Probiotics are the good bacteria that live in your digestive tract. Both good and bad bacteria live in your digestive tract, and having the right balance of the two is key to your overall health.
Maintaining a healthy balance of digestive bacteria offers many health benefits and may even decrease your risk of developing disease. If you’re working to improve your health, then take a look at the many benefits of using probiotics to maintain a healthy balance of digestive bacteria.
Whole-Body Health Benefits
Contrary to popular opinion, probiotics do more than promote easy digestion. In fact, the health of your digestive tract affects your entire body—both physically and mentally. Here’s a look at some whole-body benefits to be aware of.
Increase the Number of Good Bacteria
The most obvious benefit is that probiotics increase the number of good bacteria in your digestive tract. The balance of good and bad bacteria can be thrown off due to poor diet, antibiotics, illness, and other factors. Consistently taking probiotics can restore and maintain the balance of your digestive bacteria.
Prevent and Treat Digestive Disorders
Diarrhea commonly occurs during antibiotic dosage because antibiotics kill the good digestive bacteria along with the infection. Taking supplements can help you maintain a healthy balance while you are on antibiotics, which will prevent or at least reduce the severity of diarrhea.
Probiotics can also help prevent and treat the severity of diarrhea and other digestive disorders, like Crohn’s disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and ulcerative colitis, which are not related to antibiotic use. However, their effectiveness as a treatment varies from case to case.
Improve Your Mental Health
Digestive health has been linked to mood and mental health. Studies have shown that consistent use of probiotics over a period of one to two months reduced the severity of certain mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, autism, and obsessive compulsive disorder. They have also been shown to improve memory.
Boost Your Immune System
Seventy-percent of your immune system lives in your digestive tract. The good digestive bacteria strengthens the immune system to fight pathogens. So increasing the number of good bacteria in your gut puts more fighters on your side. Probiotics also facilitate the production of antibodies and other immune cells.
Weight Loss Benefits
A major health and aesthetic benefit is weight loss. They facilitate weight loss through two known mechanisms. One of the mechanisms is that they prevent fat that is consumed through foods from being absorbed into the intestines. Instead, that fat is excreted through waste.
Another mechanism of probiotics is that they increase the levels of GLP-1 and related hormones that control feelings of satiety, calorie burning, and fat storage. Some studies suggest that probiotics may directly facilitate weight loss. However, you should know that not all probiotics facilitate weight loss.
Probiotics in a Nutshell
Probiotics are essential for maintaining a healthy balance of digestive bacteria, which benefits your overall health. They can help you restore and maintain a healthy balance of digestive bacteria, prevent or reduce the severity of diarrhea and other digestive disorders, benefit your mental health, and boost your immune system. They may also help you lose weight. You can incorporate probiotic foods into your diet or you can purchase supplements online or at your local drugstore.