You can consume probiotics naturally through some foods, but they are also available in supplement form. That said, Science Whether taking probiotic supplements is useful for already healthy adults is still uncertain.
Let’s take a look at why your body might like these good bacteria.
1. Probiotics help balance your gut microbiome
A healthy microbiome – the world of living microorganisms in your body – requires a delicate balance of different types of bacteria. When you get an overgrowth of bad bacteria, things can go a bit sideways. Probiotics to the rescue!
Balancing your gut microbiome is probiotics’ main claim to fame. And that’s a big deal because research shows that your gut health can influence the health of other areas – from your brain and heart to your the skin and the teeth.
2. Probiotics help prevent diarrhea
It makes sense that a healthy gut = healthy poo. But scientists have found that probiotics specifically lower your risk of running.
A Research report 2017 suggests that probiotics may prevent diarrhea associated with antibiotics. Since antibiotics kill bad * and * good bacteria while fighting infections, probiotics complement the good. It could potentially help you avoid those extra-urgent trips to the bathroom.
Some to research also discovered that probiotic supplements could put the kibosh on travelers’ diarrhea.
3. Probiotic supplements can improve your mood
The jury is still out on this one, but some studies have linked probiotics to improving mood disorders.
One small study from 2015 out of 20 people found that the group given foods rich in probiotics and probiotic supplements for 4 weeks reported less sadness than the group given a placebo.
But we still need more study to learn more about this possible link.
4. Probiotics are good for your heart
Do you have high cholesterol? What about stratospheric blood pressure? These two health issues are major clues that it’s time to take better care of your ticker.
To research has linked a diet high in probiotics to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and even less body fat.
Bottom Line: That probiotic yogurt and kombucha in your fridge may help improve your heart health.
5. Certain probiotics can soothe eczema
Maybe you’ve even heard that rubbing yogurt on your hands will help with your eczema?
Here’s the scoop: Some to research suggests that topical probiotics (meaning you apply them to your skin, don’t ingest them) seem to improve certain skin conditions, including eczema. Corn scientists are still investigating how and why this might happen, so stay tuned before you open the Chobani.
A 2012 study also found that when women with eczema took specific probiotic supplements during pregnancy, their babies were significantly less likely to have eczema.
Research is still thin and more studies are needed to explore the link between probiotics and skin disorders.
6. Certain probiotics may alleviate symptoms of IBS and IBD
While there is no cure for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), probiotics may be a treatment option for symptoms of IBD.
Certain strains of probiotics have helped soothe symptoms in people with the condition ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and even necrotizing enterocolitis, a fatal bowel disease in some premature infants.
It may seem obvious that good gut bacteria could help with gastrointestinal issues. But we need more research to fully understand the * exact * strains of probiotics that might help, how often to take them, and what symptoms of IBD or IBS they might prevent.
7. Probiotics provide immune support
We know that “boosting” your immune system isn’t really a thing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give your body the best possible conditions to thrive. Probiotics can help keep your gut healthy, thus contributing to overall well-being.
These bad boys have also been linked to lower rates of respiratory infections and urinary tract infections. But this research is over 10 years old, and we need more recent studies to learn more about these effects.
You want the expert to take US Department of Health and Human Services? Probiotics could “influence your body’s immune response.” But also, “the possible harmful effects of probiotics include infections. “??
(But the HHS also notes that these harmful effects are more likely to occur in people with serious illnesses or a weakened immune system.)
Bottom line: Talk with your doctor before trying probiotic supplements to prevent disease. If you have an underlying health problem, they * might * tell you to go for dietary probiotics instead.
8. Certain probiotics can help with weight loss
If your goal is to lose weight, load up on probiotics, but not just any probiotics – might help. To research suggests that some strains may contribute to fat loss, while others may be linked to weight gain.
One 2013 study 12-week linked probiotic supplementation Lactobacillus gasseri with an 8.5% reduction in belly fat.
A 2014 study also found that obese women who took Lactobacillus rhamnosus supplements for 12 weeks lost significantly more weight than those who did not take a probiotic. But the supplement did not have a noticeable effect on the weight of the men in the study.
In one 2015 study, participants who drank fermented milk supplemented with the probiotic strain Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 for 1 week appeared to absorb less fat – and excrete more fat in their poo – than those who drank plain fermented milk.
But some Research 2012 also found that Lactobacillus acidophilus leads to weight gain.
The TL; DR: We need more research to explore the role of probiotics in weight loss, but there seems to be a link.
9. Probiotics can help prevent cavities
If probiotics control bad gut bacteria, can they do the same for bacteria in your mouth? May be!
Research is limited, but some older studies suggest that you could prevent cavities by eating foods rich in probiotics on a regular basis. Whether science confirms it or not, unsweetened kefir and yogurt will not hurt.