I still remember the topic “Good vs. Bad Bacteria” as it was the topic of my little sister’s health project when she was in grade seven. As a big sister, it was my job to help her with the fancy science projects. OHHH!!! How I hated that! Well, no matter how much I detested that, helping her turned out to be quite useful for me.
When we think of bacteria, we always tend to relate them with horrible diseases like pneumonia, meningitis and other infections. Do you know millions of bacteria reside in our body? Yes! Millions! And Guess What? These bacteria are the heroes and protectors who are the reasons for the well being of our body. Good bacteria plays a vital role to digest food, absorb nutrients, produce several vitamins and balance immune system. These good bacteria or protectors of our body are called “probiotics.”
SO, WHAT ARE PROBIOTICS?
Probiotics are the living bacteria and yeasts. They are naturally present in our body to maintain a germ free gut. We can also intake probiotics in the form of pills and from foods that are prepared by bacterial fermentation. S
Varieties of fermented foods are very good source of probiotics. These foods are best supplements of probiotics. These include:
PROBIOTICS FOR HEART HEALTH
When we talk about probiotics, we often think of it as important supplement for the gut, but cardiologists say otherwise. Probiotics are also important for our heart health as most of the cardiovascular disease has been linked to inflammation and a major source of inflammation is the gut. Probiotics play a crucial role in cutting out the bad cholesterol from our body.
Reduction of the bad cholesterol means healthy, happy heart. According to the renowned cardiologist and best-selling author of The Whole Heart Solution, Joel K. Kahn,
“Improvements in heart function and a reduction in cholesterol and inflammatory markers were seen in the group treated with probiotics.”
Cholesterol, gulped down as part of the diet or derived from hepatic synthesis is converted into the bile acids cholic and chenodeoxycholic acids. Bile acids are very bad for digestion and absorption of fats. Probiotics helps to breakdown bile in the gut which is very good for our heart in surprising ways.
So, this leads us to one major question, “What are other health benefits of Probiotics?”
HEALTH BENEFITS OF PROBIOTICS
Builds a good immunity system
Probiotics are effective for our immunity system. They prevent the growth of destructive gut bacteria. Some probiotics helps in the production of natural antibodies like T lymphocytes, and the IgA-producing cells. It also plays vital role in getting rid of cold. Probiotics adjusts the immune system, increasing and improving the body’s innate immunity. This modulating effect helps toimprove unnecessary swelling in the gut, thus enhancing immune function.
Improves vaginal health
Pregnancy-related complications resulting due to bacterial vaginosis can be warded off with the use of probiotics. Two species of probiotic bacteria, Lactobacillus rhamnosus (GR-1) and Lactobacillus reuteri (RC-14) have been identified as beneficial for female health. These probiotics show powerful effects in averting and fighting bacterial and fungal vaginal infections.
Beneficial for digestion
Probiotics reinstate the natural balance of gut bacteria. Digestive issues like constipation, diarrhea and crohn’s disease can be effectively treated by probiotics. Probiotics lower the pH level in the colon, which might help stool move faster through it. Researchers found that probiotics can shorten diarrhea attacks in children.
Maintains good oral health
Probiotics helps to get rid of mouth and throat infections. Not only that it helps to remove plaques, fight bad breathe, decreases inflammation of gum, manages systems of gingivitis and prevent oral cancer as well.
Improves mental health
Consuming probiotic foods alleviates mental disorders. It is obvious that good gut health promotes good mental health. Studies have shown that obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), autism, depression, and anxiety improve with the help of probiotic tablets.
To sum up, though there are millions of harmful bacteria known to cause some serious diseases, fortunately, we do have our well armed good bacteria on the defense line, ready to fight against anything! And that’s why we need probiotics just as much as we need other supplements.