The Role of Probiotics in Gut Health – Supporting Digestion and Immunity
Digestive health has long been an important priority for consumers. Probiotics designed to increase gut bacterial populations may provide relief from constipation, diarrhea and intestinal distress.
New research suggests these microbes provide more than just digestive benefits – they may also strengthen immunity and prevent dysbiosis of microbial populations.
1. Boost Your Immune System
Probiotics, or good bacteria, work to combat harmful microorganisms found in your gut by acting like microorganisms already there – similar to microorganisms found naturally within it and available as food or supplements.
Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium strains found in yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, miso, tempeh, pickles, kimchi, cured meats and certain wines and vinegars could boost immunity according to research published in January 2019 in Oncotarget journal.
These bacteria have also been shown to help mitigate symptoms associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), such as stomach cramps, bloating, gas and diarrhea. Researchers suspect this is because probiotics eliminate bad bacteria that aggravate IBS symptoms; furthermore they can reduce side effects associated with cancer treatments like chemotherapy such as diarrhea.
2. Prevent Inflammation
Probiotics are microorganisms found naturally in our gut, so when taken as a dietary supplement or food they can help restore and bolster this beneficial ecosystem while having wider-ranging effects on digestive health and overall wellbeing.
Studies suggest that probiotics may help decrease inflammation in the intestinal tract by altering gut bacteria composition and decreasing production of pro-inflammatory molecules by immune cells.
Probiotics also play a part in mitigating inflammation by increasing production of short-chain fatty acids in the gut, which are known to block pathogenic bacteria growth by keeping them away from attaching themselves to intestinal walls and prevent their attachment of immune-enhancing regulatory T cells that inhibit release of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
3. Boost Digestion
Your digestive tract houses trillions of microorganisms and bacteria, so keeping them healthy is of utmost importance. Different kinds of bacteria serve various roles and together help digest food, boost your immunity and prevent inflammation.
Probiotics can improve digestion and gut health by restoring the balance of good bacteria in your intestines, helping with nutrient absorption, immune support, and other key processes. They do this by producing short-chain fatty acids which decrease production of inflammatory molecules while altering immune cell functionality – something no other supplement can achieve.
Researchers discovered that Lactobacillus casei can help ease antibiotic-induced diarrhea by replenishing your stomach with beneficial bacteria. A separate study published in Nutrients demonstrated how probiotics improved gut function and reduced inflammation among people living with rheumatoid arthritis, as well as slowing down aging by encouraging healthy intestinal cells, leading to lower inflammation levels and thus supporting healthier metabolisms.
4. Reduce Inflammation
Researchers have discovered that probiotics can effectively decrease inflammation throughout the body, particularly in the gut where 80 percent of our immune cells reside. This effect is largely attributable to probiotics’ ability to inhibit inflammation through various mechanisms depending on strains used.
Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, for instance, can reduce production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by blocking their secretion. Furthermore, these bacteria can block activity of pro-inflammatory receptors in the digestive tract by binding their agonists.
Probiotics have also been found to boost beneficial bacteria that aid nutrient absorption, promote intestinal mucosal health and protect against pathogens; in addition they can stimulate production of B vitamins and Vitamin K.
If you want to boost your overall gut health and help alleviate mental issues, incorporate fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha into your diet – these contain probiotics which will restore balance to your gut microbiome.