In your body, there are tons of microorganism called bacteria. However, these bacteria are divided into two groups, good bacteria and bad bacteria. It is really important to maintain the balance between that good bacteria and bad bacteria because if the imbalance between those bacteria occurs, it will affect your health. The bacteria that considered good bacteria are called probiotics.
There are many types of good bacteria that classified as probiotics. These are the two common group of bacteria that classified as probiotics.
- Lactobacillus : this is the most common types of bacteria that classified as probiotics. You could increase the amount of this probiotic by consuming fermented foods. This probiotic is also essential to maintain the health of your digestive system and might be beneficial for people who can’t digest lactose.
- Bifidobacterium : this probiotic will be beneficial for you to prevent the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. You could increase the amount of Bifidobacterium by consuming dairy product.
Sometimes if you need some supplies of probiotics, you could add it by consuming probiotics supplement or eating foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, onions, whole grains, or fermented foods such as yoghurt, kimchi, miso, and pickled vegetables. We assure you that those foods will increase the amount of healthful bacteria in your body, which then will help the balance between good bacteria and bad bacteria. In this article, we already have the advantages on taking probiotics for the health of your body. Here are the health benefits of probiotics.
- Digestive Health
Probiotic is commonly known as the opposite of antibiotics, so may doctors say that a probiotic is a repopulate for diseases caused by antibiotic, especially a disease associated by the digestive system. Some studies say that about 30 percent of people who taking antibiotics suffering from disease associated with the digestive system such as diarrhea because antibiotics can kill the healthful bacteria. Healthful bacteria in our digestive tract is an important part to help the absorption of nutrients from the food that we just ate. By eating foods that contain probiotic, the healthful bacteria can be re-populated in our digestive tract.
Probiotic is also essential for people who are suffering from diseases associated with irritable bowel syndrome that accompanied with many symptoms such as an abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, or constipation. One study conducted to women evidence that probiotics can relieve those symptoms after she given a probiotic supplement that contains Bifidobacterium infantis.
- Prevents Allergies
Eating foods that contain probiotics is also essential to protect yourself from allergies. Some studies evidence that pregnant women who taking on probiotics will have a 30 percent reduction from a problem related to childhood eczema, which is an early sign of allergies, in their baby. Also, pregnant women who taking on probiotics showed 50 percent higher levels of tissue inflammation which will protect yourself from allergies.
- Urinary Health
Eating food that contains probiotics is beneficial for women, especially when you’re getting pregnant. Probiotics will protect you from bad bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections. These bad bacteria could invade your urinary tract from many sources, like your own bowel, or after you are having a sexual intercourse. By taking probiotics, the population of healthy bacteria in your urinary tract would be maintained, thus, bad bacteria couldn’t invade your urinary tract. But, you still need to aware about your own cleanliness as it is one of the important things to do to stay away from urinary tract infections.
- Prevents Obesity
Researchers in Stanford University evidence that probiotics might have an effect of reducing your weight. In that research, they found out that people with obesity problem have different gut bacteria compared to normal weighted people. These bacteria that appear in obese people will reduce the possibility of inflammation and other causes related to obesity. Some studies also reveal that in obese people, this healthful bacteria in their intestinal tract will absorb more calories and store them in fat cells. Also, according to a study conducted by European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who drank fermented milk that contains Lactobacillus gasseri had a reduction in body weight after 12 weeks. So, taking probiotics is an essential one if you want to reduce your body weight.
- Vaginal Health
It is very important to keep the balance between good and bad bacteria in the vagina. When the imbalance between good and bad bacteria occur in the vagina, you will be most likely to suffers from infections, namely bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections. If this bacterial vaginosis left untreated, you could have problems regarding your pregnancy as it is could lead to premature labor. Probiotics will act as vaginal suppositories, while bacteria called L.acidophilius could protect you from infection and also could support antibiotics as a treatment if you already have an infection.
- Reduce the Possibility of Diabetes
A study conducted at the University of Copenhagen and the Beijing Genomics Institute evidence that the gut bacteria in the body of people with symptoms of diabetes type 2 is completely different that the gut bacteria in people without symptoms of diabetes type 2. Some studies also shows that probiotics supplement is essential to reduce the possibility of diabetes. Bacteria called L. acidophilus had a positive effect to reduce the sensitivity of insulin. So it would be beneficial if you avoid antibiotics since it will kill the healthful bacteria that really helpful to reduce the sensitivity of your insulin.
