The word “probiotics” means promoting life. Probiotics are live microorganisms that are beneficial for human health, especially for gut health. They are mostly found in different types of fermented foods and supplements. We need to consume probiotics to maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria, which is essential for overall health. In this blog, we will discuss the top 10 surprising benefits of probiotics that you need to know.
1. Improve Digestive Health
Probiotics help to improve digestive health by restoring the natural balance of gut bacteria. They aid in digestion and nutrient absorption, which reduces digestive issues like diarrhea, bloating, and constipation. Probiotics may also help to protect against more severe digestive disorders like inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis.
2. Boost Immune System
The gut is where most of the immune system resides, hence, maintaining a healthy gut is crucial for overall immune system function. Probiotics promote the growth of good bacteria that helps to support a healthy immune system by fighting against harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause infection. Studies have shown that probiotics can prevent and reduce the duration of upper respiratory tract infections.
3. Reduce the Risk of Allergies
Research has suggested that increasing the intake of probiotics during pregnancy and infancy can decrease the risk of developing eczema and allergic diseases. Probiotics may help to reduce inflammation and improve gut barrier function, which could play a role in preventing the development of allergies.
4. Improve Mental Health
Our gut and brain are intimately connected through the gut-brain axis. Therefore, poor gut health can affect mental health and vice versa. Research studies have suggested that probiotics can improve symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress in both healthy and diseased populations.
5. Lower Cholesterol Levels
Probiotics may help to lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol in the gut and improving the body’s ability to excrete it. A study found that daily consumption of probiotics for six weeks resulted in a significant reduction in total cholesterol levels in participants.
6. Promote Weight Loss
Probiotics may help to promote weight loss by reducing appetite and calorie absorption, improving metabolism, and reducing inflammation. A study involving obese participants found that consuming probiotics for 12 weeks resulted in a significant reduction in body weight.
7. Improve Skin Health
The skin microbiome, which includes the skin’s natural microbial populations, plays an essential role in skin health. Probiotics may help to improve skin health by reducing inflammation, improving the skin’s barrier function, and protecting against harmful bacteria. Studies have found that they can improve skin conditions like eczema, acne, and rosacea.
8. Prevent Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
The mouth has its microbial ecosystem that affects oral health. Probiotics may help to prevent tooth decay and gum disease by reducing harmful bacteria and promoting the growth of good bacteria. A study found that chewing gum containing the probiotic Streptococcus salivarius for two weeks resulted in a significant reduction in plaque and gingivitis.
9. Improve Heart Health
Probiotics may help to improve heart health by reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels and improving blood glucose control. A study involving individuals with high blood pressure found that consuming probiotics daily for eight weeks resulted in a significant reduction in blood pressure.
10. Promote Longevity
As we age, our gut microbiota changes, which can contribute to several age-related diseases. Probiotics may help to promote longevity by maintaining a healthy gut microbiota and reducing inflammation associated with aging. Studies involving elderly individuals found that consuming probiotics resulted in significant improvements in gut health and immune function.
Probiotics offer many health benefits that go beyond improving gut health. They can enhance our immune system, promote mental health, lower cholesterol levels, promote weight loss, improve skin health, and contribute to cardiovascular health and longevity. Consuming a diet rich in fermented foods and taking probiotic supplements can help to maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria and promote overall health and well-being.