Saturday, February 16, 2019

Probiotics, Your Gut's Friends

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are a type of "friendly" bacteria in our gut. Research has found that having the right gut bacteria is linked to numerous health benefits, including weight loss, improved digestion, enhanced immune function, healthier skin, and a reduced risk of many diseases

Why take probiotic supplements?

Probiotics are living microorganisms that, when ingested, provide numerous health benefits
Many people take probiotic supplements to ensure their gut has the necessary "friendly" bacteria as they do not eat enough of the foods that are known to have probiotic benefits (yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, and kimchi)

Probiotics might help fight disease.

Since the mid-1990s, clinical studies suggest that probiotic therapy can help treat several gastrointestinal ills (such as IBS, irritable bowel syndrome), delay the development of allergies in children, and treat and prevent vaginal and urinary infections in women.

Research has been promising for the friendly bacteria. Potential benefits of probiotics have been seen in the treatment or prevention of:
  • diarrhea
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn's disease
  • H. pylori (the cause of ulcers)
  • vaginal infections
  • urinary tract infections
  • recurrence of bladder cancer
  • infection of the digestive tract caused by Clostridium difficile
  • pouchitis (a possible side effect of surgery that removes the colon)
  • eczema in children.

What is the difference between all the probiotics I can purchase?

Dozens of different probiotic bacteria offer health benefits. For example, one strain may fight against cavity-causing organisms in our mouths and don't need to survive a trip through our guts. Health benefits are strain-specific, and not all strains are necessarily useful, so you may want to consult a practitioner familiar with probiotics to discuss your options.

The most common groups include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Each group comprises different species, and each species has many strains. Some supplements — known as broad-spectrum probiotics or multi-probiotics — combine different species in the same product.


Yakult uses Lactobacillus casei Shirota, a strain that has been unique to Yakult for over 80 years. The probiotic drink has a citrus taste and can be enjoyed chilled. I enjoy drinking Yakult and using it in smoothies ... and smoothie bowls (add one Yakult to my Smoothie Bowl Formula ... A Breakfast Staple Recipe).

Read more at:
Health Benefits of Taking Probiotics

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