that there is a link between our gut health and our mood, also known as the gut-brain axis. Probiotics can help in improving mental and emotional well-being by lowering stress levels and reducing anxiety in some individuals.
Probiotics can also be incredibly helpful in preventing and treating various infections concerning the urinary tract, especially in women. A study published in the Journal of Chemotherapy in 2018 found that the consumption of a probiotic blend consisting of Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Streptococcus thermophilus reduced the risk of urinary tract infections in women.
If you’re looking to increase your intake of probiotics, there are many ways to do so. Foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, and fermented vegetables like sauerkraut are excellent sources of probiotics. Alternatively, taking a high-quality probiotic supplement can be helpful as well.
In conclusion, probiotics are essential for maintaining healthy gut flora and overall wellbeing. Scientific research reveals that probiotics can help in alleviating the symptoms of various gastrointestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, reducing inflammation, supporting the immune system, and relieving anxiety levels in certain individuals. If you’re looking to improve your gut health, adding probiotics to your diet is an excellent place to start.
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