Reposted From Dr. Julian Whitakerhttp://www.drwhitaker.com/little-known-benefits-of-probiotics#ixzz2FLunUcbL
Little-Known Benefits of Probiotics
- Immunity. About 80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut. Beneficial bacteria in your intestines crowd out harmful bacteria and have a direct effect on your immune response. Unfortunately, changes in gut bacteria occur as we age—particularly a decline in Bifidobacteria, which inhibit pathogenic microbes. This increases susceptibility to colds, flu, and infections. Probiotics can help restore it.
In one study, 475 healthy men and women who did not get flu shots received either a vitamin/mineral combined with a probiotic supplement or a placebo daily for five and a half months during the winter and spring. All participants reported any cold, flu, or respiratory symptoms. The group taking the vitamin/mineral/probiotic combination experienced 25 percent fewer influenza symptoms, 19 percent fewer cold symptoms, and 50 percent fewer days with a fever than the placebo group.
Probiotics are also helpful if you succumb to illness and are prescribed an antibiotic. Antibiotics kill the beneficial bacteria along with the harmful. When these protective bacteria are wiped out, pathogenic bacteria and other organisms move in. This can cause diarrhea, as well as yeast overgrowth in the vagina and intestines. That’s why I recommend avoiding antibiotics whenever possible. But if you must take an antibiotic, probiotics can help offset these negative side effects.
- Gastrointestinal health. Probiotics not only reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea, they’re helpful for diarrhea and constipation associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and for ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, and other inflammatory bowel diseases.
- Obesity. Research suggests that probiotics may help fight the battle of the bulge. The bacteria that reside in your intestinal tract are involved in nutrient uptake and energy regulation. Studies reveal that in obese humans and animals, these bacteria extract and absorb more calories from food and store them in fat cells. Distinct differences have also been noted in the microbial communities of obese and thin people. Probiotics are no magic bullet for weight loss, but supporting your gut bacteria appears to reduce inflammation and other markers of obesity.
- Diabetes. Supplemental probiotics have been shown to delay the onset of glucose intolerance in animals, and, in a 2010 human study, L. acidophilus supplements had a positive effect on insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, some researchers found that people with type 2 diabetes have different gut bacteria than those without diabetes.
- Depression and anxiety. Some research has found that when your gut bacteria are out of balance (dysbiosis), it can affect your mood. For example, anxiety gives us butterflies and stress ties our stomach in knots. Thanks to the gut-brain connection, Lactobacillus and perhaps other strains appear to tone down the stress response and improve anxiety and depression.
- Skin. The journal Gut Pathogens also published an article highlighting the links between intestinal bacteria, mood, and acne. The authors note that there is an established connection between skin conditions and mood disorders (acne is associated with depression and anxiety), and that acne is also linked with gastrointestinal problems (adolescents with acne are at higher risk for several GI symptoms). In other words, your brain, skin, and immune system are all physiologically intertwined, mediated by gut bacteria. Other studies have found links between intestinal bacteria and psoriasis.
- Oral health. Research suggests probiotic supplements may help control bad breath and promote better oral health overall. More specifically, Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and other strains help curb growth of bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans that contribute to bad breath, cavities, and gum problems.
Second, take a probiotic supplement. Popular strains of probiotics are Lactobacillus (L. acidophilus, L. plantarum, and L. rhamnosus), Bifidobacteria (B. bifidum and B. longum), and Saccharomyces boulardii (a yeast used to treat diarrhea). When selecting a probiotics supplement look for one that not only protects these delicate “good” bacteria, but also ensures they reach your entire intestinal tract. One delivery system that works extremely well is BIO-tract®. Use as directed.
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