What Are Probiotics?
The gastrointestinal tract houses a complex ecosystem comprised of more than 400 species of bacteria. Most of these bacteria are found in the large intestine; however, you can also find them in the stomach and small intestines. The large intestine contains both beneficial bacteria, often referred to as your microflora, and harmful bacteria.
The beneficial bacteria help with digestion, enhances the immune system, synthesizes vitamins and other nutrients, and metabolizes medications. The beneficial bacteria also eliminate toxic chemicals, waste products, and other toxins from the body.
It is important to maintain a balance between the beneficial bacteria and the harmful bacteria. This delicate balance can be disrupted by toxins, stress, chronic illness, poor eating habits, insufficient sleep, use of antibiotics, and lack of exercise. The signs of an imbalance include urinary tract infections, fatigue, abdominal bloating, diarrhea, and yeast infections.
Probiotics occur naturally in certain fermented foods, such as yogurt, juices and soybean products. The natural bacterium that occurs during the fermentation process helps to improve your digestive health. There are many different types of probiotics, so it is important to know which ones will help tame your tummy troubles.
Benefits of Probiotics for Gut Health
- Probiotics Helps With Detoxification
Our world is filled with toxic chemicals that negatively impact our health. Toxins and heavy metals are found in our foods, our groundwater, our soil, and the air. All of these toxic chemicals permeate the body and cause a plethora of issues, including digestive problems, respiratory issues, decreased immunity, nausea, headaches, and much more. One of the best ways you can protect your health is to feed your body probiotics.
The body has an innate ability to activate the immune system when foreign substances like toxic chemicals enter the body. This immune action helps decrease the damage caused by toxins. The immune system also induces systemic protective responses, which prevents the toxins from adhering to the lining of the intestines and prevents toxins from going through the intestinal wall and entering the bloodstream.
Research has shown that certain strains of probiotics offer the best protection against toxic chemicals, including strains of Lactobacillus Plantarum. This powerful strain activates cytokine production for maximum detoxification.
- Boost Immunity with Probiotics
Did you know that your immune system health is directly related to the intestinal tract? You immune system helps to resist disease and illness. Taking the right probiotics can help to improve immunity and keep you healthy. The probiotics strains L. caseai, L. rhamnosus and L. acidophilus can help reduce the frequency and severity of upper respiratory infections.
Probiotics are designed to increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the GI tract. Eating probiotic friendly foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, and kimchi will naturally increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. In addition to this, taking a probiotic supplement that contains multiple strains of probiotics (Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces) can help to proliferate the digestive system with beneficial bacteria that help fight off inflammation and disease. Most individuals can benefit from a daily probiotic supplement with 1 to 10 billion CFUs. This will help maintain the appropriate amount of beneficial bacterial in your intestines. There are numerous types of probiotics on the market, so you want to make sure you choose the right strains and the appropriate dosage.
- Diminish Antibiotic Related Diarrhea
The digestive tract encompasses a host of organs, including the intestines. Thousands of bacteria live in the intestinal tract. These bacteria work to fight off disease causing microbes. When you take an antibiotic, it destroys both the good and bad bacteria in your intestinal tract. When the good bacterium is diminished, pathogens can cause a host of digestive issues, including diarrhea, flatulence and bloating.
Three probiotics can help with antibiotic associated diarrhea. These strains are Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bacillus coagulans and S. cerevisiae boulardii. Taking these probiotics while you are on antibiotics and for a week or so afterwards will help reduce the risk of diarrhea.
- Probiotics Relieves Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Keeping your gut healthy can help prevent the bloating, pain and discomfort associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS. Although experts do not fully understand the causes of IBS or the best treatment options, they have discovered that the probiotics Bifidobacterium infantis and L. plantarum helped reduce pain, gas and discomfort associated with IBS.
- Prevent Traveler’s Diarrhea
International travelers often experience diarrhea due to unsanitary water. The water in underdeveloped countries often contains infectious bacteria and parasites. These parasites attack the intestinal tract and cause digestive distress. Studies have shown that you can reduce the risk of developing this devastating issue by taking S. cerevisiae boulardii a week before you travel. Additionally, if you do get traveler’s diarrhea, taking this probiotic can help you overcome diarrhea quickly.
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The Toxicity Screening Questionnaire helps identify symptoms that are useful to detect underlying causes of illnesses.
Probiotics Protects Gut Health
There are various probiotic benefits. Probiotic supplements aid in digestion, help keep the digestive system healthy and enhance nutrient absorption. Probiotics also help the body detox from toxins found in your environment and also help stimulate regular bowel movements.
When you first begin taking probiotics, you may experience increased flatulence, bloating and rumbling; however, this is quite normal. These symptoms mean the pH levels in the digestive tract are changing. As more beneficial bacteria is established in the intestines, the pH level changes. These symptoms will diminish within a week or two as the pH levels readjust.
How Can We Help?
Our clinicians specialize in gastrointestinal disease treatment using a holistic approach with a focus on addressing the root causes of your digestive issues. They help recommend the best probiotics that will be most beneficial for your digestive health. It is also essential to eat a diet rich in nutrients while taking your probiotic supplements.