Healthy intestinal bacteria are important for a healthy functioning immune system, gut function and a healthy metabolism. The bacterial in your gut have a profound impact on brain chemistry, your weight and overall mental, emotional and physical health. Harmful bacteria and imbalances of healthy bacteria increase inflammation, risk of depression, autoimmunity and make cells less sensitive to insulin.
Culprits that destroy, compromise and disrupt healthy flora include:
|* Antibiotics||* Birth control pills||* Sugar, grains, fructose|
|* HCL deficiency||* NSAIDs, Rx & steroid drugs||* Infections & mycotoxins|
|* Chronic stress||* GMOs, trans fats, omega-6 fats||* Hypoglycemia, diabetes|
|* Chemotherapy||* Antibacterial soaps & wipes||* Nutrient-deficient diets|
A low or insufficient population of healthy flora can lead to an inability to absorb nutrients, trigger Candida overgrowth, hair loss, gas and bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation, food sensitivities, various skin conditions and cause serious health problems .
Probiotics are one of the supplements you’ll read about in my books, The Power of 4 and Fat Loss Revolution. The word probiotic is derived from the Greek meaning "for life." Probiotics are live, beneficial, healthy bacteria that help us in many ways. This healthy bacteria resides in the intestinal tract and contributes to overall mental, emotional and physical health by improving nutrition, lowering inflammation and protecting against disease.
25 Reasons Probiotics Are Essential for Health, Vitality, Longevity & Fat Loss
1. Enhance intestinal health and improved digestion.
2. Promote regularity of bowel function.
3. Restore healthy flora and lessens side effects after a bout of antibiotics (one of the most over-prescribed Rx drugs). Antibiotics deplete your body of essential nutrients, disrupt normal gut flora and can cause behavioral changes (increasing risk for depression and anxiety).
4. Helpful to reduce inflammation.
5. Play a role in normalizing and decreasing serum cholesterol and triglycerides.
6. Decrease belly fat.
7. Fight infectious diseases
8. Help prevent production and absorption of toxins produced by disease-causing bacteria which reduces the toxic load of the liver.
9. Improve nutrient absorption.
10. Prevent against vaginal and urinary tract infections
11. Boosts immune function – Approximately 70-80 percent of your immune system is located in your gut. If your gut is overloaded with bad bacteria, there’s a good chance your immune system isn’t functioning optimally. Bacteria residing the the gut influences brain chemistry and behavior.
12. Protection against invasion of pathogenic viruses, yeasts, Candida, parasites and bacteria. Note: Probiotic, Saccharomyces boulardii, supports GI tract health and protects against intestinal dysbiosis. It has a strong negative effect on Candida and prevents Candida from forming.
13. Reduces risk of hospital infections after surgery.
14. Supports healthy skin. Helpful for eczema, hives, psoriasis, Candida, rashes and acne. In a study with 300 patients, 80 percent of those with acne had some clinical improvement when they supplemented with probiotics.
15. Addresses gastrointestinal syndromes (helpful for diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, IBS, leaky gut, Crohn’s and other gut inflammations)
16. Encourages production of digestive enzymes, B12 and B vitamins
17. May reduce incidence of life-long allergies, asthma and atopic eczema when taken during pregnancy and after birth
18. May decrease production of intestinal carcinogens
19. Taken during the first trimester of pregnancy, probiotics will help women lose weight after giving birth. Source: European Congress on Obesity Kirsi Laitinen et al.
20. Improves enzymatic activity.
22. Protects against cancer development and progression
24. Reduce your chance of catching a cold, coming down with the flu and less incidence of upper respiratory tract infections.
25. Athletes and all those exposed to oxidative stress may benefit from probiotics to increase antioxidant levels and neutralize the effects of reactive oxygen species. Curr Microbiol, 2011 June; 62(6): 1689-96.
Healthy probiotic-rich foods include natto, yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut, and are naturally fermented and unpasteurized. There are also foods that do not contain bacteria, but help good bacteria grow. These are known as prebiotics and can be obtained by eating garlic, onions, leeks, artichokes and chlorella.
There's a lot of buzz in the media about taking healthy probiotics. Are probiotics important for your health, or just a complete waste of time and money? This video reveals some surprising news about what's good for your gut. Wellness Minute Video
Most people benefit from supplementing with probiotics daily. The most common probiotic bacteria in supplements are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. There are over 35 species of Bifidobacteria and 125 species of Lactobacilli making up the majority of gut microflora found in your large bowel or colon. Opt for a high-quality, live-food probiotic, and always check the expiration date as some retailers keep expired products on their shelves. My recommended and favorite whole-food probiotics are Flora 20-14 Ultra Strength and Klaire Labs probiotics.
Copyright © Paula Owens
- Y Kadooka, M Sato., et al. Regulation of abdominal adiposity by probiotics (Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055) in adults with obese tendencies in a randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 64, 636-643 (June 2010).
- Siver RH: Lactobacillus for the control of acne. J Med Soc New Jersey 1961, 59:52-53.
- Krasowska, A., et al. The antagonistic effect of Saccharomyces boulardii on Candida albicans filamentation, adhesion and biofilm formation. (2009) FEMS Yeast Res. 9(8): 1312-1321.