8 Critical Reasons to Use Probiotics
Have you ever wondered whether probiotics are all they're cracked up to be?
If so, it's important to know their diverse benefits are well supported.
In fact, they’re one of the MAIN reasons my mission is to get our fermented (and probiotic-containing) 100% grass-fed beef sticks into the hands of as many people as possible.
But before we dive into the many benefits, let's cover the basics.
The WHO (World Health Organization) defines probiotics as...
"any living microorganism that has a health benefit when ingested. They are found in fermented foods and supplements and have a number of important actions in the body."
Some of the important roles in the body include:
- Increase populations of beneficial bacteria
- Enhance digestion of sugar, starches, and fiber
- Improve nutrient absorption
- Produce vitamin(s) B and K
- Break down and metabolize waste
- Stimulate immune system
Their far-reaching beneficial effects are due to the fact that about 70% of your immune system resides in your gut. Recent research has found that the ratio of good to bad bacteria located in your gut profoundly impacts that way your immune system functions.
An ideal ratio is 85% beneficial bacteria and 15% bad bacteria.
Sadly, MANY of us have a condition called dysbiosis, where we have more bad bacteria than we should.
Fortunately, there is a HEALTHY body of research demonstrating that probiotics help restore populations of beneficial bacteria which can correct dysbiosis and enhance immune function which is why the literature regarding their benefits is extensive.
Here are some of the awesome ways probiotics can support your health...
1. This study showed that probiotics can reduce the duration (4 days vs. 6 days) and severity (34% less severe) of cold symptoms as well as increase the quality of life (15 vs. 34 fewer missed school days) in college students with respiratory infections.
2. They may relieve symptoms of ulcerative colitis (UC) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as effectively as drugs.
3.They can reduce the duration of infectious diarrhea caused by viruses, bacteria, and parasites by an average of 25 hours in one study.
4. They can improve heart health by lowering blood pressure.
5. This literature review revealed that probiotics can improve anxiety, social anxiety, depression, autism, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Furthermore, it showed that they can reduce social anxiety in college students.
>> You can also order our probiotic-rich (1 billion CFUs per stick!) 100% grass-fed beef sticks here
6. They've been known to treat help prevent yeast infections.
7. Aaaand treat and reduce the frequency of urinary tract infections (UTIs) according to this study.
8. They can also help you lose weight!
In this great study, participants who took probiotics lost 50% more weight than women who didn’t. Researchers have noticed that bacterial populations differ in lean vs. obese individuals and that transferring bacterial populations from obese mice into lean ones can cause weight gain. And finally, this study suggests that taking a probiotic supplement during pregnancy and breastfeeding may help you lose that stubborn baby weight more quickly.
So if you suffer from digestive disturbances, diarrhea, frequent colds, respiratory infection, elevated blood pressure, anxiety, depression, OCD, UTIs, yeast infections, elevated blood sugar OR your child suffers from allergies, eczema, constipation, behavioral issues and general fussiness OR you just want to reduce your chances of any of the conditions mentioned, then you should seriously consider getting more probiotics in your diet PRONTO.
Here are 3 easy ways to make it happen!
1. Eliminate sugars (including sugary drinks!), fast food and processed foods as they fuel the growth of destructive gut bugs.
In fact, Tim Spector (A professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College, London) revealed that his son's gut bug populations were devastated after consuming a fast-food diet for only 10 days.
2. Consume fermented foods.
Research conducted by Dr. Mercola has shown that fermented foods contain higher levels of probiotics (in the trillions!) than supplements. Therefore, in order to cultivate optimal gut health, fermented foods should be incorporated 2-3 times a week at least.
Find out how to make perfect ferments at home and choose high-quality versions in stores by listening to our podcasts with fermentation master, Summer Bock and Celeste Longacre (author of Celeste's Garden Delights).
3. Take a high-quality probiotic daily.
I wholeheartedly believe probiotics are one of the MOST important supplements you can take. But do keep in mind that the supplement industry is unregulated, so quality can vary. Look for refrigerated, therapeutic level brands with at least 10 billion CFU per serving. My favorite right now is Prescript Assist.
Because diversity is key to a healthy gut I highly recommend experimenting to find brands that work best for you and then rotating them. You can also listen to our podcast episodes with Dr. Grace Liu, Dr. Josh Axe and Dr. Jack Tips for more information about probiotics.
*(If you have an underlying medical condition like IBD, just had surgery, have a weakened immune system or are considering them for a very sick infant, please check with your health practitioner before supplementing!)
Here's hoping probiotics help you take your health to a whole, new level!
Don't miss tomorrow's email, when you'll learn about the super secret nighttime tonic that transformed my insomniac husband into a sleeping, little lamb.