8 scientifically proven health benefits of probiotics

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8 scientifically proven health benefits of probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms that can be consumed through fermented foods or supplements .

A growing body of research is showing that the balance or imbalance of bacteria in your digestive system is linked to overall health and disease.

Probiotics support a healthy balance of gut bacteria and have been linked to a wide range of health benefits.

These include benefits for weight loss , digestive health, immune function and more .

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Here is an overview of the main health benefits of probiotics :

1. Probiotics can help you lose weight and belly fat

Probiotics can help with weight loss through a number of different mechanisms .

For example, some probiotics prevent the absorption of dietary fat in the intestine.

The fat is then excreted through the feces rather than stored in the body.

Probiotics can also help you feel full longer, burn more calories, and store less fat. This is partly due to increased levels of certain hormones, such as GLP-1 .

They can also directly aid weight loss . In one study, dieting women who took Lactobacillus rhamnosus for 3 months lost 50% more weight than women who did not take probiotics .

Another study in 210 people found that taking even low doses of Lactobacillus gasseri for 12 weeks resulted in an 8.5% reduction in abdominal fat .

However, it is important to know that not all probiotics contribute to weight loss.

Surprisingly, some studies have found that certain probiotics , such as Lactobacillus acidophilus , can even cause weight gain .

More studies are needed to clarify the link between probiotics and weight .

2. Probiotics Help Prevent and Treat Diarrhea

Probiotics are widely known for their ability to prevent diarrhea or reduce its severity.

Diarrhea is a common side effect of taking antibiotics. This happens because antibiotics can negatively affect the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut .

Several studies suggest that the use of probiotics is associated with a reduced risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea .

In one study, researchers found that taking probiotics reduced antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 42% .

Probiotics can also help with other forms of diarrhea not associated with antibiotics.

A comprehensive review of 35 studies found that certain strains of probiotics can reduce the duration of infectious diarrhea by an average of 25 hours .

Probiotics reduced the risk of travelers' diarrhea by 8%. They also reduced the risk of diarrhea from other causes by 57% in children and 26% in adults .

Effectiveness varies depending on the type and dose of probiotics taken .

Strains such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus , Lactobacillus casei and the yeast Saccharomyces boulardii are most often associated with a reduced risk of diarrhea .

3. Probiotic supplements improve certain mental health conditions

A growing number of studies link the gut health and mood and mental health .

Animal and human studies have shown that probiotic supplements can improve certain mental health conditions .

A review of 15 human studies found by supplementing with strains of Bifidobacterium and of Lactobacillus for 1-2 months can improve anxiety, depression, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and memory .

One study followed 70 chemical workers for 6 weeks. Those who consumed 100 grams of probiotic yogurt daily or took a daily probiotic capsule experienced benefits for general health, depression, anxiety, and stress .

Benefits were also seen in a study of 40 patients with depression.

Taking probiotic supplements for 8 weeks decreased levels of depression and levels of C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation) and hormones such as insulin, compared to people who didn't take the probiotic. probiotics .

4. Certain Probiotic Strains May Help Keep Your Heart Healthy

Probiotics can help keep your heart healthy by lowering LDL ("bad") cholesterol and blood pressure.

Some lactic acid-producing bacteria can lower cholesterol by breaking down bile in the gut .

Bile, a natural fluid composed mainly of cholesterol, helps digestion.

By breaking down bile, probiotics can prevent it from being reabsorbed in the gut, where it can enter the bloodstream as cholesterol .

A review of 5 studies found that consuming a probiotic yogurt for 2–8 weeks reduced total cholesterol by 4% and LDL cholesterol by 5% .

Another study conducted over 6 months found no change in total or LDL cholesterol. However, the researchers found a slight increase in HDL ("good") cholesterol .

Consuming probiotics can also lower blood pressure. A review of 9 studies found that probiotic supplements lower blood pressure, but only modestly

In order to achieve blood pressure-related benefits, supplementation had to exceed 8 weeks and 10 million colony-forming units (CFU) per day .

5. Probiotics May Reduce the Severity of Some Allergies and Eczema

Certain probiotic strains can reduce the severity of eczema in children and infants.

One study found that eczema symptoms improved in infants fed milk supplemented with probiotics , compared to infants fed milk without probiotics .

Another study followed children of women who took probiotics during pregnancy . These children had an 83% lower risk of developing eczema in the first two years of life .

However, the link between probiotics and reduced eczema severity is still weak and more research needs to be done .

Some probiotics may also reduce inflammatory responses in people with milk or dairy allergies. However, the evidence is weak and further studies are needed .

6. Probiotics Help Reduce Symptoms of Certain Digestive Disorders

In the United States, more than one million people suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease .

Certain types of probiotics strains Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus improved symptoms in people with mild ulcerative colitis .

Surprisingly, one study found that supplementation with the probiotic E. coli Nissle was just as effective as drugs in maintaining remission in people with ulcerative colitis .

However, probiotics appear to have little effect on Crohn's disease symptoms .

Nevertheless, probiotics may have benefits for other intestinal disorders. Early research suggests they may help relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) .

They have also been shown to reduce the risk of severe necrotizing enterocolitis by 50%. It is a fatal intestinal condition that occurs in premature infants .

7. Probiotics can help boost your immune system

Probiotics can help boost your immune system and inhibit the growth of harmful gut bacteria .

Additionally, some probiotics have been shown to promote the production of natural antibodies in the body. They can also stimulate immune cells like IgA-producing cells, T cells, and natural killer cells .

An in-depth review found that taking probiotics reduced the likelihood and duration of respiratory infections. However, the quality of the evidence was low .

Another study involving more than 570 children found that taking Lactobacillus GG reduced the frequency and severity of respiratory infections by 17% .

He has also been shown that the probiotic Lactobacillus crispatus reduces the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women by 50% .

8. Probiotics Help Balance Your Digestive System's "Friendly" Bacteria

Probiotics include the "good" bacteria. They are live microorganisms that can provide health benefits when consumed .

These benefits are believed to result from the ability of probiotics to restore the natural balance of gut bacteria .

An imbalance means there are too many bad bacteria and not enough good bacteria. This can happen due to illness, medications such as antibiotics, poor diet, and more.

Consequences can include digestive issues, allergies, mental health issues, obesity, and more .

Probiotics are usually found in fermented foods or taken as supplements. Plus, they seem safe for most people.

The best way to benefit from probiotics

You can get probiotics at from a variety of foods or supplements.

Live probiotic cultures are often found in fermented dairy products such as yogurts and milk drinks. Fermented foods like pickled vegetables, tempeh, miso, kefir , kimchi, sauerkraut and soy products may also contain certain lactic acid bacteria.

You can also take probiotics in the form of tablets, capsules, and powders that contain the bacteria in a dried form.

However, be aware that some probiotics can be destroyed by stomach acid before they even reach the gut – meaning you don't get any of the benefits you expect.

If you want to experience any of the health benefits discussed above, it is important that you consume adequate amounts.

Most studies showing benefits have used doses of 1 to 100 billion live organisms or colony forming units (CFU) per day.

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