Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Benefits of Probiotics

During my travels, somewhere along the way, I have picked up the habit of drinking probiotics as a breakfast shot.  I usually drink them in a little shot drink made by the company Yukult.  I never really knew why I did it, but I like the tart taste of it and was told it was good for me.  Not until today did I know exactly why it was good for me.

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are consumed daily to help balance the digestive system and maintain overall health.  Probiotics can be found in other foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, sourdough bread, pickles, tempeh, miso, plain unflavored yogurt, kimchi, kombucha tea,
dark chocolate, and microalgae.

Usually bacteria is thought of as something that causes colds and other diseases, but the human body is full of both good and bad.  The "good" or "helpful" bacteria are referred to as probiotics and can help prevent and treat a wide variety of ailments.  Below are just a few benefits that I have ran across in my studies.

Digestive Benefits



The human digestive tracts are filled with thousands of different types of living bacteria.  This bacteria help us break down and absorb nutrients from the foods we eat.  These bacteria can die or are killed when we take medicines such as antibiotics.  Probiotics can be used to repopulate the digestive tract with these healthful bacteria we need.
Probiotics have been known to help people suffering with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other intestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, cramps, and constipation.  For this reason, most people use probiotics for overall digestive management and weight maintenance.


Allergy



Still being researched, but interesting to find out.  When infants received probiotics in-vitro, they had higher levels of tissue inflammation.  This is thought to trigger the immune system and reduce allergy incidence.  There is also a 30 percent reduction of instance of childhood eczema in these infants.

Immunity



One of the main functions of healthful bacteria is to stimulate immune responce.  Consuming enough probiotics, a person can help maintain a healthy immune system by increasing the production from lymphcytes which will boost the immune system.

Heart Health



Probiotics have been known to lower cholesterol by breaking up bile salts and decreasing cholesterol from being absorbed into the body.

Oral Health



Probiotics kills bactera that causes tooth decay and lessens the effects of gingivitis.  Daily doses of this healthy bacteria will also reduce bleeding gums.

Urinary Health



Regular probiotics can help prevent urinary tract infections by maintaining a higher population of healthy bacteria on the tract's adherence sites.  It also has been found to prevent yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis in women as well.


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