Probiotics are receiving more attention in recent years and rightfully so. The health benefits that probiotics offer are noticeable and life-changing. However, not everyone knows how they work or how to find the best probiotic.
To better understand how you can leverage probiotics for a better life, it’s best to have a good foundation on what they are and what they do.
An Introduction to Probiotics
Probiotics are bacteria that you consume and make their way to your intestines. Known as “good bacteria,” probiotics enter your gut where they counteract bad bacteria. Harmful bacteria can wreak havoc on your digestive system and beyond.
On top of evening out the balance between good and bad bacteria, probiotics are also tiny nutrient production plants. They produce vitamins B and K which are essential for everything from regulating blood clotting to controlling metabolism.
Benefits of Probiotics
To better understand the benefits of probiotics, you only need to single out some of their more noticeable advantages. As stated above, probiotics help with the production of vital nutrients. Prothrombin is a protein that helps your blood close wounds.
Without adequate blood clotting capability, your body is vulnerable to cuts as well as internal bleeding. Probiotics make sure your immune system mechanisms are up to the task.
By controlling your metabolism, probiotics allow you to shed excess fat. Sometimes, losing weight can be as simple as regulating your gut flora. Probiotics cause your gut bacteria to reach homeostasis that is ideal for your body’s internal energy exchange.
If those benefits aren’t enough, you’ll be happy to know that probiotics also boost heart health. Vitamin K keeps your blood pressure low so that your heart doesn’t struggle to do its job.
You can put bone health in the pros of probiotics as these helpful bacteria ensure your bones stay strong. Last but not least, you can expect cognitive health to get a boost from consuming probiotics. Studies show that older people can retain stronger memory functionality with the help of vitamin K.
There are many probiotic products on the market. You need to make sure you choose products that contain active bacterial cultures. The packaging should indicate this so it only takes a few seconds to read through the label.
While there are hundreds of types of probiotics and seven main types found in products, try to focus on Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus or Saccharomyces boulardii. These have the most research behind their effectiveness.
One suggestion is to stay away from store brands. Although these products contain probiotics, they may not be adequate for reaching your intestines intact. For instance, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus cannot make it past your stomach acid.
Therefore, you should seek a brand that contains added bacteria in the starter culture. This ensures that the helpful bacteria you seek for your gut will make it to their destination.
How To Get Started With Probiotics
Even though probiotics are generally safe, you want to ease into them. Start small and make sure your body accepts the product. If you have any concerns with how your body might react, don’t hesitate to consult a gastroenterologist or your family doctor.
Probiotic side effects mostly concern your digestive system. Bloating and gas can appear for some people. Weight loss, although a desirable outcome for most, might be contrary to some people’s health. Those that are immunocompromised should check with their doctor before starting a probiotic supplement regimen.
Boost Your Health With Probiotics
Finding the best probiotic for your needs is as simple as reading a few labels. Make sure your product of choice has the right probiotics to offer life-changing results through the regulation of your gut flora.