Our bodies contain a mix of good and bad bacteria. They're pretty much everywhere, the mouth, gut, and skin. However, trillions of beneficial bacteria live in our bodies and play a vital role in our overall health. Probiotics are live microorganisms that can help promote a healthy balance of bacteria in your stomach and potentially improve your gut health and general well-being.
Probiotics are found in many foods, including yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi. They are also available in supplement form, and many different strains of probiotics have additional health benefits as well.
Different Types of Probiotics
There are several strains of probiotics, and each of them has various health benefits. Some of the most common strains of probiotics include:
Lactobacillus: This is the most common type of probiotic, and it is found in many fermented foods. Lactobacillus can help improve digestion and reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Bifidobacterium: This type of probiotic found in the large intestine helps break down complex carbohydrates. Bifidobacterium can also help reduce inflammation in the gut.
Saccharomyces boulardii: This type of probiotic is yeast, and it can help improve digestion and reduce the symptoms of diarrhea.
Streptococcus thermophilus: These are commonly found in yogurt and can help improve lactose digestion and reduce the symptoms of lactose intolerance.
Probiotics can help improve gut health in several ways, and they are as follows:
Balance of Bacteria in Your Gut
One of the primary ways they work is by restoring the natural balance of bacteria in your gut. When the balance of bacteria in your body is disrupted, it can lead to various health issues, including digestive problems, inflammation, and even mental health problems. Probiotics can help to restore this balance, which can help improve digestive health and overall well-being.
Reduce Inflammation of Gut
Probiotics also have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the belly. Chronic inflammation in the gut is associated with many health problems, including inflammatory bowel disease and autoimmune disorders. By reducing inflammation, probiotics can help improve gut health and reduce the risk of these conditions.
Supports Immune System
In addition to these benefits, probiotics also support the immune system. Approximately 70% of the immune system is located in the gut, and a healthy gut is essential for a healthy immune system. Probiotics can help to strengthen the immune system by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria and reducing the growth of harmful bacteria.
Improve Mental Health Conditions
Studies show a link between gut health and mood and mental health. Research shows taking probiotics supplementing with Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains for 1–2 months has improved symptoms of mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, stress, and memory, among others.
Helps With Weight Loss
Probiotics help with weight loss in many ways. Some probiotics have been shown to reduce the absorption of dietary fat, increase feelings of fullness, regulate appetite by reducing levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and rising levels of the satiety hormone leptin, and improve insulin sensitivity, which leads to weight loss.
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