Over the past many years there has been a growing awareness of the benefits, and the need for adding probiotics to one’s diet and supplement regimen. After all, look at what probiotics break down to. Pro = supporting, biotics = life, thus probiotics are SUPPORTING LIFE.
Probiotics have risen to fame primarily through digestive health. And it is very encouraging to see more and more practitioner’s recommending probiotics with antibiotic therapy as well as for digestive support.
From digestive health, probiotics benefits grew into support for the immune system, as a healthy digestive tract is critical for healthy immunity.
A common misconception is that if you don’t have any stomach or immunity issues, or have not been on any antibiotic’s, then you don’t need probiotics- this could not be further from the truth.
Over the last few years, research has identified numerous other areas of the body and conditions which benefit from probiotic therapy; including skin, allergies, brain, mood, weight loss and bone health.
Research has shown that pregnant mothers receiving probiotic therapy give birth to newborns with reduce risks of developing skin conditions such as eczema as well as allergies. Probiotic therapy has shown a benefit in children and adults with allergies and eczema as well.
Probiotics continue to show great cognitive and mood benefits, in what is known as the gut-brain connection. Research newly published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, has shown that probiotics taken over a period of just 12 weeks yields moderate but significant improvement in elderly Alzheimer’s patients.
Another study published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity reported that people focus less on bad feelings and experiences after only four weeks of probiotic administration.
Related to depression, a 2015 review published in Biological Psychiatry, stated that when ingested in adequate amounts, probiotics offer enormous potential for the treatment of depression and other stress-related disorders.
Bone loss due to menopause can lead to osteoporosis and fractures. When researchers removed ovaries in mice to induce the hormonal changes that occur with menopause in women, supplementation of probiotics were shown to protect these mice from the loss of bone density.
As far as weight loss is concerned, earlier this year, researchers combined the findings of 25 randomized human trials investigating the impact of probiotics on weight loss and body mass in over 1900 healthy adults. They found that taking probiotics reduces BMI and body weight with the greatest reduction occurring in overweight adults in just eight weeks.
Most of these studies found benefits from multiple strain, moderate to high concentrated probiotic’s. I recommend a product that provides at least three to five strains, as well as a concentration of at least five to ten billion units daily, and even higher if needed.