Probiotics: Benefits and Usagechshkt
Do you know what your “forgotten organ” is? It’s the 100 trillion or so bacteria living in your gut, whose collective metabolic activity is roughly equivalent to that of a full-functioning organ!
In recent years, there has been a flourishing interest in gut bacteria (also called microbiota or gut flora) within the medical and scientific community, and for good reason. Thanks to a growing body of evidence, we now know that the health and function of your gut—and specifically the bacteria living inside it—impacts virtually every aspect of your health, including your psychological and physical well-being.
How do we support a healthy gut? There are several helpful things to do (and not do) that can keep your gut bacteria happy. And one effective action step is to enhance your balanced diet with probiotics.
What Are Probiotics?
According to the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics, probiotics are “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” You can find probiotics in certain foods, like sauerkraut, kefir, tempeh, kimchi, yogurt, and kombucha. You can also take probiotics in supplement form.
If you are going to take a probiotic supplement, it should contain at a minimum around 1 billion colony forming units (CFUs). CFUs simply tells how you how many viable bacteria are in the supplement. Many health professionals recommend choosing a probiotic supplement with at least 10 to 20 billion CFUs or more in order to maximize effectiveness.
In addition to considering how many CFUs are in your supplement, you should also consider the types of bacteria cultures your probiotics contain. Different strains of bacteria confer different health benefits, and some are especially important to have if you want to re-balance your gut flora and optimize overall health. Strains shown to be especially beneficial include:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus: helps maintain adequate intestinal flora numbers
- Bifidobacterium lactis: supports immune health
- Lactobacillus plantarum: great for digestive health
- Lactobacillus paracasei: boosts energy levels
These bacterial strains work together to ensure the microbiome in your gut is balanced and flourishing…and you might be surprised to know just how important this is!
The Surprising Impact of an Unhealthy Gut
Many things in the modern world can negatively impact your digestive health and damage the colonies of friendly bacteria living in your gut, including stress, insufficient sleep, smoking, sugar, physical inactivity, and environmental toxins.
Incredibly, researchers have conclusively linked poor gut health to a wide number of health problems, including:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Heart disease
- Mental health conditions like depression and anxiety
- Skin irritation
5 Health Benefits of Probiotics
While the research on probiotics isn’t fully conclusive yet, there are many studies which show that taking probiotics may improve your health in a number of ways, such as by:
- Improving digestion and gut health
- Boosting your immunity and protecting you against illnesses like the common cold
- Increasing mood and cognitive function
- Reducing chronic inflammation (which has been linked to everything from arthritis to cancer)
- Supporting weight loss
This list isn’t exhaustive, by the way. Other benefits of regular probiotics use supported by the literature include improved skin health, enhanced protection against food allergies, and better management of chronic diseases like high blood pressure, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and diabetes.
The bacteria living in your gut outnumber the cells in your body 10 to 1! So, make sure you have the right kinds of gut bacteria to optimize your health and longevity.
To start boosting your well-being with a high quality supplement, check out iFlourish Lab’s Advanced Probiotic, featuring a proprietary blend of 40 billion CFUs.