For most people, probiotics brings up the idea of improving digestive function. However, while probiotics have been shown to have significant health benefits for GI function, they are also beneficial for other areas of health and wellness. Probiotics are a variety of bacteria that are found in yogurt, fermented foods, cheeses, and certain probiotic supplements. When you consume a diet that is rich in these foods or supplements, the bacteria in your gut will be changed because of your diet, and these changes may have significant benefits. If you’ve ever wondered about the potential benefits of probiotics, read on to find out more.
If you suffer from regular urinary tract infections, probiotics can help to decrease these infections. Probiotics prevent damaging bacteria from invading the urinary tract by maintaining a population of health-promoting bacteria. Because infections of the urinary tract are very common, they are difficult to prevent through lifestyle changes. However, probiotics can help to prevent or decrease the severity of these infections.
Allergies plague a huge number of people throughout the year, but especially during the spring and fall months. Because of common allergens like pollen and dust, many people have to take allergy medications throughout the year. Research in this area is still on-going, but several large studies have shown that there is a relationship between taking probiotics and a decreased risk of allergies. While there are a variety of allergies which may be decreased through probiotics, they have been shown to have the greatest effect on seasonal allergies. By consuming probiotic rich foods and supplements throughout the year, you may notice a decrease in symptoms.
Although probiotics are a type of bacteria, one of their main functions is actually stimulating the immune response. When you have a healthy intestinal flora caused by eating probiotic-rich foods, your immune system can better recognize foreign invaders and prevent them from being a problem. In one particular study, people who were given probiotics had an increased production of white blood cells, which is a marker of immune response.
The role of your gut in maintaining a healthy weight is just beginning to be realized. However, during preliminary research studies, these researchers found that people who ere obese had different bacteria in their gut than people who were a normal weight. When women who were trying to lose weight took probiotic supplements, they were able to lose weight faster than the control group. It’s not completely sure how probiotics can help with weight loss. They may help to improve satiety or stimulate increased weight loss. However, no matter how they function, they have been shown to improve weight loss efforts.
While probiotics are not the only way to improve your health, they have been shown to have multiple health benefits. While the most significant ones are mentioned above, this is an area of continuous research. To see the known and unknown benefits of probiotics, try to eat one serving or more every day and you’ll be getting a significant amount.