3 Incredible Benefits Of Probiotics That Go Beyond Gut Health
First Of All, What Exactly Are Probiotics?
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines probiotics as “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”.
In simpler terms, they are live microorganisms or friendly bacteria that can help treat, prevent or improve certain diseases, and promote general health. You can get them from probiotics foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, miso, and others, as well as from supplements.
The two most common types of probiotics are - Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
People in different parts of the world have been using probiotics foods for centuries. However, in the last few years, their use has gained widespread attention both in public and in the scientific community.
So, how do probiotics benefit the body beyond gut health?
1. Probiotics Can Make You Smarter, Happier & More resistant To Stressors.
Probiotics, strange as it may sound, have a profound impact on the brain. Because the gut bacteria can produce brain chemicals such as serotonin and GABA, they can readily influence your mood, sleep, and memory.
According to a 2016 study, taking a supplement of different Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains for 4 weeks can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and obsessive- compulsive disorder (OCD). In addition, the researchers also found that probiotics supplementation improved the participants’ memory.
How about a cup of yogurt or a probiotic capsule an hour before a business presentation? Give it a shot, and let us know how it works for you.
2. Probiotics Can Help Lower Bad Cholesterol Levels.
The low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol is notorious for its potential role in the causation of heart diseases such as a heart attack or stroke.
In one study, researchers found taking fermented foods like yogurt for up to 8 weeks decreased LDL levels by 5 percent and total cholesterol levels by 4 percent.
3. Probiotics Are Key To Your Immune Health.
The immune system protects the cells from attack by pathogenic microorganisms. However, when this protective mechanism goes haywire due to certain factors, it can lead to a host of diseases, such as allergic reactions, autoimmune disorders (for example, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis) and increased susceptibility to infections.