If there is a silver bullet in natural medicine, it’s probably the probiotic. Probiotics can help you heal from gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease. Probiotics also aid in the assimilation of what you eat.
But their benefits extend far beyond your gut. They also heal other health issues you wouldn’t expect like eczema, allergies, colds, rheumatoid arthritis, urinary tract infections, tooth decay, periodontal disease, and more.
Here are several other things that probiotics do to help you live a long, healthy life:
1. Prevention of Colon Cancer. A growing number of studies have shown gut health may be the key to avoiding colon cancer. One hundred trillion microorganisms are living in our intestines. Some are good, some are bad. What we eat, where we live, and our genetics can affect the balance of these bacteria. Several studies show that people with colon cancer had an unhealthy population of gut bacteria before cancer developed. Taking probiotics, eating probiotic foods such as yogurt, fermented sauerkraut, kimchi or miso, or drinking kombucha or kefir can help promote a healthy gut and prevent colon cancer.
2. Probiotics suppress the growth of parasites, fungi, disease-causing bacteria, and yeasts. These are factors that cause the increase of infectious diarrhea, skin infection, a stomach infection, irritable bowel disease, tooth decay, Helicobacter pylori infection, vaginal infection, and respiratory infection. Probiotics are known to be effective in eliminating parasites and viruses that can trigger illness.
3. Improve Immune System. 70-80% of our immune system resides in the gut. Probiotics help promote the lining of the intestines to form a protective barrier against harmful bacteria. This action helps promote a stronger immune system allowing the body to ward off infection and disease. Some healthy intestinal flora produces lactic and acetic acids. These acids lower the pH of the gut, leaving it vulnerable to the growth of harmful bacteria. Probiotics release antibacterial peptides that can kill these harmful bacteria, thus promoting a stronger immune system.
4. Lowering Cholesterol. Several studies have shown, the bacteria, Lactobacillus reuteri, can help lower LDL cholesterol levels. These studies show that it can break down cholesterol esters that are attached to the bad saturated fats.
5. Lowering Blood Pressure. Probiotics may-improve-your-blood-pressure.
6. Protect Your Brain. Do you have anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder? If you do, popping a daily probiotic can help. It can also help your learning and memory. But the best brain benefits of probiotics are just coming to the surface. The brain benefits of probiotics are transmitted via the microbiota-gut-brain axis. This axis allows for constant communication between the bacteria in your gut (your microbiome), your gastrointestinal system, and your brain. That’s because your microbiome influences your gastrointestinal function, which influences your immune system, hormones and ultimately your nervous system (including your brain). So a healthier brain really could be a daily probiotic pill away.
7. Ease Allergies. Hay fever, which is the culprit behind most seasonal allergies, basically feels like a cold that won’t go away — runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, and sneezing. It’s caused by the pollen and other airborne allergens released by plants and fungi when they wake up in the spring. It can also be caused by indoor allergens like dust mites or pet dander. But whatever’s behind your hay fever, it appears probiotics can help. That’s because, if you start the daily probiotic regimen, you won’t have to suffer through the annoying side effects of antihistamines, like sleepiness and brain fog, or the dangerous ones, like increased blood pressure.
8. Melt Body Fat and Lose Weight. Probiotics, especially those containing some Lactobacillus strains, have been proven to help you lose weight. If you stick to a healthy diet, exercise and take this pill daily, you’ll sculpt your body into perfect physical shape. But even if you do nothing else but take a probiotic every day, you’ll still drop pounds and end up with healthier body weight and body mass index. I know it sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. A daily probiotic can really be just that powerful.
9. Reduce Wrinkles and Help You Look Younger. If you’d like to look as young as you feel — maybe even younger — there’s something you can do that’s much cheaper, easier, and less dangerous than Botox. You can pop a pill. Not a prescription pill, of course, with a laundry list of life-threatening side effects, but a safe and effective probiotic pill filled with beneficial bacteria that keeps your skin clearer, smoother, and more vibrant. Taking oral probiotics can help clear up acne and rosacea, as well as reduce wrinkle depth and improve skin elasticity.
10. Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer. Some of the most recent and most promising news about probiotics reveals this simple supplement has the power to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. So if you do just one thing to avoid breast cancer, take a daily probiotic. That’s because your breasts, like your gut, are colonized by bacteria. And researchers have found that the breast tissue of women with breast cancer contains elevated levels of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus epidermidis, two types of harmful bacteria that have been found to cause DNA damage that can lead to cancer development. The very same research found that Lactobacillus and Streptococcus, two kinds of health-promoting bacteria known to have anticarcinogenic properties, were much more plentiful in healthy, cancer-free breasts than in cancerous ones.
So if you’re not already boosting your gut, bone, and even your brain health with a daily probiotic supplement, or probiotic foods like yogurt and sauerkraut, you most definitely should get started right away.
11. Protect Your Bones. A daily probiotic may help you prevent the bone loss that affects all of us as our bodies begin to produce less of the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen. And that’s of vital importance.
12. Your Daily Detox. Probiotics are like a silver bullet for a lot of health issues, and it turns out they can protect your body from heavy metal toxicity too. Beneficial bacteria are indeed capable of degrading pesticides and sequestering toxic chemicals. So even if you don’t have any symptoms of heavy metal toxicity, you’re exposed to heavy metals daily, and you need to help your body get rid of them before you do experience adverse effects.