Many individuals take probiotic supplements on a regular basis. Probiotics are available in oral products such as dietary supplements and yogurts, as well as other products such as creams. After all, they can provide many benefits, especially when it comes to digestive health. However, this is not all that these organisms can do.
Those that ingest probiotics may be doing themselves some even bigger favors. There are three facts about probiotics and their benefits that many people are simply not aware of:
Probiotics May Boost Immunity
Healthy bacteria in the gut is closely associated with a healthy immune system. Those who have ample amounts of “good” bacteria appear to be less likely to suffer from problems such as allergies and asthma. The immune system is better equipped to fight off the irritants and toxins that are responsible for these responses. This may be especially true for infants that are breast fed, as probiotics are transmitted from the mother.
Probiotics for Antibiotic Side Effects
Although antibiotics are used to treat illness, they are not selective and kill both good and bad bacteria. For this reason, a direct side effect of antibiotics often includes diarrhea and sometimes a yeast infection. Introducing good bacteria such as probiotics, sometimes called “normal flora,” can help prevent and treat the digestive disturbances and imbalance caused by the use of antibiotics.
Probiotics for the General Treatment of Illness
Contrary to popular belief, not all of the ailments probiotics can help treat are related to digestion. Probiotics may boost immune function, which can prevent many different ailments. Probiotics have been shown to assist with the skin disorder eczema, and, according to preliminary studies, have been linked to positive effects in those who suffer from depression and anxiety as well.
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Krans, Brian; 6 Surprising Facts About the Microbes Living in Your Gut; Healthline News; Accessed August 6, 2014
Martin, Laura, MD; What Are Probiotics; WebMD; Accessed August 6, 2014