What Probiotics Can and Can’t Do for Digestion
The friendly bacteria in the digestive tract are referred to as probiotics. They are called friendly simply because they neutralize bad bacteria and promote a healthy microbiome. Reputedly, when they are present, the gut and the immune system are much healthier. However, several conflicting reports cast serious doubt on the effectiveness of probiotics, so people should think twice before taking any old supplement that contains them. There’s a possibility that men and women will experience severe complications, which may diminish their quality of life.1
Why Probiotics Aren’t as Amazing as We Thought
It’s best to ignore the hype surrounding the effects of probiotics because the first problem is that these microorganisms are still a mystery to the experts. According to a study performed by an immunologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, people don’t absorb probiotic supplements in the same way.2 This explains why users often report dissimilar results.
Another study suggests that some friendly bacteria can prevent the original microbiome from returning to normal. Although this isn’t a well-documented adverse effect, all users should be skeptical of probiotic supplements because they just might contain strains that will disrupt the microbes in their guts. A prolonged disruption can lead to minor or major problems, including obesity, gastrointestinal disorders, headaches and even infections.3 Owing to the uncertainties and risks, no one should be surprised that taking probiotics can actually cause more harm than good.
Why Probiotics Are Still Important for Gut Health
Because of the conflicting reports that have come to light, it’s understandable that some researchers are raising a speculative eyebrow. Nevertheless, healthy gut bacteria helps maintain digestion, and can be supplemented with high quality probiotics or with diet.
Chances are users will notice an improvement in their skin because probiotics are found to be effective in the treatment of inflammatory skin conditions.4 Furthermore, the good bacteria can potentially shorten the duration of some illnesses. The following afflictions are known to respond well to certain probiotic supplements:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Urinary tract infections
- Bladder cancer
- Crohn’s disease
Beware that live microorganisms have a mind of their own, and different groups of strains have unique effects on the body. While one group may shield the gut from pathogens, another group may extend the remission of some symptoms. One study revealed that the Bacillus subtilis strain can impede the aging process of neurons and can make it harder for diseases to develop.5 For this reason, more researchers believe that probiotics have what it takes to improve users’ life expectancy. They certainly help people who have poor urogenital health.6 For many years, countless women have eaten yogurt and other probiotic-based foods to treat bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections.
Natural Ways to Get Good Bacteria
There are several ways in which healthy individuals can fill their bodies with good bacteria. Sickly people, on the other hand, are limited because the experts believe that probiotics can further compromise weakened immune systems. However, with a doctor’s approval, everyone can safely absorb probiotics by eating certain kinds of yogurt.
Here are some more foods that contain these friendly microorganisms:
Kefir is fermented milk that has multiple strains of good bacteria, including Lactobacillus acidophilus. This specific type is known to help with vaginal infections, weight issues, flu symptoms, and allergies. When kefir is consumed, it goes a long way toward improving bone health, mitigating some digestive issues and strengthening the immune system.7 That’s why kefir is considered to be better than yogurt.
Pickles are simply fermented cucumbers. Unlike the ones that are made with vinegar, lacto-fermented pickles are conducive to a healthy gut because they don’t just contain the friendly microorganisms that keep pathogenic bacteria at bay. They are also high in vitamin K and low in calories.8
Sauerkraut is nothing more than just finely cut cabbage. However, unlike the cabbage at the supermarket, sauerkraut is packing a good number of probiotics because it’s fermented and unpasteurized.9 When men and women consume this healthy alternative, they are introducing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to their biological systems.
Tempeh differs from tofu in important ways. For starters, this soybean product is more beneficial to the health of human beings, considering it’s filled with probiotics.10 Soybeans don’t naturally have vitamin B12, but tempeh does contain it because of the fermentation process. This makes tempeh a viable alternative to meat.
Kimchi, a delicacy in Korea, is made from salted and fermented vegetables. Yes, it’s spicy, and men and women from around the world consume this Korean dish faithfully. Kimchi has Lactobacillus, which can ward off harmful microorganisms and can prevent terrible ailments from wreaking havoc on biological systems.11
Some types of cheese are able to do wonders for men and women because they pack an excellent amount of nutrients and probiotics.12 Unfortunately, many doctors and specialists have always labeled cheese as a leading cause of heart disease. According to a growing number of experts, however, this particular consensus may be wrong because a study revealed that cheese and milk have the ability to cut down the production of TMAO, which is a molecule linked to the onset of heart disease.13 In conclusion, raw cheese is perhaps the best kind available because it’s a lot easier to digest due to the fact that it has enzymes that break down the components in milk.