Probiotics play a vital role in the health of our digestive systems. They are living microorganisms that are intended to deliver healthy bacteria to our large intestine, to colonize and flourish. This is important because our bodies are made up of 10-20x more bacteria than cells. That is a lot! Keeping the right balance can be hard, but Probiotics are a new category of functional foods that works to do just that. When the right balance of healthy and bad bacteria is achieved, gastrointestinal health is optimized.
So what are these health benefits? There are many. Before I list them though I want to share a few interesting facts with you. First, it is estimated that 95 million Americans suffer from gastrointestinal dysfunction. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the most common diagnosis’s, and is one of the top 10 reasons for visits to the doctor. That is staggering news. Some of the most common digestive problems include constipation, diarrhea and indigestion. Probiotics, effectively administered, can help with all of the above.
Probiotics assist the body in re-establishing the proper balance necessary for optimal intestinal function and good health. When this balance is optimized, studies have shown the following health benefits:
o Increased digestion of food
o Increased absorption of vitamins and minerals, like calcium
o Decrease in growth of harmful bacterial that cause trouble
o Enhanced metabolism
o Stimulated immune system- the bodies natural defense mechanism
o Decrease in inflammation
As you can see, probiotics are necessary and can positively affect our overall health. It is important to incorporate them into you diet as much as possible. I hope this overview has educated you enough to make some changes to your regular diet and optimize your health.