Probiotics can make a huge difference in your digestive health, but they can also affect your overall health and wellness. Here’s how.
Probiotics are a popular supplement that boasts a variety of beneficial health effects. However, you may be wondering exactly what the benefits of taking a probiotic supplement are.
This article reviews how probiotics work, the digestive health benefits they offer, other benefits of taking a probiotic, and how to choose a probiotic supplement.
How probiotics work
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that can live in your digestive tract. Gut bacteria mainly populate the colon and are sometimes referred to as the gut microbiome or gut flora.
The health of your gut bacteria can have huge impacts on your overall health. Imbalances of healthy and unhealthy bacteria in the gut have been shown to increase your risk of chronic disease, weight gain, and digestive problems.
Some probiotic supplements may also contain prebiotics, which are food sources—mostly fiber—for healthy bacteria.
Taking a probiotic may significantly improve your gut health if you have any gut flora imbalances.
Digestive health benefits
The digestive health benefits of probiotics include:
- Bloating: Imbalances in gut bacteria can cause bloating and discomfort, which may be remedied by taking a probiotic.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): IBS is characterized by chronic diarrhea or constipation. Research shows that probiotics may help reduce the symptoms of IBS.
- Leaky gut: Damage to the gut lining can cause a condition called leaky gut, but restoring a healthy balance of gut flora may help to heal this condition.
- Candida overgrowth: Candida is a yeast that may grow out of control in the gut. Taking a probiotic can help restore balance and reverse the overgrowth of this yeast.
- Gastritis: Gastritis, or inflammation of the stomach lining, may be caused by a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. Taking a probiotic may help control H. pylori populations in your digestive tract.
Probiotics also have several other benefits, such as:
- Weight loss: A healthy gut flora may help weight management by promoting blood sugar control.
- Immune support: Your digestive health and immune system are closely linked, so a healthier gut can improve your immunity.
- Mental clarity: The “gut-brain axis” is a line of communication between your digestive system and your brain, which may be strengthened by probiotic supplementation.
- Skin problems: Skin conditions such as eczema or atopic dermatitis can be caused by digestive issues. Taking a probiotic may help with the digestive issues that are the root cause of these skin conditions.
- Antibiotics: After or during a round of antibiotics, taking a probiotic can help prevent the antibiotic from killing off all of the healthy bacteria inhabiting your gut.
Choosing a probiotic
The most important part of choosing a probiotic supplement is making sure that it contains live probiotics. You can store the supplement in the fridge to extend its life.
Also, look for one that contains only natural ingredients in addition to the probiotics to ensure it’s a high-quality, natural product.
If you’re interested in taking a probiotic, check out our high-quality, all-natural product offerings at Medlixr.