Posted on Aug 08, 2019, 3 p.m.
Some people think that probiotics are only needed after taking antibiotics, but you can benefit from probiotic and prebiotic foods on a daily basis as they are well known to support and improve digestive health, and science keeps finding more benefits of good gut bacteria extending across the entire body.
Good bacteria can help to prevent/treat certain diseases and conditions, there are many different kinds of bacteria found in probiotic foods and supplements that can offer a variety of benefits ranging from digestive to heart health and others.
Johns Hopkins Medicine research indicates that consuming probiotic foods can help to lower blood pressure. According to the team gut bacteria can produce chemicals as part of normal metabolism which helps to lower blood pressure, in animal models the changes in blood pressure have been substantial.
“We know that there’s a symbiotic type of relationship between gut bacteria and their hosts — that’s us. Certain chemicals that the gut bacteria produce can alter blood pressure. We also know that when mice or rats or people have high blood pressure , the bacteria in their guts are different. Those things each reveal a piece of the puzzle. But we don’t have enough pieces to put the entire puzzle together yet,” says assistant professor Jennifer L. Pluznick, Ph.D. of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Across the board it appears as if probiotics can help improve heart health as research also links to reductions in triglyceride and cholesterol levels as well. It is worth noting that probiotics should not be considered to replace a healthy diet and exercise, much like other supplements probiotics are best used to complement healthy lifestyle changes.
Probiotics have also been shown to have immunological benefits, supplementation may help with various immunity related conditions ranging from eczema and allergies to general disease prevention. They may even help to mitigate harmful effects that stress has on the immune system. Probiotic bacteria has been shown to support the function of mucosal barriers during times of stress and help to improve local immune responses, these benefits extend to the intestinal barrier known for its role in immunity.
Pretty much every system in the body can benefit from the consumption of probiotics, even the brain and mental health as research suggests that probiotics may be useful against depression.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.