Probiotics: What They Are, How They Boost Your Health

health benefits of probiotics

If you have ever needed something to boost your immune system, probiotics could be your go-to-compound.

Probiotics are live microorganisms in fermented foods and cultured milk. Baby foods also contain probiotics in a reasonable amount.

We have found that most Nigerians need this compound in their diets.

Truly, this is because antibiotics are easily accessible in Nigeria. Some persons self-medicate on them.

Once in a while, doctors recommend them for treatments.

You must have noticed that probiotics sound like the opposite of antibiotics.

While antibiotics causes an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in our body, probiotics bring in only good bacteria. It makes the whole thing balance again. Really, when you take antibiotics, you should as well take probiotics.

Health Benefits Of Probiotics

According to the World Health Organization, probiotics are well-known as “health friendly bacteria”, which exhibit various health beneficial properties.

A 2016 study looked at these beneficial properties  and came up with the under-listed.

1.     Improve Immune System

Certain diseases spring up when there is imbalance of bacteria in the gut. When bad bacteria surpass the good ones, there is an imbalance that weakens the immune system.

Probiotics balances the intestinal immunity and microbiome, making you strong.

Pro-inflammatory cytokines that are produced by Th1 (T Helper) cells and anti-inflammatory cytokines that are secreted by Th2 (helper Type 2) cells are important in maintaining the homeostasis of the immune system in the intestinal barrier.

Probiotics contain L. acidophilus and B. Infantis that modulate intestinal inflammatory response. This ensures there is a balance.

2.      Help You Lose Weight And Belly Fat

Really, in Nigeria, it is easy to see men who go about with big tummy. You will wonder if they are pregnant.

These men can reduce their belly fat by just taking probiotics.

Probiotics contain different mechanisms that prevent the absorption of dietary fat in the intestine.

Interestingly, when this happens, fat is then excreted through feces. It will not be stored in the body as fat.

It helps you burn more calories and store less fat.

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In 2019, a study showed that some strains of probiotics reduce weight.

“When a mixture of Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium breve, and Enterococcus faecalis were administered for 8 weeks as supplemented probiotic yogurt it significantly reduced body weight and BMI.”

As a result, people who want to lose weight and belly fat could add probiotics to their diet.

3.      Boost Heart Health

A healthy heart is as good as medicine to the body.

The amount of blood available to every organ in your body depends on how healthy your heart is.

Bad cholesterol have been identified as one of the reasons people have heart issues. It could lead to high blood pressure.

Here is how. Droplets of blood clog the arteries, making the flow of blood a difficult push for the heart.

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As mentioned earlier, probiotics prevent dietary fat from slipping into the bloodstream.

The 2016 study mentioned earlier highlighted that probiotics lower chances of fat slipping into the bloodstream.

When this happens, it helps your heart stay healthy.

4.      Treatment Of Bowel Associated Diarrhoeas

Diarrhoea is one of the side effects of taking antibiotics. It happens because there is imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut.

Adding probiotics to your diet helps restore the balance and eliminates chances of having diarrhoea.

Sometimes, people who travel get diarrhoea, but adding probiotics to their diet lowers the chances.

5.     Lower Risk Of Digestive Diseases

As a result of stress and other things, increasing number of people have ulcer and other digestive disorders.

Researches show taking probiotics prevents intestinal disorder. This is because it balances the bacteria in the gut.

6.      Improve Mental Health

Also, there is a relationship between the gut and the brain. A 2016 study emphasised this while talking about the gut-brain axis (relationship between the gut and the brain).

The gut-brain axis is the bidirectional interactions between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain.

The scaffolding of the gut-brain axis consists of the central nervous system (CNS), the enteric nervous system (ENS), the sympathetic and parasympathetic arms of the autonomic nervous system (ANS).

It also has the neuroendocrine and neuroimmune systems, and also the gut microbiota.

According to a study probiotics are not only able to modulate gut microbiota but are also involved in stress, anxiety, and depression management which can be used as a novel therapy in psychiatric disorders.

To lower stress and other effects of anxiety, you should add probiotics to your diet.

Where To Get Probiotics

Basically, probiotics come in form of supplements or from the foods we eat.

Earlier, we highlighted that probiotics are in fermented foods or cultured milk.

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Yoghurt with Lactobacillus is a good source of this compound.

In fact, all you have to do is check the content of the yoghurt you buy.

The next  time you buy a yoghurt do not go after the taste you get, but after the content in terms of benefits.

Williams Osewezina

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