Probiotics are live microorganisms that contain powerful benefits for your body and brain. You can find them in all fermented food and snacks yogurt, kimchi, miso, and even some kinds of cheese.
An increased number of studies show that overall health and disease are linked to the balance of bacteria in your digestive system. Probiotics help promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria and have been linked to a wide range of health benefits.
Here is a highlight of some of the best health benefits linked to probiotics:
Balance The Friendly Bacteria in Your Digestive System
Imbalances are usually caused by illness, antibiotic medication, and poor diet. These can develop into digestive issues, allergies, mental health problems, and obesity, to name a few.
Help Prevent and Treat Diarrhea
The live microorganisms are notorious for their ability to prevent and reduce the intensity of diarrhea. The effectiveness varies, however, depending on the type and dose of the probiotic taken
Diarrhea is a common side effect of taking antibiotics because antibacterials can negatively affect the bacteria balance in the gut (6Trusted Source).
In one study, researchers found that taking probiotics reduced antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 42%. An extensive review of 35 studies found certain strains of probiotics can reduce the duration of infectious diarrhea by an average of 25 hours, and reduced the risk of travelers' diarrhea by 8%.
Improve Some Mental Health Conditions
One review of 15 human studies found supplementing with Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains for 1-2 months can improve anxiety, depression, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and memory.
An additional study followed 70 chemical workers for 6 weeks. Those who consumed 100 grams of probiotic yogurt per day or took a daily probiotic capsule experienced benefits for general health, depression, anxiety, and stress (16Trusted Source).
Help Keep Your Heart Healthy
Probiotics support keeping your heart healthy by lowering LDL ("bad") cholesterol and blood pressure. Certain lactic acid-producing bacteria may reduce cholesterol by breaking down bile in the gut.
Bile is a naturally occurring fluid made mostly of cholesterol that aids digestion. Probiotics can prevent it from being reabsorbed in the gut, where it can enter the blood as cholesterol.
A review of 5 studies found that eating probiotic yogurt for 2-8 weeks reduced total cholesterol by 4% and LDL cholesterol by 5% (20Trusted Source).
Probiotic intake may also help lower blood pressure. A review of 9 studies found that probiotic supplements modestly reduced blood pressure.
A variety of foods contain probiotics and they can also be taken as tablets, capsules, and powders that contain the bacteria in dried form. KPTown offers a discounted pack of Chong Kun Dang Lacto-Fit ProBiotics Gold at 20% off.
It's important to note that some probiotics can be eliminated by stomach acid before they even reach the gut. You'll have to consume adequate amounts to get the health benefits.