What Do You Know About Probiotics?
When you think of the term “probiotics,” you probably think about the benefits to your digestive system. Thanks to the many probiotic drinks and supplements available to buy, together with widespread manufacturer advertising, probiotics are synonymous with improved gut health for most of us. We often think of taking probiotics to help overcome conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or to restore healthy intestinal bacteria following an antibiotic treatment.
What Are The Other Benefits Of Probiotics?
Probiotics are live yeasts and bacteria that can be safely ingested. In truth, probiotics do not just act on the digestive system. They are also beneficial in other ways, namely via their action on the immune system, and via their ability to maintain a balance of healthy, or “good,” bacteria within the body.
For example, probiotics can be useful in preventing and treating yeast infections. Researchers have gradually come to acknowledge that probiotics can reduce the risk of recurring yeast infections in women because they help to preserve a healthy balance of appropriate bacteria in the vagina.
They can also help prevent urinary tract infections. Research has demonstrated that probiotics lower the chance of unhealthy bacteria gaining a foothold and causing infection in the bladder and urethra. Clinical trials indicate that probiotics may help prevent recurrent cystitis in women.
Probiotics may also play a role in lowering your likelihood of succumbing to colds and the flu. A Korean meta-analysis of research studies looking at the link between susceptibility to the common cold and probiotic intake concluded that probiotics have a modest protective effect. The authors believe that probiotics boost immune system functioning, which increases a person’s ability to quickly overcome common infections.
How To Boost Your Probiotic Intake
Yogurt is the best-known source of probiotics. Look for organic products that are clearly labeled as containing live cultures. However, in order to get the most from your probiotics, it is important to combine them with foods that contain prebiotics. Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that provide fuel that probiotics need to grow and thrive. They are found in foods such as whole grains, honey, onions, artichokes and bananas. If you lead a busy lifestyle and find it hard to eat a balanced diet, then consider a high-quality probiotic supplement instead.
|||^||Mayo Clinic: Do I need to include probiotics and prebiotics in my diet?|
|||^||Postgraduate Medical Journal: Urogenital infections in women: can probiotics help?|
|||^||Oxford Journals: Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Phase 2 Trial of a Lactobacillus crispatus Probiotic Given Intravaginally for Prevention of Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection|
|||^||Korean Journal Of Family Medicine:|
The Effect of Probiotics on Prevention of Common Cold: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trial Studies