Improve Mood And Reduce Stress
The bacteria in the gut produce neurotransmitters that are your bodys messengers. Neurotransmitters help with sleep, mood, as well as controlling your bladder and heart function. Stress is known to disturb the gut bacteria, which may affect the quantity and function of neurotransmitters.
Probiotic supplements can help repopulate the gut bacteria during and after periods of stress and have been shown to improve mood, sleep, and cognitive function.
Bacterial Balance: What Do Probiotics Do
Your skin is a crowded place. Over a thousand species of bacteria live on thesurface of our skin, Dr. Khetarpal says.
Dont squirm. The skinmicrobiome, as its known, is a good thing. Those bacteria areessential to fight infection, protectagainst environmental damage, regulate pH levels and keep the skinhydrated and healthy, she adds.
Unfortunately, plenty ofthings can throw the bacterial balance off. Soaps, face scrubs and medicationslike antibiotics can tip the scales in favor of harmful bacteria.
This bacterial imbalance cancause flare-ups and problems including:
If you experience any ofthose skin woes, probiotic creams might help.
Things To Know About Probiotics
In October 2013, the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics organized a meeting of clinical and scientific experts on probiotics to reexamine the concept of probiotics. They define probiotics as “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” They also differentiated between products containing probiotics and those containing live or active cultures and established the following criteria:
- Live or active cultures criteria:
- Any food with fermentation microbe
- Proof of viability at a minimum level reflective of typical levels seen in fermented foods is suggested being 1 × 109 CFU per serving
- No specific research or evidence is needed to make this claim.
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Reduce Gas And Bloating
Gas and bloating are common digestive problems. Possible reasons for gas and bloating include an imbalance in your gut microbiome, yeast overgrowth, and food intolerances. It can also be a sign of a more serious condition such as an IBS. Probiotic supplements can help rebalance the gut microbiome and even help crowd out bad bacteria.
Some evidence suggests that probiotics may help reduce these symptoms, especially in people with digestive disorders like IBS.
How To Interpret A Probiotic Label
Looking at the label of a probiotic supplement can be intimidating and confusing. Rather than seeing words you recognize and numbers in grams or percentages, youll find a list of scientific and difficult to pronounce names of bacteria. If you dont know what to look for, it can seem like its not worth your time to read or pay attention to.
However, what is listed on a probiotic panel can help you tell the difference between a quality probiotic and one that may not be worth spending your money on.
Heres an example using the strainLactobacillus casei :
- Lactobacillus is referring to the broader category of the bacteria, known as thegenus. The genus can be thought of as the strains extended family and there are many different bacteria strains within each genus. Note that the genus is often abbreviated by the first letter, so this may be written asL. casei in some instances.
- Casei refers to thespecies of bacteria, which can be thought of as closer family members.Different species of probiotics have different abilities and serve different purposes.
- Lc-11 refers to the specificstrain, which as mentioned, makes a big difference in the function of the probiotic. The strain will always be listed as a combination of letters and numbers, and gives the most unique identification of the bacteria type.
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Improve Mental Health And Reduce Stress
One of the most important revelations about the benefits of probiotics is the role they play in the gut-brain connection. This is the direct line of communication between the brain and enteric nervous system. Its been found that this communication is what links the emotional and cognitive centers of the brain to your peripheral intestinal function.
Researchers have shown that many mental disorders or behavioral problems can be linked to poor gut bacteria. Digestive discomfort caused by an imbalance of gut bacteria or poor digestion can contribute to poor mental health.
In the same way, sensitivity to gastrointestinal irritation can cause signals to the central nervous system that influence mood. Its been found that people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome tend to have higher rates of sympathetic nervous system function and lower rates of parasympathetic function. This could explain the reason that IBS sufferers are more prone to stress.
The good news is that probiotics appear to alleviate symptoms of mental distress and anxiety by reducing the inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. This, in turn, helps to downregulate the hormones that activate sympathetic nervous system function .
Is It Okay To Take A Probiotic Every Day
Since probiotics are typically sold as supplements and not drugs, the FDA does not have to regulate the health claims. However, research shows that daily use of probiotics is safe.
While there are usually not many side effects associated with using a probiotic, people may feel occasional bloating/gas or differences in bowel movements when they first start taking a probiotic, Del Borrello says. It usually goes away with time.
It is also important to get the correct dosage of probiotics for full effectiveness. Probiotic dosages are given in colony-forming units or CFUs. Children are recommended to take 5-10 billion CFUs a day and adults are recommended to take 10-20 billion CFUs per day.
When starting probiotics, it is possible that you will develop loose stool for the first few days. Because probiotics are live bacteria, it is important to check the sell by date on the supplement.
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How Might Probiotics Work
Probiotics may have a variety of effects in the body, and different probiotics may act in different ways.
