The hype is real but, do you know what are the benefits of taking probiotics and how they promote a healthier lifestyle?
You’ve probably heard about probiotics, or even know someone that has jumped on the bandwagon that has caused a major hype amongst nutritionists, health fanatics, fitness experts, etc. But, are you really aware of what are the benefits of taking probiotics? If you’ve asked yourself the question “Should I take probiotics?” or if you’ve wondered whether can probiotics be harmful or not, the first step is actually learning what they are.
Probiotics are – believe it or not – live microorganisms that have the intention of providing numerous health benefits, and they are present in many foods (including yogurt), dietary supplements, and even on certain products that are used topically, like creams.
Well, in response to the “should I take probiotics” question above, there are numerous benefits that have been medically proven and that actually come from the intake of these microorganisms.
So, what are the benefits of taking probiotics that have been proven so far:
- Preliminary studies show that some probiotics are helpful in preventing diarrhea caused by infections and antibiotics, and can improve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
- Probiotics help with the impact that they have on our immune system; studies have shown that these help by supporting the health of the reproductive tract, oral cavity, lungs, skin and gut-brain axis
- Helps in the prevention of urinary tract infections
- It helps in the prevention and fight of food-borne illness, like allergic reactions
- Promote healthy weight-loss and maintain it
- Fight bacteria that causes ulcers
- Treat colitis and Crohn’s disease
- Reduce the appearance of flu and the common cold
- Probiotics have been shown to reduce systemic inflammation
- Several probiotics have been shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol levels
- In many cases, probiotics combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria
- A daily probiotic can help your body naturally absorb all of the goodness from your food and supplements
- There is some evidence that probiotics can be useful for acne, rosacea and eczema, as well as other skin disorders
- Certain probiotics, like Streptococcus salivarius K12, can help support the oral micro-biome by suppressing the growth of bad breath-causing microbes
- Probiotic strains Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum have been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in people with clinical depression
With all these benefits (and counting) one can only wonder if these microorganisms can also cause some sort of harm or damage to our system. In all fairness, because the research and open application is fairly new, it makes people wonder can probiotics be harmful one way or the other.
Reality is, people have been consuming probiotics for ages without really being aware of it. The most common probiotics microorganisms can be found in products that we consumed on an almost daily basis like yogurt, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, certain type of cheeses, chocolate, breast milk, etc. to name a few.
As with any other product, the trick of maintaining a good balance is consuming probiotics on an adequate amount.
When considering the intake of probiotics as supplements, you should always rely on the advice of medical professionals. Drastic changes in your diet and excessive amounts of probiotics can cause stress in your system, which is why consulting is always the right way to go.
In addition, while probiotics do provide a wide number of benefits, they do not replace medical treatments that are applied to address specific illnesses or ailments. This is especially important in cases where there are serious underlying health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions, etc.