The Total-Body Health Benefits of Probiotics

The Total-Body Health Benefits of Probiotics

When most people think about probiotics, they think gut health—for a good reason.  Afterall, a diverse population of beneficial microbes keeps your GI system balanced and running smoothly—with a number of benefits for overall wellness. In fact, new research continues to expand on that list of benefits, showing just how important probiotics are for nearly every area of health.  

To start, probiotics help strengthen your gut lining, aka your gut barrier. This  barrier keeps large undigested food pieces, bacteria and other pathogens, toxins, and harmful invaders from leaking into your bloodstream and triggering an inflammatory reaction. In addition, probiotics create essential nutritional compounds including vitamins and short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that play important roles in energy and overall health.  

You’ve probably heard the saying, Health begins in the gut. And now we know why—thanks to the extensive research linking the gut microbiome to important markers of health and longevity.  So while the extensive benefits of probiotics begin in your gut, they certainly don’t end there.  

10 Proven Ways Probiotics Enhance Your Health  

The human microbiome is a fast-growing area of research, with new discoveries continuing to expand on the benefits and treatment indications of probiotic supplementation.1 From helping to fight off infections, to weight loss, and even cancer prevention and treatment — a balanced, healthy gut microbiome is essential.  

Here are ten ways that the right probiotic supplements can improve your health: 

1. Manage and Prevent Type 2 Diabetes 

Certain probiotics can significantly improve blood glucose balance in the body. Research shows the right probiotics can help transport sugar from the bloodstream (where it can wreak havoc if levels get too high) and into your cells for energy production. Studies show that probiotics help: 

  • Reduce fasting blood sugar2  
  • Reduce HbA1c, a marker of blood sugar control3 
  • Boost insulin sensitivity and control insulin resistance4 

2. Balance Cholesterol  

Your body needs just the right amount of cholesterol for optimal health and energy. Probiotics help keep cholesterol and triglycerides in balance by: 

  • Raising HDL (good cholesterol) levels5 
  • Balancing total cholesterol levels6 
  • Reducing LDL (bad cholesterol) levels7  
  • Lowering high triglyceride levels7 

Specifically, the right probiotics fight unhealthy cholesterol through three specific mechanisms:8 

  • Create SCFAs that lower cholesterol production in the liver 
  • Metabolize bile acids, forcing the liver to use cholesterol to make more bile acids 
  • Consume cholesterol in the gut  

3. Balance Blood Pressure 

Research shows several ways that probiotic bacteria support healthy blood pressure: 

  • Help blood vessels stay flexible and elastic to handle variations in pressure9 
  • Reduce elevated blood pressure10 
  • Address hypertension to reduce the risk of complications11 

4. Fight Cardiovascular Disease 

In addition to balancing cholesterol and blood pressure, probiotics also support your cardiovascular system as a whole by: 

  • Reducing levels of a harmful compound called TMAO that’s associated with heart attacks and strokes12 
  • Controlling oxidative stress13 
  • Lowering inflammation by controlling pro-inflammatory proteins called cytokines 

5. Prevent Liver Disease 

Probiotics are shown to support healthy liver function through several mechanisms: 

  • Reducing liver inflammation and improving liver health in the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)14 
  • Reducing liver scarring (fibrosis) in the treatment of liver cirrhosis15  
  • Reducing disease severity in patients with end-stage liver failure16 
  • Helping to prevent and treat liver cancer17 

6. Control Weight 

Probiotics play a key role in gut health, appetite control and metabolism, so it’s no wonder they can have a dramatic impact on your weight. A number of clinical studies show how probiotics can work to: 

  • Prevent obesity18 
  • Promote weight loss19 
  • Lower BMI (body mass index)20 
  • Reduce waist measurements20 

7. Improve Cognitive Function 

The gut-brain axis is a direct pathway by which your GI system influences your neurological system and vice versa. Your gut bacteria can have a huge effect on your thinking and emotions, and a healthy population of beneficial microbes is shown to actively support brain health in a number of ways: 

  • Support memory and cognition21 
  • Prevent cognitive decline22 
  • Improve symptoms of depression and anxiety23,24 

8. Strengthen Bones and Joints 

Surprisingly, probiotics also have a big impact on joint comfort and musculoskeletal health. Beyond reducing inflammation – key for relieving joint pain – probiotics also: 

  • Increase bone turnover, where your body removes old, brittle bone cells and replaces them with fresh, healthy new bone cells25 
  • Reduce fracture healing time26 
  • Increase bone density27 
  • Reduce osteoarthritis pain28 

9. Control Autoimmune Diseases 

Your gut microbiome plays a huge role in regulating and balancing your immune responses. Immune system overreactions are the hallmark of autoimmune conditions, but research shows that taking probiotics can reduce autoimmune flare-ups and ease symptoms.29 Probiotics have been found helpful for a number of autoimmune conditions including: 

  • Rheumatoid arthritis30 
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)31 
  • Multiple sclerosis32 
  • Lupus33  

10. Prevent and Treat Cancer 

Probiotics are proving to be particularly important in the fight against cancer. Research shows the right probiotics can help prevent and treat cancer, and reduce the side effects of chemotherapy, helping to improve outcomes. 34,3536,37 Probiotics show benefit in different types of cancer including: 

  • Colorectal38 
  • Breast39 
  • Prostate40 
  • Lung41  

The Right Probiotic Formula Matters 

You likely won’t get this amazing range of benefits from just any probiotic you grab find in your local grocery store—even those that are refrigerated. That’s because clinical research shows that nearly half of people taking regular pill-based probiotics don’t experience any benefits. The probiotics simply pass through their digestive system without colonizing.  

In my practice, I recommend a unique probiotic formula containing live clinically studied strains proven to deliver a broad-spectrum of healing benefits.  

  • B. longum42 
  • L. acidophilus43 
  • L. casei44 
  • L. rhamnosus45 
  • L. salivarius46 
  • L. lactis47 
  • B. lactis48 
  • S. thermophiles49 

Each of these probiotic strains delivers targeted health benefits, and they are further enhanced in this formula by the addition of prebiotic nutrients, along with 19 organic digestive herbs. Patients report that this live-fermented liquid formula brings rapid relief, and improves long-term digestive health with significant benefits for other areas of health including mood, sleep, energy and more.  

With all that we’re learning about probiotics today, it’s no wonder that these friendly flora are earning widespread recognition as some of the most powerful natural health solutions for long-term wellness and vitality.  

Sources: 

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