- Help your body maintain a healthy community of microorganisms or help your bodyâs community of microorganisms return to a healthy condition after being disturbed
- Produce substances that have desirable effects
- Influence your bodyâs immune response.
Clinical Demonstrations Of Prophylactic And Therapeutic Effects Of Probiotics
The potential health effects of normal gut microflora have to be shown by well controlled clinical and nutritional studies in human subjects. So far, several clinical studies have investigated the use of probiotics, principally lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, as dietary supplements for the prevention and treatment of various gastrointestinal infectious and inflammatory conditions.
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What Has Science Shown About The Effectiveness Of Probiotics For Health Conditions
A great deal of research has been done on probiotics, but much remains to be learned about whether theyâre helpful and safe for various health conditions.
Probiotics have shown promise for a variety of health purposes, including prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea , prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis and in premature infants, treatment of infant colic, treatment of periodontal disease, and induction or maintenance of remission in ulcerative colitis.
However, in most instances, we still donât know which probiotics are helpful and which are not. We also donât know how much of the probiotic people would have to take or who would be most likely to benefit. Even for the conditions that have been studied the most, researchers are still working toward finding the answers to these questions.
The following sections summarize the research on probiotics for some of the conditions for which theyâve been studied.
What Is The Best Probiotic
It is hard to say what the best probiotic is because the effects of probiotics are different for each person. Everyone has their own unique gut flora, so the probiotic that works best for you depends on the microbiome in your gut. There are up to 500 species of bacteria found within our large intestines.
For those wanting to treat irritable bowel syndrome and acute dermatitis, the most commonly used probiotic strains typically include Lactobacillus sp., Bifidobacterium sp., Streptococcus thermophilus, and Saccharomyces boulardii.
Overall, the most popular and best-researched strains of probiotics include: Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and Saccharomyces. It is important to note that most probiotic products and supplements contain multiple strains of live bacteria.
While probiotic supplements and probiotic foods have both been found to have health benefits, probiotic foods have been found to be more effective carriers of probiotics. Overall, more research and clinical trials are needed to determine which strains are most effective and for what.
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Health Benefits Of Consuming Prebiotics
A diet rich in prebiotics promotes digestive system health by stimulating the growth of beneficial microorganisms.
The fermentation of prebiotics produces short-chain fatty acids , including acetate, propionate, and butyrate. They play important roles in gut and metabolic health.
For example, SCFAs provide energy for colonocytes and are involved in mucus production, regulation of intestinal pH, and more.
In addition to gut health, prebiotics influence immune function, blood sugar regulation, appetite, and energy expenditure (
Studies suggest that when taken in specific amounts, prebiotics may improve health in various ways.
Prebiotic Versus Probiotic: Whats The Difference
Pre and probiotics are beneficial for human health because gut bacteria play a key role in many aspects of the body, not just the colon.
The gut microbiota consists of trillions of bacterial cells which carry out a variety of important functions in the human body. Its not possible to live without your microbiota, and the benefits of a diverse and balanced microbiome extend well beyond the gut. Here are just a few important jobs gut microbes do:
- Promote protection against metabolic diseases
- Help maintain a healthy body weight
- Produce important short-chain fatty acids
- Train the immune system to work optimally
- Deter pathogens that could make you sick
- Maintain the intestinal lining against leaky gut
Your colonic bacteria trade their health-promoting functions for a place to live . In fact, they do so well for you that you barely even know theyre there. It is possible to increase the diversity of your gut microbiota . Thats where prebiotics and probiotics come in.
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Prebiotics And Gut Immunity
Prebiotics are broadly defined as a food ingredient that is composed of oligosaccharides that are not digestible by the host and that has a beneficial effect on host health through selective stimulation of the growth and/or activity of specific members of the gut microbiota . Currently, only inulin and galacto-oligosaccharides, which are natural food ingredients that are present in certain plants as storage carbohydrates, fulfill all of the criteria for prebiotic classification. Although the previous definition of prebiotics is only applicable to selectively fermented food components, and although much of the prebiotic literature focuses on non-digestible oligosaccharides, most dietary fibers that are fermentable carbohydrates could be considered as prebiotics as well. We hypothesize that any type of dietary or food supplement that could promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and consequently promote homeostasis in the gut and good health could be considered as a prebiotic, even though the supplement may not meet the required criteria.
Table 4. Main benefits of the major prebiotics and potential mechanisms of action.
