By Summer Banks on Dec 19, 2017

Probiotics benefit your digestive system. There’s also a benefit to health.

Probiotics help balance good and bad bacteria in the gut.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms. “Probiotics are “good” bacteria just like the ones found in your digestive system. They can be found in foods such as fermented dairy products as well as non-dairy foods”, explains Christen Cooper, a Registered Dietician in New York City.

They come from foods or supplements. (1) Additional probiotic benefits include immune function, weight loss and digestive health. (2)(3)(4)

Below are six ways probiotics benefit your health.

Health benefits of probiotics

1. Probiotics Benefit Heart Health

Bacteria produces lactic acid, which helps lower cholesterol levels. Probiotics break down bile and bile helps the digestive process. (7)(8)

Studies show eating probiotic yogurt for 2-8 weeks lowers bad cholesterol by 5%. Total cholesterol by 4%. (9)(10)

Probiotics benefit health by lowering blood pressure. (11) Most probiotics supplements contain 10 million CFUs (colony-forming-units).

Bottom Line: Probiotics may be beneficial for heart health, reduce blood pressure and bad cholesterol.

Benefits of Probiotics

2. Benefits of Probiotics to Allergy Symptoms and Eczema

Some probiotics foods, including kefir, cultured vegetables, kombucha, apple cider vinegar, dark chocolate, may help reduce allergy symptoms and symptoms of eczema.

Studies show eczema symptoms improve for infants drinking probiotic containing milk. (12)

Another study found that 83% of pregnant women taking probiotics have children with lower risk of eczema. (13)(14)

Some research doesn’t connect probiotics and lower risk for eczema. (15)(16)

Probiotics helps reduce the inflammation caused by milk or dairy allergies. Further studies are needed. (17)(18)

Bottom Line: Probiotics help reduce the risk of allergies in infants including eczema.


Benefits of Probiotics

3. Get Good Bacteria Back in Line with Probiotics

Research shows probiotics restore natural balance to the gut. (19)(20)(21)(22)

There’s a lack of balance when there’s a more bad bacteria. Causes include poor diet, illness, and medication.

Lack of balance also affects your digestive system, mental health, obesity, allergies. (23)(24)(25)

Foods and probiotics supplements are generally considered safe for most people.

Bottom Line: “Probiotic bacteria might be able to alter brain neurochemistry and treat anxiety and depression-related disorders. Research into the connection between Probiotics and mental health is both encouraging and exciting. Studies show that the Probiotic group compared to placebo report less depression, anger, anxiety, hostility and the kind of worry which leads to physical symptoms. It is very clear that Probiotic bacteria might be able to alter brain neurochemistry and treat anxiety and depression-related disorders” states Dr.Challa,MD, Board Certified Gastroenterologist and author of Probiotics for Dummies.

Benefits of Probiotics

4. Probiotics Benefit Immune System

Probiotics helps improve function of the immune system.

It also prevents bad bacteria. (26)(27) Some probiotics help build antibodies. (28)(29)(30)(31)

Studies show probiotics reduce the potential and length of respiratory infections.

Presently, the evidence quality is rather low. (32)

Another study shows it lowers the chance of respiratory infections by 17%. (33)(34)

Additional strains helps reduce the risk of UTIs by 50%. (35)

Bottom Line: Probiotics may protect against infections because it can boost the immune system. “Over 80% of our immune system is regulated by the gut, so incorporating probiotic food sources into your daily plan is a great way to ensure the bacteria in your body is working to protect and regulate vs. wreak havok” states Ali Miller, RD, LD, CDE, an Integrative Dietitian and author of Naturally Nourished.

Probiotics Treat Diarrhea

5. Benefits of Probiotics – Treat Diarrhea

Probiotics are well-known for being able to prevent or reduce the severity of diarrhea, which is a common complaint among people taking antibiotics. (36)

Several studies show using probiotics help treat diarrhea. (37)(38)(39)(40)

Some strains of probiotics reduce the length of diarrhea by 25 hours. (41)(42)

Probiotics reduce travelers’ diarrhea by 57% in children and 26% in adults. (43)

The benefits of probiotics depends on the dose. (44)

Probiotic strains include Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus casei and Saccharomyces boulardii. (45)(46)

Bottom Line: Probiotics can lower the risk and severity of diarrhea.

Digestive Problems and Probiotics

6. Reduce the Symptoms of Digestive Problems With Probiotics

Millions of people suffer from IBS of irritable bowel syndrome. (47) Some probiotics reduce those symptoms. (48)(49)

Probiotics help bowel disorders, but research shows is has little effect on the symptoms of Crohn’s disease. (50)(51)

Probiotics reduce the risk of certain digestive problems by 50%. (52)

Bottom Line: Probiotics benefit health by helping sufferers of bowel disorders.

Probiotics Benefit Overall Health

How Probiotics Benefit Your Overall Health

Probiotics supplements are available in tablets, powders and capsules.

Stomach acid can destroy some probiotics before they reach the gut.

“Probiotics are vital because balancing gut flora is key to wellness. Probiotics are the “good” bugs in our guts, and the more you have of them, the less chance the “bad” ones that cause illness can colonize. While they don’t have what’s considered a lifespan because they are a bacteria and not organisms, they are only able to duplicate themselves to a certain capacity, and therefore it’s important to continue consuming them regularly.” states Ariane Resnick, a Special Diet Chef and Certified Nutritionist.

You will get any of the health benefits. Studies show it’s best to take 1 billion to 100 billion live organisms or CFU’s per day.

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About the Author:

Summer Banks, Director of Content at Dietspotlight, has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with doctors specializing in weight loss and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University. full bio.