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Top 5 probiotics health benefits

Top health benefits from consuming probiotics

Top 5 reasons to consume probiotics

Top health benefits from consuming probiotics
Probiotics and health benefits

Our probiotics’ articles are based on a summary of many research conclusions. However, all research associated with probiotics is preliminary. More needs to be learned, studied, and tested because probiotics have many different strains which functions can depend on type of strain, quantity, interaction with other components, overall human body’s environment, timeframe of consumption, and many other factors. In this blog, we look at the top 5 benefits from consuming probiotics.

1. Gastrointestinal health

Gastrointestinal health is also known as gut and intestine health. It is a segment of the gastrointestinal track. When probiotic bacteria reach the gut environment, they maintain balance of the intestinal flora by promoting the growths of friendly beneficial bacteria while inhibiting the growths of harmful disease-causing organisms such as microbes and other infectious germs. Pathogens are microorganisms capable of causing disease. They can be found in water and food and are a threat to our health. Our gastrointestinal health is critical to our overall health mainly because it is home to about 70% of our immune system and our enteric nervous system which are essential for our well being. There are two main ways in which probiotics maintain the gut health and defend us against microorganisms:

  • Competing with pathogens – The good bacteria that comprise the intestinal flora are the first line of defense against intruders. They temporarily adhere to the intestinal wall and reinforce the physical barrier against pathogens. The good bacteria will compete with the pathogens for a place to adhere to the intestinal wall and they will also compete for the available nutrients.
  • Producing antibacterial substances – Another way of defense is by producing antibacterial substances such as organic acids, hydrogen peroxide, and bacteriocins by lactic bacteria, which inhibits the pathogens’ actions. The organic acids regulate the intestinal pH to maintain it at a level that reduces the growth of infectious agents.

With these two ways of defense, pathogens are discouraged to implant, grow and survive in the intestines.

2. Digestive health.

The good bacteria that colonize our intestine actively participate in the digestion process by producing enzymes which break down food in such a way that can be absorbed better providing us with more nutrients. It also helps with breaking down the nondigested materials that cause digestive disorders. Probiotics also help in breaking down bile, the naturally occurring fluid mostly made up of cholesterol, which helps with digestion.

3. Nutrients

Probiotics get our body more nutrients in two main ways:

  • Nutrients’ absorption – Good bacteria improve digestion of food and better assimilation of nutrients by breaking down the food in a way our bodies can absorb it. Probiotics may increase antioxidant, protein, and fat absorption. They may also promote higher levels of interferon which is a natural virus fighter.
  • Probiotics aid production of B12 and K2 vitamins

4. Immune system

The immune system is a complex system comprised of cells, tissues, and organs distributed throughout our bodies, including the intestine. Our gut is home to at least 70% of our immune system. Its main purpose is to protect our bodies. Probiotics can influence the intestinal microflora by lowering the intestinal pH, release of gut protective metabolites, regulate the intestinal motility, and mucus production. Since the gastrointestinal mucosa is the primary interface between the external environment and the immune system, probiotics can possibly favorably impact the immune system. Consumption of beneficial bacteria such as L. acidophilus and L. casei reinforce intestinal mucous membrane immunity (mucosal immunity) as well as the body’s global immunity (systemic immunity) by stimulating phagocytic activity and increases production of T and B lymphocytes and production of antibodies, particularly IgM, IgA, and IgG.

5. Weight Management

You probably read about research finding probiotics helping in weight loss just to read another research showing that probiotics led to weight gain. Confused?! Here is what we think on the topic.

There are certain probiotics that can help with weight loss (Lactobacillus gasseri as an example). However, some probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus as an example) is linked to weight gain. Hence, more thorough research is needed to determine which strains promote and which strains inhibit weight loss. There are several speculative reasons as of why probiotics can help with weight management:

  • Some probiotics prevent the absorption of dietary fat in the intestine. Instead of stored, the fat is excreted through the feces
  • Consuming probiotics may make you feel fuller for longer, burn more calories and store less fat mainly because of certain hormones (GLP-1 as example)

Because some probiotics can lead to weight gain and some to weight loss, probiotics are used for both: to improve malnutrition in underdeveloped countries and to help overweight and obese individuals lose weight.

Now that we know the top 5 ways of benefiting from probiotics, let’s look into some conditions that could be ease up or cured by probiotics consumption. Read more to learn about possible health conditions where probiotics can be helpful. Read more on how to get more probiotics in your daily diet.

* Information and statements made by be Healthy be Happy are for education purposes only and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. be Healthy be Happy does not provide medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by be Healthy be Happy are not to replace conventional medical service. Any choices and decisions you are making are at your own risk. If you have a medical condition or health concern, contact your physician.

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