Surprising Health Benefits of Probiotics
Whether or not you take a probiotic supplement you’re probably familiar with the healthy bacteria, after all yogurt has given it a huge platform out in the world. But do you know all the wonderful things getting enough of them can do for you?
Besides regular brushing and flossing, getting probiotics in your diet can help to keep your teeth healthy and strong as well. Being a good kind of bacteria, probiotics can kill of unhealthy bacteria in the mouth and reduce the gum bleeding that can occur with gingivitis. Issues with the mouth have been linked to all kinds of other issues like heart disease and diabetes, so taking care of your teeth goes beyond just the way your smile looks.
Your liver uses cholesterol in the body to make bile, but getting the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri has been shown to help decrease the amount of bile that is reabsorbed into the body. One study found that the “bad” levels of LDL cholesterol were lowered 12 percent more when probiotics were on board in comparison to a placebo group.
Taking probiotics might also cut down your risk of getting a cold in general. Studies done on both adults and children have found that people who get adequate amounts of probiotics get sick less often than a control group who receives a placebo instead of a probiotic.
Probiotics can help straighten out your gut whether your issue is going to the bathroom too much or too little. People who take probiotics are less likely to experience bouts of diarrhea, but they are also more likely to shorten the time between eaten and having a bowel movement. Probiotics can help cut down on bloating as well. So basically whatever your bathroom woes are, probiotics can help.
There are a variety of studies that have linked probiotic use with weight loss, with different reasonings behind the claims. One thought is that replenishing the gut with healthy bacteria might be able to reduce bad food cravings. A lot of people experience an overgrowth of yeast in the gut, and yeast feeds on sugar. Probiotics can help wipe out yeast. And still other studies say that taking probiotics might be able to help you burn more fat in general.
There isn’t a lot of conclusive research that can say why a healthy gut can positively affect your mood, but there does seem to be a link. In studies people who took a probiotic started to see their moods increase more drastically than participants who unknowingly took a placebo. Other studies have found that people who take probiotics have less cortisol in their saliva and that they experience less anxiety and depression overall.
About Kate Ferguson Kate Fergus is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blogs and online magazines. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce.