How to Get Happy Tummy Bliss Now
Written by: Greg Ashby
Imagine eating with happy tummy bliss. Well, meet my friend Dr. Probiotic.
If you have never taken a probiotic, you’re missing out on giving your gut some love and a giant tune-up. After reading this, you’ll realize for a fact that, when taking probiotics, you’re giving your whole body a tune-up.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that normally inhabit the human digestive tract. In the intestinal tract, these microbes help the digestive process and actually produce vitamins. There is research that proves that without them, the immune system would not be on guard, which would lessen your health in general.
Here Are The Top 17 Reasons You Should Be Taking A Daily Probiotic!
1. Immune Support
A large, placebo-controlled trial has found that bifidobacterium bifidum (a type of probiotic bacteria) helps to reduce the incidence of colds or the flu in college students. Published in the British Journal of Nutrition, the study involved 581 students. Each student received a placebo – or a probiotic – supplement containing one of three probiotic strains (lactobacillus helveticus, bifidobacterium longum subspecies infantis, or bifidobacterium bifidum) daily for six weeks. The experiment took place during fall semester finals, a time when students are particularly stressed and researchers could fully expect some of them to contract a cold or the flu.
Here’s what the researchers discovered:
- The percentage of students reporting a day or more of cold or flu symptoms was significantly lower in the bifidobacterium bifidum group than in the placebo group.
- The other two probiotic strains did not lower the incidence of colds or the flu compared to the placebo.
- However, after adjusting the stress levels and amount of sleep the students were receiving, the proportion of students reporting a cold or flu on any given day was lower in both the bifidobacterium bifidum and bifidobacterium longum ssp. infantis groups at weeks two and three compared to the placebo.
The new research adds to a growing body of evidence showing that probiotics may help prevent or reduce the duration of some infections.
Probiotics may offer an alternative treatment option for depression and other psychiatric disorders, new research suggests. Investigators reviewed studies that examined the effect of “psychobiotics,” live organisms that, when ingested, may produce health benefits in patients suffering from mental illness.
Several preclinical studies showed a link between specific probiotics and beneficial behavioral effects. These included one in which rats with depressive behaviors (resulting from maternal separation) displayed normalized behavior and an improved immune response after ingesting the bifidobacterium infantis probiotic.
“Increasingly, patients are reluctant to take antidepressants, and psychobiotics may become an alternative,” Ted Dinan, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry and from the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at University College Cork in Ireland, told Medscape Medical News.
3. Nasal Congestion/Allergies
Ingested probiotics reduce nasal colonization.
The results indicate that regular intake of probiotics can reduce problems in the upper respiratory tract. The results also indicate a linkage of the lymphoid tissue between the gut and the upper respiratory tract.
4. Oral Health
Probiotics can also play a role in maintaining oral health, which isn’t all that surprising once you consider that your mouth is part of your digestive tract. Although your dentist probably won’t be recommending sauerkraut as an adjunct therapy for basic oral hygiene anytime soon, the relationship between probiotics and oral health has been discussed somewhat extensively in scientific literature.
5. Skin Health/Acne
Acne is another common condition that can be influenced by probiotics, despite its seemingly distant relationship with the gut. In reality, the skin is very closely connected to the gut through the ‘gut-skin axis.’
6. Wound Care
Did you know that probiotics are an incredibly useful addition to your family’s first-aid kit? Adding a powdered probiotic preparation to wounds may help reduce the risk of external infection and ward off pathogenic bacteria as well as aid in reducing inflammation and enhancing the healing process.
7. Cancer Care
Cancer is a serious, global public health problem. Cancer incidence and mortality have been steadily rising throughout the past century in most places of the world. There are several epidemiological evidences that support a protective role of probiotics against cancer.
Lactic acid bacteria and their probioactive cellular substances exert many beneficial effects in the gastrointestinal tract and also release various enzymes into the intestinal lumen and exert potential synergistic (LAB) effects on digestion and alleviate symptoms of intestinal malabsorption. Consumption of fermented dairy products with LAB may elicit anti-tumor effects.
8. Cancer Treatment
Although we don’t completely understand how our gut bacteria make chemotherapy work better, one study found that chemotherapy causes our gut to become leaky, enabling intestinal bacteria to enter the bloodstream and the lymph nodes. Once in the lymph nodes, these bacteria stimulate our immune system and enhance the body’s ability to fight cancer.
Probiotics can help you detoxify and eliminate chemicals and carcinogens more readily (and potentially reduce cancer development). Check out more information on it here: ‘7 Ways Probiotics DETOXIFY Your Body.’
10. Absorb Nutrients
Probiotics increase the your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and water from food more efficiently, make vitamins and metabolize bile acids and hormones. “Prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics affect mineral absorption, bone mineral content and bone structure.”
11. Healthy Metabolism
Probiotics promote a healthful metabolism and body composition. Can you boost your metabolism and burn fat with a daily dose of yogurt? It may be possible, says new research published in October 2012 by the Journal of Functional Foods. To be clear, that doesn’t mean the store-bought, sugar-laden brands. If you’re opting for yogurt, seek out plain, organic Greek yogurt. Add your own flavors with fresh fruit, raw honey, chia, flax, or whatever your heart desires.
12. Reduce Stress And Inflammation
Probiotics reduce systemic inflammation and oxidative stress (free radicals). A new study shows that a probiotic available commercially in the US for fortifying the digestive system has effects beyond the gastrointestinal tract; it may also have effects against non-gut inflammation such as in psoriasis and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
13. Probiotics As Anti-Aging Agents
The ends of human chromosomes contain some buffering structures called the telomeres. With each cell cycle during the DNA replication process, the telomeres wear out and result in shortening. Research has shown that the shortening of the telomere is the major driving force behind the process of early aging. The telomeres can, on the other hand, be lengthened by the enzyme telomerase, whose activity is inhibited by a number of factors associated with the modern day individuals.
A study performed in Japan regarding probiotics indicated that the supplement can actually help you sleep. This study was conducted on healthy, elderly people who were divided into two groups. One group took a placebo while the other group took probiotics. According to the study (performed at Osaka University), there was a significant difference between those who took the probiotic supplement for the study trial when it came to improved sleep over those who took the placebo.
15. Liver Health
Another study performed by researchers from the Northern State Medical University in Russia and the University of Louisville School of Medicine in the United States was performed on 18 heavy drinkers. The results of this study concluded that probiotics improved the liver function for those who drank heavily and took the supplement. The results of this study were published in a recent issue on alcohol.
16. Blood Sugar Control
Studies performed in Finland indicated that probiotics can also improve the glucose management in people who have glucose disorders, including diabetes.
17. Bacterial Infections
A Taiwan study tested 1,062 children under the age of five. The study found that there was a decrease of bacterial infections as well as viral infections in the children who took commercial probiotics. The children in the group who took a probiotic supplement had fewer instances of childhood illnesses than those who did not take the supplement.
Probiotics are designed to augment normal flora, so the microbes can more easily perform their diverse functions. However, probiotics are not a panacea for wellness. They are part of a larger protocol to improve the gut microbial balance, which includes:
- Limiting your intake of antibiotics (medically and in the food supply).
- Overhauling your diet to limit feed for the pathogenic microbes.
- Eating a colorful array of plant-based foods to provide prebiotics food for the microflora.
- Adding fermented foods (like coconut kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi) to your diet, which will enhance your microbial environment.
Playing in the dirt is training for the immune system.
For more indepth information on Probiotics, go here or here.
Integrative Health Coach and Functional Nutrition Consultant
at Ask Dr. Garland
Greg Ashby, CHHC, AADP lives in Ogden, Utah and is an Integrative Health Coach and Functional Nutrition Consultant. Greg has been in the Health and Wellness industry for over 20 years.
Because of his personal experience with Adrenal and Thyroid disorders, as well as Cancer, he’s committed to the areas of Autoimmunity and Cancer prevention and management when it comes to research and his work. He enjoys studying the Psychology of Eating and Behavioral Disorders.
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