Healing Your Gut With ProbioticsLisanne Wellness Center
You’ve likely heard about probiotics and how they can help prevent illness, strengthen your immune system, and fight infections. But did you know they can actually alter your gene activity and cellular reactions? In a study at Maastricht University, participants who consumed a dairy drink with three strains of probiotic bacteria experienced changes in their genes similar to changes that would have been achieved from medications for high blood pressure and immune function. The study specifically reviewed the effects of the three most common forms of probiotics: Lactobacillus acidophilus Lafti L10, L.casei, and L. rhamnosus; however, it is believed that the same effects can be derived from other probiotics like Streptococcus thermophilus, Saccharomyces boulardii, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Bacillus subtilis.
And altering your genes to reduce blood pressure isn’t the only proven benefit of probiotics. There are many more. In fact, good bacteria in the gut can prevent and treat a slew of illnesses that many people think are, in themselves, root causes of a problem. Here are some of the many tested and proven benefits of this friendly bacteria.
Boosts immunity: Probiotics are a powerful tool to improve immunity. Studies show that they benefit immunity by balancing the B and T lymphocytes levels and antibodies. B and T lymphocytes fight invading bacteria. They also produce antibodies against harmful viruses and pathogens. Because of its positive effects on immune system, you will have fewer colds and flu.
Lowers inflammation: If you have good bacteria in the gut, they help lower inflammation, by reducing the biomarkers of inflammation such as C-reactive protein. Presence of beneficial bacteria in the gut helps improve inflammatory conditions like psoriasis, skin problems, joint pain and IBS.
Better energy levels: Good bacteria are necessary for producing Vitamin B12, absorbing specific nutrients such as zinc, B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, copper, and iron. Vitamin B 12 is important for energy production in the body.
Helps maintain a healthy weight: Healthy bacteria in the gut helps improve the digestive process. Probiotics help break down fiber and produce short chain fatty acids called butyrate. Butyrate induces satiety value and prevents you from overeating. Some studies have shown that probiotics prevent fat absorption by the body and also eliminate the excess fat along with feces, thereby promote healthy body weight.
How to choose the right probiotics
Search for these items on your food labels: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus reuteri, Streptococcus thermophilus, Saccharomyces boulardii, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Bacillus subtilis. Good sources of probiotics include:
- Fermented foods like kefir, kimchi, and kombucha
- Miso and Miso soup
- Dark chocolate
- Supplements like FloraMax
If you would like to know the best ways to improve your gut bacteria population or eager to know ways to improve gut health, call 713 461 WELL. Our individual nutrition plans and counseling can help you improve your probiotic intake and overall gut health.
Chapman, C. M. C., G. R. Gibson, and I. Rowland. “Health benefits of probiotics: are mixtures more effective than single strains?” European Journal of Nutrition 50.1 (2011): 1-17. Web.
“Lymphocytes – National Library of Medicine – PubMed Health.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.
S Biradar, S Bahagvati, B Shegunshi. “Probiotics And Antibiotics: A Brief Overview.” The Internet Journal of Nutrition and Wellness. 2004 Volume 2 Number 1.