Probiotics are microorganisms that offer some form of health benefit to the host. It also known as beneficial bacteria. They can be found in various different foods. Probiotics are believed to play very important roles in regulating proper intestinal function and digestion by balancing intestinal microflora. But studies show that probiotics can help with a great deal more: warding off infection and boosting immune systems, as well as helping to improve women’s health and perhaps even fighting obesity and cancer.
Newest studies also found that probiotics can:
- battle cancer
- manage autism
- lower cholesterol
- fight bacteria that causes ulcers
- improve acne
- lose weight
- reduce flu and colds
- reduce overuse of antibiotics
- treat kidney stones
- treat colic
- prevent cavities and gum disease
- treat colitis and Crohn’s disease
- combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria
- treat liver disease
Probiotics for Digestive Health
There are more than 1,000 different types of bacteria that live in human digestive track system. The bacteria help to break down food and absorb nutrients. But, when we take antibiotics, medicine that is designed to kill illness-causing bacteria, the drugs can also kill the healthy intestinal bacteria that helps us digest. It causing digestion disorder, for example diarrhea, cramps, bloating, constipation, and abdominal pain. Taking probiotics can repopulate the digestive tract with healthful bacteria. The study found that it was a viable solution for many digestion problem. Probiotics are good for digestive health.
Probiotics for Urinary Health
Probiotics, acording to the research, make a nice compliment to antibiotics among people who suffer from urinary tract infections (UTI). There’s emerging evidence that regular probiotics can help prevent bad bacteria from invading the urinary tract by maintaining a population of healthy bacteria on the tract’s adherence sites.
Urinary tract infections are extremely common, especially in women. University of Maryland Medical Center reported that most urinary tract infections disappear with antibiotics, but about 30 to 40 percent might return. Taking probiotics to repopulate beneficial bacteria make it persist. Probiotics is beneficial for maintain urinary health.
Probotics to Fight Allergies
A High quality study found a relationship between women taking probiotics during pregnancy and a 30 percent reduction in the instance of childhood eczema (an early sign of allergies) in their infants. Researchers selected women who had a history of seasonal allergies (or whose partners had histories of allergies). The infants who received probiotics in-vitro also had 50 percent higher levels of tissue inflammation, which is thought to trigger the immune system and reduce allergy incidence. It’s proven that probiotics support immune system to allergies.
Probiotics for Women’s Health
The vagina relies on a precarious balance of good and bad bacteria (just like urinary tracks). When that balance is off, it can result in one of two very common, though thoroughly uncomfortable infections: bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections. In fact, bacterial vaginosis can actually lead to a yeast infection.
Some small studies have found that L. acidophilius can help prevent infection, manage an already active one or support antibiotics as a treatment. Though it’s worth noting that the probiotics were taken as vaginal suppositories, rather than orally in food.
Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to vaginal infections. Probiotics have a special role in maternal health. Bacterial vaginosis has been indicated as a contributing factor to pre-term labor, making probiotics a potential boon for fetal health. Probiotics are good for women’s health, especially pregnant one.
Probiotics for Immunity
Surprisingly, one of the main functions of healthful bacteria is to stimulate immune response. By eating probiotic rich foods and maintaining good intestinal bacteria. Probiotics can also help to maintain a healthy immune system.
In one small study of students, those who were given a fermented dairy drink (instead of milk) displayed increased production from lymphocytes. Lymphocytes is a marker of immune response. Probiotics support human body’s immune systems.
Probiotics for Weight Loss
The friendly bacteria produce several important nutrients, including vitamin K and certain B-vitamins in the digestive system. They also help break down fiber that the body can’t digest, turning it into beneficial short-chain fatty acids like butyrate.
There are two main families of good bacteria in the gut: bacteroidetes and firmicutes. Body weight seems be related to the balance of these two families of bacteria. In 2006, Stanford University researchers found that obese people had different gut bacteria than normal-weighted people, a first indication that gut flora plays a role in overall weight.
Some research shows that probiotics can help obese people who have received weight loss surgery to maintain weight loss. And in a study of post-partum women who were trying to lose abdomnial fat, the addition of lactobacillusand bifidobacterium capsules helped reduce waist circumference.
Both human and animal studies have found that normal-weight people have different gut bacteria than overweight or obese people. In those studies, people with obesity had morefirmicutes and fewer bacteroidetes, compared to normal-weight people. There are also some animal studies showing that when the gut bacteria from obese mice are transplanted into guts of lean mice, the lean mice get fat.
All of these studies suggest that gut bacteria may play a powerful role in weight regulation.
Probiotics fight Breast Cancer
Dr. Gregor Reid and collaborators found that specific harmful bacteria were present within the breasts of women afflicted with breast cancer. In contrast, beneficial bacteria were found in abundance within healthy breast tissue. The study results were published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology in collaboration with the American Society for Microbiology.
Researchers now believe that beneficial bacteria in the breasts can actually help protect women from cancer. This means that taking probiotics could be a beneficial preventative practice for women against the disease.
Top 5 Probiotic Rich Foods
If you want to start consuming probiotic-rich foods, here is a list of the most beneficial probiotic foods:
Kefir is fermented dairy product with a unique combination of milk and fermented kefir grains. Kefir is created by the fermentation of milk by the bacteria, and yeasts in kefir starter break down lactose in the milk. That’s why kefir is suitable for those who are otherwise lactose intolerant.
It has a slightly acidic and tart flavor and contains anywhere from 10 to 34 strains of probiotics. Kefir is similar to yogurt, but because it’s fermented with yeast and more bacteria, the final product is higher in probiotics.
Sauerkraut is high in vitamin C and digestive enzymes. It’s also a good source of natural lactic acid bacteria, such as lactobacillus. Sauerkraut juice has been studied to benefit digestive issues like leaky gut, diarrhea and constipation, and is also effective at helping you kick a cold fast.
Made from fermented cabbage and other vegetables, sauerkraut is not diverse in probiotics but is high in organic acids (what gives food its sour taste) that support the growth of good bacteria.
3. Coconut Kefir
Coconut kefir is made by fermenting the juice of young coconuts with kefir grains, this dairy-free option for kefir has some of the same probiotics as traditional dairy kefir but is typically not as high in probiotics. Still, it has several strains that are great for your health. Coconut kefir has a great flavor, and you can add a bit of stevia, water and lime juice to it to make a great-tasting drink.
A popular dish in Japan consisting of fermented soybeans, natto contains the extremely powerful probiotic bacillus subtilis, which has been proven to bolster your immune system, support cardiovascular health and enhance digestion of vitamin K2. Natto can also contain vitamin B12, which is lacking in vegan diets and is one of the highest plant-based sources of protein at 17.7 grams per 100-gram serving size.
Possibly the most popular probiotic food is live cultured yogurt or greek yogurt made from the milk of cows, goats or sheep. Yogurt in most cases can rank at the top of probiotic foods if it comes from raw, grass-fed animals. The problem is there is a large variation on the quality of yogurts on the market today.
It’s recommend when buying yogurt to look for three things: First, that it comes from goat’s, sheep milk or A2 cows milk; second, that it’s grass-fed; and third, that it’s organic.