Why You Should Take Probiotic Supplements
You have likely heard about probiotic benefits for several years, whether from your doctor or old Activia yogurt commercials. Probiotic supplement sources have been around for a long time, but they are having a second moment as more and more research proves that they can positively affect many areas of your health. In this way, they just might be a “super” wellness supplement.
Seven Benefits of Probiotics
Our bodies naturally contain both beneficial and harmful bacteria. Probiotics are the good bacteria and yeasts that live in the body. When the balance of good bacteria to harmful bacteria is out of whack, an infection can occur. Good bacteria help to eliminate excess bad bacteria, maintaining balance, and keeping you well. Whether from food or supplement sources, they are excellent ways to add beneficial bacteria and maintain balance.
They Balance your Gut
Many situations can throw the bacterial balance in your body off. These situations include:
- poor diet
- vitamin deficiencies
Infection is just one potential symptom of disrupted bacterial balance. Other consequences include digestive issues like diarrhea, allergies, mental health issues, and obesity. Regularly introducing good bacteria into the gut can prevent these nasty symptoms by maintaining the balance between good and bad bacteria.
Good Bacteria Prevent and Treat Tummy Troubles
The initially advertised magic of probiotic supplement sources: treating and preventing diarrhea. While not a glamourous advertising scheme, diarrhea is a common side effect of antibiotics that affects many people. Frequent diarrhea is dangerous because it can lead to dehydration and deficiencies in vitamins and electrolytes.
Even if antibiotics didn’t cause the diarrhea one is experiencing, these supplements can still help restore the balance of good bacteria in the intestines and be an effective treatment.
IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is a condition that affects millions of adults. Eating foods containing live bacteria or getting them from a supplement source can be effectively relieve symptoms.
Probiotic supplement sources are also useful for treating symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
They Might Improve Mental Health Conditions
Studies show links between gut health and mental health conditions and mood. Taking wellness supplements that contain probiotics for one to two months can improve symptoms of anxiety, depression, autism, and OCD. This is because:
- the microbes in your gut regulate happy hormones
- the connection of the gut to the brain via the vagus nerve improves
- reduced inflammation is linked to less severe depression symptoms
Probiotics Might Keep Your Heart Healthy
Consuming beneficial bacteria in food and supplement sources might benefit your heart, too, by lowering blood pressure and reducing “bad” cholesterol.
Certain strains of probiotics create lactic acid, which breaks down bile in the intestines. This is a good thing because bile is made mostly of cholesterol. When it makes it to the gut, it is reabsorbed and enters the blood as cholesterol.
They Might Reduce Allergy and Eczema Symptoms
More studies are needed on this probiotic wellness supplement benefit, but growing research indicates that beneficial bacteria strains lactobacilli and bifidobacteria help reduce inflammatory responses to allergens and eczema by improving the body's T-cells. This increase improves the body's tolerance to hay fever.
Good Bacteria Can Boost Your Immune System
Vitamins and wellness supplements with beneficial bacteria can boost immune system responses. Many different vitamins play crucial roles in the immune system, while probiotics promote antibody production within the body.
Wellness supplements with both are linked to decreased frequency and severity of respiratory infections and urinary tract infections.
Probiotics Might Help You Lose Weight
If you struggle to maintain a healthy weight, it might be related to an imbalance of harmful bacteria. Probiotic wellness supplements can help achieve and maintain a healthy weight in many ways, including:
- some strains prevent the absorption of fat in the intestines
- they help you feel fuller longer and burn more calories by increasing hormone levels
Consuming Good Bacteria
Some foods contain a natural content of probiotics, and others include supplement sources. Another way to consume them is through wellness supplements like vitamins.
Foods that Contain Live Bacteria
The following foods contain probiotics naturally:
- Miso soup
- Soft cheeses
- Sourdough bread
- Buttermilk and acidophilus milk
- Sour pickles
Foods that include added beneficial bacteria are:
- Juices and drinks
- Protein bars
- Baking mixes
- Nuts and seeds
Wellness Supplements with Probiotics
If your diet is not rich in foods that naturally contain good bacteria, wellness supplements are an excellent addition to your daily vitamin choices.
Optimum Nutrition Pre and Probiotic Gummy Wellness Supplement
Optimum Nutrition is an excellent supplement brand with a complete line of dietary and wellness supplements. This supplement contains two billion CFUs of the strain Bacillus coagulans. The addition of prebiotics, fiber, and chicory contribute to feeding and maintaining the good bacteria and improving your overall wellness.
Things to Know about Supplement Sources
When you choose supplements to get your daily probiotics, there are a few things to know to be well-informed and get the most of your supplement.
- They pass. Good bacteria flush out bad bacteria, but it eventually passes through, too. It’s important to consume them daily, like water-soluble vitamins.
- Foods with added probiotics might not help. Many foods that contain added ones are typically strains that are cheaply and easily manufactured and may not be best for maintaining health.
- Different strains are useful for different ailments. If your goal is to maintain your health, take 50 to 100 billion CFU of Lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. For tummy troubles, try lactobacillus acidophilus or Lactobacillus casei. Saccharomyces boulardii is best for treating diarrhea. If you keep getting yeast infections, look for lactobacillus acidophilus. To manage anxiety, look for bifidobacterium bi-fiodum and Lactobacillus plantarum.
- Heat damages them. Bacteria is a living organism that can die when exposed to high temperatures. They can also die if they sit on the shelves for so long, so always check expiration dates.
- You need prebiotics, too. Prebiotics are nondigestible carbs that feed the friendly bacteria in your gut.
- Gut bacteria is unique, so it might take trial and error. What works for your friend might not work for you.
- Buy coated supplement sources. The stomach is an acidic environment that kills probiotics before they reach your intestines, so opt for supplements that are coated to protect them until they get to where they need to be.
No matter your fitness and wellness goals, taking probiotic wellness supplements in addition to your typical vitamins and minerals might help you achieve your goals faster. What’s more, your quality of life might improve if you find one that helps ease uncomfortable digestive tract symptoms and mental health.