Bacteria exist mostly
in out guts and they're quite a harmless bunch. These bacteria has attributed
to several health benefits such as weight loss, improved digestions and
enhanced immune systems. Probiotics, which are a type of healthy and friendly
bacteria, provides these health benefits when digested. They can be taken as
supplement which can help to fill your gut with health-boosting microorganisms.
Probiotics are a type
of living microorganism that provides a myriad of health benefits when
ingested, they are usually bacteria and some of them can also be found in
yeast. Probiotics exist more commonly in foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut,
tempeh and kimchi as these foods are prepared through bacterial fermentation.
They should not be confused with prebiotics, which are dietary fibres that help
to feed the friendly bacteria that are already in your guts. Some of these
bacteria help digest food, destroy disease-causing cells, or produce vitamins.
Many of the microorganisms in probiotic products are the same as or similar to
microorganisms that naturally live in our bodies.
Are Probiotics Beneficial?
flora or microbiota is the complex community of microorganisms that lives in
the gut. In fact, there are as many as 1,000 types of microorganisms according
to some estimations including yeasts, bacteria and viruses - with bacteria
making up the vast majority. Most of them can be found in the colon and large
intestines. The gut flora performs many functions that are important for health
such as the manufacturing of vitamins, including Vitamin K and Vitamin B. It
also turns fibres into short-chain fats like butyrate, propionate and acetate,
which feed your gut wall and perform many metabolic functions. However, not all
of these organisms are friendly and the gut flora is sensitive to what you eat.
An unbalanced diet can lead to numerous diseases such as obesity, type 2
diabetes, heart diseases, Alzheimer's and depression.
are widely researched for their effects on digestive health. There are strong
evidence suggesting that probiotic supplements can help cure
antibiotic-associated diarrhea, especially for those taking antibiotics for
long periods of time. This is because the antibiotics kill many of the natural
bacteria in your gut, which shifts gut balance and allows harmful bacteria to
thrive. Probiotics also combat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common
digestive disorder, reducing gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and
othersymptoms. Some studies also note benefits against inflammatory bowel
diseases, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. What’s more,
probiotics may fight Helicobacter pylori infections, which are one of the main
drivers of ulcers and stomach cancer.
in Weight Loss
People who are obese
have different gut bacteria than those who are lean. Interestingly, animal
studies indicate that fecal transplants from lean animals can make obese
animals lose weight. Therefore, many scientists believe that your gut bacteria
are important in determining body weight. Although more research is
needed, some probiotic strains appear to aid weight loss. In one study in 210
people with central obesity, which is characterized by excess belly fat, taking
the probiotic Lactobacillus gasseri daily resulted in an 8.5% loss of
belly fat over 12 weeks. When participants stopped taking the probiotic, they
gained the belly fat back within four weeks. Evidence also suggests that
Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium lactis can assist with weight loss
and obesity prevention — though this needs more research.
Though more research is necessary,
some evidence suggests that certain probiotic strains can help people lose
There are many other
benefits of probiotics. They affect:
- Inflammation: Probiotics
reduce systemic inflammation, a leading driver of many diseases.
- Depression and anxiety: The
probiotic strains Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum have
been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in people with
- Blood cholesterol: Several
probiotics have been shown to lower total and “bad” LDL cholesterol
- Blood pressure: Probiotics
may also cause modest reductions in blood pressure.
- Immune function: Several
probiotic strains may enhance immune function, possibly leading to a
reduced risk of infections, including for the common cold.
- Skin health: There is some
evidence that probiotics can be useful for acne, rosacea and eczema, as
well as other skin disorders.
This is only a small
slice of probiotics’ total benefits, as ongoing studies indicate a wide breadth
of health effects.In addition to their impact on weight loss and digestion,
probiotics may also improve heart health, immune function and symptoms of
depression and anxiety.
Maintaining a healthy
gut is about more than just taking a probiotic supplement. Day-to-day diet and
exercise are just as important since many lifestyle factors impact your gut
bacteria. However, probiotic supplements offer a wide range of benefits with
few side effects — so if you’re interested in improving your gut health, they
could be worth a shot. We offer live probiotics (Houttuynia) that can be used
easily by mixing it into your drinks, or in your food. Find out more on our