Other Health Benefits of Probiotics
Probiotics and their health benefits are often the subjects of both conversations and questions among health care professionals. Probiotics, as we all know, includes “good bacteria” that can provide health benefits when consumed.
The health benefits of probiotics are thought to result from their ability to restore the natural balance of gut bacteria. When there is an imbalance of gut flora, it means there are too many bad bacteria and not enough good bacteria. Poor diet, antibiotic therapy, illnesses as well as many others can cause an imbalance of gut bacteria.
Aside from maintaining a healthy balance of gut bacteria, there are many other benefits of probiotics. They may help with the following conditions:
- High blood pressure
Probiotics may help lower the blood pressure in a modest amount. The modest reduction in the blood is due to the ability of probiotics to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Blood cholesterol level
Probiotics may help reduce your risk of cardiovascular problems by lowering bad cholesterol. Certain lactic-acid producing bacteria help break down bile in the gut. This reduces the cholesterol level.
- Skin health
A certain strain of probiotics is useful for acne, eczema, rosacea, and other skin disorders. How is this possible? The gut microbiome does not only affect gut health locally but also has far-reaching effects around the body. It also impacts the skin’s wellness through a series of interactions termed the gut-skin axis.
- Anxiety and depression
Gut health is linked to mood and mental health. An increasing number of studies show that probiotics may help improve the symptoms of mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, memory, and stress. The strain L. helveticus and B. longum in particular can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms in people with clinical depression.
A newly-released study shows that probiotics, or "good bacteria," could lower levels of inflammation in the body, regardless of the affliction, potentially benefiting patients who have inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis. Inflammation normally helps the body fight off infections but chronic inflammation causes swelling, pain, and damages to tissues. Aside from ulcerative colitis, chronic fatigue, and psoriasis are all disease in which inflammation is thought to play a role.
Probiotics can reduce signs of aging on the skin. Though little is known about this, some studies show probiotics may increase the ability of cells to replicate, thus extending the lifespan of cells. The study also reveals that healthy bacteria in the gut improve overall health, consequently, help slow the process of aging, enabling the skin to retain its original glow much longer.
- Blood sugar level
Probiotic supplements show a clear connection to better blood glucose control, both by lowering fasting blood glucose levels and by aiding insulin sensitivity. Those who take probiotic supplements containing more than one more species of bacteria are likely to have a greater decrease in fasting blood sugar.
- Female urogenital problems
Probiotic treatment may help restore the balance of microflora in the vagina that can be thrown off by several factors such as birth control pills, antibiotic treatment, and spermicides.