Why take probiotics? The friendly bacteria in our gut is a hot topic in the wellness world, but you may still be wondering exactly what these supplements can do for you.
The World Health Organization defines probiotics as, “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host.” So what are the health benefits? How do probiotics support our health?
More and more, research is exploring how the bacteria in our gut can explain our moods, and how the health of our intestinal flora is connected to the quality of our digestion and immune system.
Today, maintaining a proper balance of healthy gut flora can be difficult due to our exposure to antibiotics, chlorinated water, pesticides, chemicals used in food preservation, and chronic stress. If the delicate balance of our inner ecosystem is upset, opportunistic bad bacteria and organisms like yeast, fungus, and parasites are more likely to take up residence.
Balancing your intestinal flora is a powerful way to combat these threats and support your health. When we take probiotics, we help fight invaders, improve our nutrient absorption, increase our ability to detoxify and reduce the negative effects of antibiotic use.
Probiotics Help Fight Invaders
Our gut is filled with hundreds of different species of good bacteria. A truly healthy gut will contain more good bacteria than cells in the entire body. This healthy gut flora is the first thing other organisms encounter in the digestive tube as they fight to protect their territory and prevent other organisms from taking hold. Another reason why you should take supportive probiotics — they have important positive effects on immunity by helping the immune system fight invaders.
Probiotics Help Improve Nutrient Absorption
A healthy gut acts like a fermentation tank inside your body and it’s our intestinal flora that does the fermenting. Because they have different digestive systems from ours, beneficial bacteria can perform certain chemical tricks with food that our bodies can’t, alone.
One of their most important functions in the body is the production of crucial b-vitamins, specifically folate (B9), biotin (B7), and B12. These nutrients have to be pre-digested by bacteria before the body can absorb them. When we are not getting these nutrients, we can experience a variety of symptoms that seem to appear out of nowhere like low energy, brain fog, and skin issues. Another simple reason why you should take probiotics is to ensure that you are getting all of the nutrients in your food that you need to thrive.
Probiotics Improve Daily Detoxification
The intestinal flora is arguably the largest detoxification component of the body and it’s something that can continually be replenished. In this sense, our flora serves as a satellite to our main elimination organ — the liver. To put it another way — if the gut didn’t have a well-balanced intestinal flora, the liver would have to work almost twice as hard.
So why take probiotics if you want to do a cleanse? Supporting our intestinal flora with supplemental probiotics can help to rid the body of toxins entering our air, food, and water. Probiotics, like lactobacillus, look promising in helping to detoxify heavy metals, and to prevent their absorption into the body. This is why probiotics are a key component of the 21-Day Clean Program.
Probiotics Improve Symptoms during and after Antibiotic Usage
Antibiotics are a major destroyer of our bodies’ bacteria — bad and good. While our culture is beginning to become aware of the regular over-prescribing of antibiotics, children and adults are still regularly and frequently prescribed antibiotics for every kind of infection or potential infection.
Because this antibiotic regime starts early, far too many of us have always lived with compromised intestinal flora for years or even decades and have never been truly healthy.
Research suggests taking probiotics during antibiotic therapies is effective in preventing and treating antibiotic associated diarrhea as well as reducing the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The Big Picture: Why Take Probiotics?
Our understanding of the bacteria in our gut and the environment they live in is still evolving. Our understanding of how to properly re-populate the gut with good bacteria is even less complete. So, why take probiotics?
Taking probiotics has shown promising evidence that they can be very beneficial for our health. Their support in reducing the toxins we inevitably encounter day to day, modulating the immune system, improving digestion and nutrient absorption, and their ability to decrease typical symptoms of antibiotics are a few benefits we don’t want you to miss out on.