- Boost Your Mood
Some researchers also indicate that people who eating foods that contains high amount of probiotics will be most likely to avoid from anxiety, stress, and depression. When the imbalance of gut bacteria occurs in your gut, it will have an effect for your overall moods. That could happen because of the connection between the gut and the brain. Some researchers also evidence that bacteria like Lactobacillus might be effective to relieve the stress and give a relaxation when you feel anxiety or depression.
- Skin Health
A journal titled Gut Pathogens evidence that the gut bacteria played an important role between your brain, skin, and mood. The journal highlighting that there is a connection between skin condition and mood condition, for example if you’re having an acne, you will be most likely to have an anxiety or stress disorders. This acne problem could happen because of problems related to gastric-internal. In other words, there is a link between your brain, skin, and immune system that all of them is mediated by gut bacteria. Eating foods that contain high amount of probiotics could maintain the amount of your gut bacteria.
- Oral Health
Research also indicates that probiotics could be beneficial to improve your oral health. Healthful bacteria such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and other strains could prevent the growth of Streptococcus mutans that have a bad effect for your breath and might cause other problems related to your oral like cavities and gum problems.
- Improves Immunity
This is one the most beneficial thing if you take on probiotics. Probiotics contain healthful bacteria such as Bifidobacteria which will fight against bad bacteria that is really harmful for your body. But when you are getting older, you can’t deny that your gut bacteria will change, especially the reduction of Bifidobacteria. The reduction of this bacteria will make you become more susceptible from various kinds of disease such as colds, flu, and infections. So, it is truly beneficial for you to consume probiotics since it will improve your immune system.
If you still don’t believe that the probiotics is an effective way to improve your immune system, the study that conducted in 475 healthy men and women will provide you an evidence. They divided into two groups, one group taking on probiotics, while the other group taking on placebo. After five and a half months, group of people who are taking probiotics experienced 25 percent fewer from influenza symptoms, 19 percent fewer from cold symptoms, and 50 percent fewer from fever symptoms compared with the group who are taking placebo.
- Prevents Necrotizing Enterocolitis
Some studies show that consuming probiotics could reduce the risk of having necrotizing enterocolitis, a deadly disease that occurs when the sections of bowel undergo necrosis. This disease commonly happened to pregnant women and will lead into premature labor. Probiotic will reduce the risk of having this disease to more than 50 percent rather than the usual controls in the doctor.
- Reduces the Possibility of Cholesterol
Some studies also evidence that strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) can be effective to reduce the serum of cholesterol levels by breaking down the bile in the gut. Research also conducted an experiment on a yogurt with probiotic content on serum cholesterol levels. The result shows a decrease of 4 percent in total cholesterol concentration and a decrease of 5% in serum LDL concentration.
Probiotics Side Effects
According to some studies, actually probiotics doesn’t have any side effect that can possibly harm your body. In fact, probiotics will boost your immunity and have a better digestive system. Although there are no specific side effects associated with probiotics, you still need to give the attention of “transitional period” after you are taking probiotics, such as gas and bloating, especially if you already have problems related to the imbalance of your gut bacteria.
Many people who tried to consume probiotics often feel inconvenience or discomfort afterwards. No wonder, they always make an assumption afterwards that the probiotics are actually making their health become worse than before and as the result, they stop to consume probiotics before it can help your problem. Well, if you are experiencing some discomfort or inconvenient after consuming probiotics, you must understand that those symptoms are common and temporary, because those symptoms are a sign that probiotics are actually ready to work to help you with your problems.
In your body, the normal pH of the colon is between 6.7 and 6.9, while 7.0 is neutral. If the pH is below that standard, it is called acidic while if the pH is above that standard, it is called alkaline. In order to produce a good gut bacteria, your colon needs to be slightly acidic, which means that your colon’s pH is must slightly below 6.7.
Meanwhile, if you are already taking drugs or antibiotics, or anything that could be harmful for your gut bacteria, it will make the environment of the colon become alkaline. Then, when you are consuming probiotics, these healthful bacteria will change the colon’s pH into more acidic.
This is why you are tend to feel incovenient and discomfort, experiencing many symptoms such as bloating, gas, or loose stools. You will feel that way because the clon’s pH changes from alkaline to acidic and there are some tug of war between bad bacteria and good bacteria. So, if you feel incovenient after consuming probiotics, you are suggested to continue to consume probiotics and don’t stop it.
In summary, it is really great for you to consume various foods that contain probiotic as it doesn’t have harmful side effects for your body. In fact, by having a sufficient probiotic in your body will bring tons of greatness for your health, particularly your immune system and digestive system.