Probiotics, why you should consider taking a daily dose.

The benefits of probiotics Bowel health

We have around 100 trillion bacteria in our bodies weighing around 2 kilos and probiotic foods and supplements feed these healthy bacteria.
Researchers have found links between gut bacteria and a range of health conditions in many different areas of the body and the gut connection to overall health is growing stronger every day. Numerous conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease including ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease (CD), obesity, diabetes, auto-immune conditions, cancer, anxiety and depression have now all been linked to an imbalance of gut bacteria.

Weight Loss Advice – Can it help with weight loss?

Anecdotally some people are reporting weight loss as a benefit of taking a daily probiotic which is probably caused by the guts improved efficiency at elimination and also helped by improved absorption of nutrients but this is not the only reason why you should consider supplementing with probiotics. Nutritionists call the gut the body’s second brain because it influences every essential process the body and needs to maintain a healthy balance.

Cardiovascular disease and diabetes:

In a study published in the journal Diabetes in 2007, it was shown that a high-fat, high-sugar diet decreases the amount of a beneficial strain of bacteria in the gut called bifidobacteria and produce bacterial products that have a negative inflammatory response in the blood, which leads to dysfunction of the cells of the blood vessels and eventually to the buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Cancer:

The risk of large bowel cancer is associated with low fiber diets and higher intakes of Omega-6 fatty acids, which are highly prevalent in many Americans’ diets. Toxic metabolites and by products are generated and cells undergo oxidative stress and undergo mutations resulting in tumors that are partly mediated by enzymes produced by gut flora. Animal studies have shown that supplementation with probiotics lowers these enzymes and prevents colon cancer. The pathology of other cancers such as pancreatic cancer may also occur in a similar metabolic process.

Psychiatric conditions:

Evidence from research suggests that supplementing with certain probiotics can treat anxiety and other psychiatric illnesses, as bacterial balance improves levels of the stress hormone corticosterone also improve.Probiotic yogurt.

We all have a distinct micro biota fingerprint, but this can be affected by changes in diet, illness and travel. Babies and children who do not develop the right balance of beneficial bacteria are more susceptible to allergy, asthma and eczema. Medications such as antibiotics and steroids have an adverse effect on the beneficial strains of bacteria. After a course of antibiotics you should always consider supplementing with a probiotic. The intestinal flora plays an important role in our ability to fight infection and disease providing a front line in our immune defense. Lactobacillus and bifidobacterium are the two main strains of beneficial bacteria found in probiotics. They aid nutrient absorption, digestion of dairy products and lactose, reducing food poisoning, activate the immune system, break down toxic by-products and normalize cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism. So a daily probiotic may be the safest way to stay healthy.

A healthy diet includes natural probiotic foods

Eat foods high in fiber: whole grains, beans, pulses and vegetables that keep the cells of the gut healthy and prevent constipation. Research shows that vegetarians and those that consume higher fiber foods have a lower risk of developing colon cancer.

Eating prebiotic foods: prebiotics stimulate the growth of good bacteria in your gut and include: onions, Jerusalem artichoke, avocados, and vegetables high in soluble fiber like sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and turnips.

Naturally Fermented foods: Probiotic yogurt, miso, tamari, sourdough bread, sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha, are all fermented foods (also known as cultured). Fermented foods also help the body digest, absorb, all the nutrients of the foods you’re eating.

Reduce your intake of refined sugars: Bacteria thrive on sugars and a diet high in sugar can lead to increased fermentation and inflammation in the gut allowing the not so beneficial bacteria to proliferate and the risk of developing many illnesses included an irritable bowel.

Reduce or avoid alcohol consumption: Alcohol is a type of sugar and upsets the natural ecology of gut flora.

Reduce your intake of processed foods such as crisps, cookies and sodas. Consumed every day they can inflame the gut’s lining and create small fissures between cell walls which can lead to inflammation in the gut and upset the fragile balance of the beneficial bacteria.

SupplementsWord cloud for Gut flora

Probiotic supplements usually come in capsule form or sometimes as a powder A daily probiotic containing 10-20 billion cultures is the standard recommended amount. Those who have specific conditions or have been on long-term antibiotics and steroids will require higher amounts. Many probiotics also contain prebiotics these are a natural food source for healthy bacteria.

The yeast Saccharomyces boulardii is friendly yeast, which is useful for those suffering from diarrhoea.

Essential omega 3 fatty acids can reduce the pain and inflammation associated with irritable or inflamed bowel conditions.

Garlic supplements containing allicin the active component is antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal and can target pathogenic strains of microbes.

Glutamine is an amino acid, which has gut healing properties for the gut and for bowel conditions. It can be taken as a powder or as a capsule.

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