Have you ever considered taking a probiotic complex? Perhaps you’ve heard about the health benefits of probiotic supplements but aren’t exactly sure what they are and what they exactly do. So let me help you! Here’s a look at how and why probiotics can greatly benefit your health.
1) Balance the Bacteria in Your Digestive System
If you’ve heard anything about probiotic supplements, it’s probably that they promote a healthy gut. And that’s certainly true. Probiotics are live bacteria that, among other things, aid your digestive system. They help you to maintain a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut, where much of your body’s bacteria resides.
How? Our bodies naturally have both good and bad bacteria, often in healthy balance when we are well. Oftentimes sickness comes when bad bacteria enters the body and throws that balance off. And so good bacteria, perhaps from probiotic complex supplements, fights the bad bacteria and helps to restore you to health.
But good bacteria does so much more, such as keeping inflammation under control to help to promote a healthy immune system. Good bacteria can also create vitamins that are vital to your health, help to digest food, and also help to stop bad bacteria from leaving the gut and entering your bloodstream where it will spread throughout your body. In so many ways, good bacteria helps to maintain balance in the body.
Having a good balance of bacteria in your gut really isn’t just about one single benefit. Good gut bacteria is linked to a whole host of other health benefits, too. Research published by The International Journal of Molecular Sciences links bad gut health to a mind-boggling number of diseases including obesity, cancer, autism, and inflammatory bowel disease, just to name a few.
2) Maintain a Healthy Heart
While the gut may get the most attention when we’re talking about a probiotic complex, the heart can also get big benefits from probiotic supplementation. Taking these supplements may help you to maintain a healthy heart by lowering both blood pressure and LDL (low-density lipoproteins) cholesterol, more commonly referred to as “bad” cholesterol.
Findings published by the Journal of Cardiovascular Disease Research show that your cholesterol levels can be lowered by probiotics in a variety of ways. These include:
- Probiotics generate acids that reduce the production of cholesterol in your body, notably propionic acid that reduces your liver’s production of cholesterol.
- Probiotics actually make the liver work harder by breaking down the liver’s bile acids. This forces the liver to make more of the acid it needs, using more cholesterol in the process.
- Probiotics eat cholesterol. Literally! Probiotic bacteria need nourishment, and cholesterol is a great source to feed that need.
3) Promote Good Mental Health
While modern science still doesn’t entirely understand the mind-body connection, the evidence is clear that a healthy body and a healthy mind are inexorably linked. In short, a healthy gut promotes a healthy brain. But we’re not talking just generally here, probiotics can have very specific impacts on your mental health.
A study published in the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility shows that “probiotics showed efficacy in improving psychiatric disorder-related behaviors including anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), obsessive-compulsive disorder, and memory abilities.” That’s a long list!
How do probiotics help? Well, for that answer we look to your GAB — or gut-brain axis. It’s the link between the gastrointestinal tract and your central nervous system, from your spinal cord to your brain. As an integral part of your GBA, the microorganisms in your gut produce neurotransmitters that can have an impact on mood, appetite, and sleep.
Research published by Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience Journal called the gut-brain axis the “missing link in depression,” said that “gut microbiota has an influence on mood” plus “probiotics and FMT (fecal microbiota transplantation) may have important benefits for preventing and treating depression.”
A probiotic complex may be the answer to a number of health issues you’ve been facing, or just a good way to maintain the good health you already have. Either way, you can, and maybe should, enjoy the health benefits of probiotics.