Benefits of Probiotics and How they Work on Your Body
Did you know that Americans spend more than a billion dollars on probiotic supplements per year? Do you ever wonder if you should take probiotics? Do probiotics work? If so, what do they help you with? The truth is that it all depends on the probiotic and on the person taking it. A supplement that’s good for someone may not have a positive effect on another individual. Each person has about 100 trillion tiny organisms (microorganisms) living in or on his/her body. All these bacteria, viruses, fungi are collectively known as your microbiome. These “bugs” are good for you and are supposed to be there! The majority of your microbiome lives in your gut and there is a close connection between your microbiome and your health.
Taking the right probiotic can be very helpful in keeping the variety of microorganisms that your body needs to stay healthy. Here are some benefits of taking probiotics:
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Microbes in the gut cover the lining of your intestines. Certain types of bacteria may irritate the intestines. In certain conditions such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, bacteria may get into the intestine’s walls and cause inflammation. The way the gut microbes affect the cells that line your intestines may play a role in inflammatory bowel diseases.
Some studies have found that overweight people tend to have more of the microbes that help the body store fat. The probiotic strain Bifidobacterium lactis B-420 may help with controlling body weight. (At Community Clinical Pharmacy, we carry a specific Probiotic which may aid with weight loss).
Bladder and Vaginal Health
The right probiotic may be very helpful in preventing and treating vaginal and bladder infections. We have collaborated with local urogynecologists and compound a probiotic vaginal cream that is widely prescribed for patients suffering from recurrent infections.
Your microbiome can help keep your skin stay healthy. Certain skin conditions such as eczema and acne may be related to an imbalance of healthy skin bacteria.
HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY
According to research, people with Alzheimer’s disease have less diverse microbiomes. Certain changes in the gut microbiome can lead to stress, depression, and anxiety. Although it is not clear how your microbiome affects your brain, we know that your gut and your brain are connected through millions of nerve cells.
May Help Fight Cancer
Researchers are working on creating microbiome medicines that can be given along with immunotherapy for cancer treatment. We know that antibiotics not only kill the bad bacteria but also kill the good bacteria. Taking one round of antibiotics can change your microbiome for up to a year. In addition to antibiotics, some common medications used to treat high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer can change your microbiome.
When deciding on what probiotic to take, it is a good idea to talk to your healthcare practitioner. With so many choices in the market, you should focus on receiving a well-researched probiotic. Remember that probiotic studies usually research the effects of taking probiotics daily and consistently. Therefore, occasional use isn’t likely to have the same positive results.
You may also follow the tips below to help your microbiome:
• Eat whole grains
• Eat foods with high fiber content
• Drink plenty of water
• Avoid refined foods
• Limit your sugar intake
• Eat fermented foods and yogurt
Feel free to contact us at Community Clinical Pharmacy. We carry a variety of well-researched probiotics and would be happy to help you choose the right one for you.