If You Take A Probiotic You Need To Eat Prebiotics
The bacteria in your gutboth visitors and residentsneed to eat too. Enter prebiotics, nondigestible carbs that feed friendly bacteria and help them multiply. They may even be helpful on their own, at recalibrating microbiota that have been thrown out of whack by stress a recent study found mice who ate prebiotics slept better after a stressful experience. Hutkins advises taking them daily in the form of food, not pills, because it’s difficult to get the needed amount from a supplement. Prebiotics are found in wholegrain oatmeal, bananas, onions, garlic, and asparagus.
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Health Benefits Of Probiotics
Lots of research has been carried out about the benefits of probiotics on human health, and not just for gastrointestinal disturbances. In fact, the effects of probiotics are so vast that researchers are even studying how they contribute to mental health.
If your doctor has ever prescribed probiotics alongside a course of antibiotics, its because antibiotics disrupt the microbiome and probiotics can help mitigate the negative effects. Probiotics introduce beneficial bacteria into the gut microbiome that can help restore balance and prevent unhelpful, opportunistic bacteria from becoming too abundant.
Some research suggests that probiotics could have anti-cancer properties, especially against colon cancer. Studies have shown that certain strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria can stop the growth of bacteria which produce enzymes that convert pro-carcinogens to carcinogens.
Interestingly, a new field of research is looking at the effects of gut bacteria on the brain – its called psychobiotics. Theres some evidence that some metabolites produced by probiotic microbes can influence brain health, stress resilience, and even depression symptoms.
Combining Prebiotics With Probiotics
Probiotics can work together with prebioticsdietary fibers that act as food for probioticsto create greater health benefits, known as a synbiotic effect. Synbiotics can improve the activity of the beneficial bacteria in the gut and their chance of survival.
In the Omni-Biotic probiotic powder, there are prebiotics included which fuel the good bacteria before you ingest them.
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Probiotics And Prebiotics: Whats The Difference
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, and prebiotics are food for these bacteria. Well explain what you need to know about the two.
Both prebiotics and probiotics are important for human health. However, they have different roles:
- Probiotics. These are live bacteria found in certain foods or supplements. They can provide numerous health benefits.
- Prebiotics. These substances come from types of carbs that humans cant digest. The beneficial bacteria in your gut eat this fiber.
The gut bacteria, collectively referred to as the gut flora, or gut microbiota, perform many important functions in the body.
Eating balanced amounts of both probiotics and prebiotics can help ensure that you have the right balance of these bacteria to keep your gut microbiota healthy.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria found in certain foods or supplements. Prebiotics are types of fiber that feed the friendly bacteria in the digestive system.
The good bacteria in your digestive tract help protect you from harmful bacteria and fungi.
Additionally, some of your gut bacteria form vitamin K and short-chain fatty acids.
The gut bacteria help with a variety of biological tasks. They also provide important nutrition to the cells lining your digestive tract.
Protect Against Antibiotic Resistance
Antibiotics may be needed to help the body fight infections, but they can disrupt the gut environment. Antibiotics often decrease the variety of good bacteria in the gut, which can reduce their ability to fight against other disease-causing microbes.
Sometimes, harmful bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics which is a real threat to treatment. Some strains of Lactobacillus bacteria have been shown to protect against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus , an infection resistant to several common antibiotics.
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Choosing The Right Probiotic Skin Products
Unfortunately, you cant tell which products are well-tested by looking at the labels. Fancy packaging and high price tags dont necessarily equal more bacteria or better results.
Ready to give probiotic skin care awhirl? Your next step is sorting through your options. Only some products onthe market have undergone scientific testing, Dr. Khetarpal says. And only afew of those were actually tested on human skin.
If researching study results inscientific journals isnt your idea of fun, your best bet is to talk to a dermatologistabout your options.
The Relation Of Probiotics To Our Health Could Be Summarized In The Following Points And Facts
- 1 Probiotics are useful and friendly microbes.
- 2 They are able to compete with the bad microbes and colonize our digestive system.
- 3 They are able to ferment our food to simpler byproducts and could promote our health by many different mechanisms.
- 4 Their amount could be deteriorated due to many factors, such as incorrect diet, alcohol, age and so on. This is why they should be taken through our regular diet.
- 5 In particular cases such as after antibiotic treatments, where they are expected to be affected severely, they should be taken orally in considerable amounts or with food.
- 6 Probiotics promote health while they:
- a. Remove the side effect of the pathogens or the harmful microbes.
- b. Supply the body with useful byproducts.
- c. Reduce the jobs of our digestive system.
- d. Reduce the effect of the first attack of harmful compounds, instead of our cells, by their biofilm, which protects our digestive system.
- e. Reduce the amount of food needed by our bodies due to the correct digestion and metabolism of any amount of food.
- f. Probiotics in some cases could complement the deficiency in our genetic materials by helping us to borrow the products of their genes .
Here we should highlight that, Probiotics or anything in our lives should not exceed a certain limit and should be used wisely to give the best expected results .
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