Did you know that the gut is one of the main powerhouses of the body? So many people suffer from illnesses, ailments, and conditions that originated in the gut without even realizing it (hello, skin conditions and moodiness). That is why it is crucial to maintain proper gut health to maximize your health and wellness.
Dr. Vikki Petersen, certified clinical nutritionist, chiropractor, and certified functional medicine practitioner, dives into the importance of probiotics to maintaining one’s overall health and wellness.
“Probiotics are live microbes, typically bacteria and yeasts, that naturally live within your large intestine. They are part of your microbiome, a diverse group of trillions of organisms that consist of bacteria, yeast, and protozoa,” says Dr. Petersen. “Everyone’s microbiome is unique, but there are common probiotic bacteria such as lactobacillus and bifidobacterium that are commonly found in over-the-counter probiotic formulas. Probiotics are generally quite safe and are taken with the intention of reestablishing a healthy balance of microbes in your gut. The main goal of probiotics is to introduce good bacteria and maintain a healthy balance in your body.”
Here are Dr. Vikki Petersen’s top six responses why everyone should be taking probiotics daily:
Improves Cell Growth
- Probiotics enhance the development of natural killer cells and stimulate the activity of the cells that line your intestine, your intestinal epithelial cells. The lining and integrity of the single layer of cells that make up the lining of your small intestine is integral to a strong immune response and proper digestion.
- Studies have suggested that probiotics can assist you in losing weight and belly fat. The balance of two families of beneficial bacteria, Bacteroides, and firmicutes seems to be key. Overweight individuals tend to have more firmicutes and fewer bacteroidetes as compared to individuals of average weight.
- Probiotics can improve digestion in a variety of ways. They can improve the digestion of carbohydrates and assist in absorbing protein and other vitamins and nutrients. Other digestive symptoms that will enhance with probiotics include gas, bloating, digestive pain, diarrhea, and constipation.
- Those suffering from constipation have a different balance of bacteria in their intestines when compared to those who do not suffer. Probiotics serve to introduce more beneficial bacteria while lowering the pH of the large intestine, helping stool to move faster.
- Probiotics modulate the inflammatory response in a beneficial fashion... To that end, probiotics are used to treat chronic inflammatory conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis (UC), and celiac disease (CD).
Reduces Bad Cholesterol
- Several studies have found probiotics to reduce total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Specifically, research was conducted with Lactobacillus probiotics. Studies conducted on humans, not animals, have found measurable improvements in overall lipid profiles and reducing triglycerides.