Lifeline Connections

Benefits of Probiotics: Why you should be taking them!

I have previously discussed on this blog on how our gut health may affect our mental and/or emotional health. In this blog post I will expand further on this subject and discuss what you should be taking to help optimize your gut health.

Most of us have heard about probiotics, but many of us might not know exactly why we should be taking them. In this post I will briefly touch on certain medications like antibiotics and their negative effects on the gut. I will also explain how probiotics can help restore your gut to health. I will also talk about the different types of probiotics and what they will do for your gut health.
The majority of us have been on antibiotics at least once in our lifetimes; I know I have been on them more times than I’m even aware, which isn’t surprising considering roughly 175 million antibiotic prescriptions are written in the U.S. every year. What do antibiotics do exactly? They have an uncanny ability to kill disease-causing bacteria without harming our own cells. It’s a brilliantly effective class of drugs that, since the first implementation of penicillin during World War II, has been the difference between life and death for millions.
That said, the use of antibiotics is not free of serious side effects. One of the main things that antibiotics can cause is an imbalance in your gut flora. This is because antibiotics don’t distinguish between the “bad” foreign bacteria – which were the reason you were prescribed a drug – and the “friendly” symbiotic bacteria that we all rely on for the proper functioning of many bodily systems. In other words, antibiotics are totally indiscriminatory bacterial killers. Meaning, they kill even the good bacteria.
Our human body is populated by at least 100 trillion other microbes, outnumbering our own cells 10:1, and a lot of these are absolutely essential to our health (most of them in ways we don’t yet fully understand). The helpful microbes we’ve learned the most about so far are our gut flora. These bacteria are essential to food digestion, provide you with essential nutrients and, as we’ve found more recently, play a crucial role in your immune system. When your gut flora are imbalanced, a condition known as dysbiosis, you may have poor digestion of food, a weakened immune system, and even undesirable mood swings.
Probiotics then are the opposite of antibiotics. Rather than eliminating bacteria, they recolonize and support healthy bacterial populations after they’ve been disrupted, or destroyed by antibiotic use (or birth control use). There are several friendly intestinal bacteria that are particularly effective in treating certain issues. The most well known and possibly most important are:Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Streptococcus faecium.Acidophilus is most commonly used for repopulating friendly bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract after the use of antibiotics. It is also commonly used to treat yeast infections. Bifidobacterium bifidum, like L. acidophilus, aids in the synthesis of B vitamins, food digestion and inhibits the growth of the toxic coliform bacteria. Streptococcus faecium is also important in B vitamin biosynthesis and also inhibits other toxic bacteria.
Probiotics are typically taken as supplements in pill form which can easily be found at health food stores or online. I use the brand Udo’s Choice when it comes to high quality probiotic supplements. While they do tend to be expensive, their benefits are well worth the cost. There are, of course, other non-supplemental ways to progenerate your friendly gut bacteria (which you should be incorporating whether or not you are taking probiotic supplements), and that is the through the consumption of fermented foods. Some examples are sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, or yogurt.
There is no denying that lack of friendly bacteria and an over-abundance of bad bacteria disrupts your gut health which causes undesirable symptoms to emerge, whether you’re immediately aware of them or not, so try and acquire these friendly bacteria in whatever available form works best for you.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit sed do eiusmod tempor