So why are probiotics so important, and what exactly is their role in promoting good gut health? Probiotics assist with digestion, heal your gut, and maintain a healthy balance of flora in your digestive tract. Whether you consume them in probiotic foods or in supplements, you should consider making probiotics a part of your daily routine.
Here are 3 great reasons why probiotics can make a big difference to your health.
Reason #1: Your Immune System
Your immune system is a complicated mix of different organs and systems within your body. Its so complicated in fact, that scientists are only just beginning to discover the way that these different parts interact to protect you from disease. One thing is for certain however – your digestive tract (and the balance of bacteria within it) plays a hugely important role in the prevent of infection and disease.
A 2009 study at the University of Pennsylvania found that a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut will boost your immune system. They showed that normal levels of bacteria increase the effectiveness of the immune system and help your body to fight off pathogens. The exact reasons for this are still unclear. Anecdotal evidence has suggested for years that probiotics help the immune system, but this is now being supported by an increasing number of research studies too. Another paper by the Yale Group in 2008 found that “probiotics might be of value for incorporation into the daily diet of healthy people for the purpose of staying healthy.”
By rebuilding your immune system, you can improve your body’s natural immune system defenses.
Reason #2: Gut Acidity
Many of the beneficial bacteria contained in probiotics secrete small quantities of lactic acid and acetic acid. These help to maintain the correct levels of acidity in your gut. Why is this important? Candida Albicans can switch to its pathogenic, fungal form in an alkaline environment, so returning your stomach to its normal acidity helps to restrain the Candida overgrowth. There are a number of reasons why your gut can become too alkaline, but one of the most frequent causes is antibiotics. A course of antibiotics kills all the bacteria in your stomach, many of which (like acidophilus) are acid-producing. Ordinarily the acidity in your intestines should be between 4 and 6 on the pH scale. Compare this to your typical blood pH, which should be between 7.35 and 7.45, i.e. slightly alkaline. When antibiotics kill the acid-producing bacteria in your gut, it can become too alkaline, but a course of good probiotics will help to restore the correct acidity. This high level of acidity in your stomach helps with digestion and is one of your best defenses against pathogens like Candida albicans.
Reason #3: Crowding Out The Candida Yeast
One of the purposes of probiotics is to fill your gut with ‘good’ bacteria to crowd out the Candida yeast. It might help to think about this another way. When antibiotics kill the good bacteria, they leave your intestine open for the faster-growing Candida yeast to take over. Conversely, if you use probiotics to fill your gut with beneficial bacteria, this leaves less spaces and resources for the Candida to grow.
This highlights the importance of taking probiotics regularly and in large doses while you fight your Candida infestation. The more that you can fill your intestines with healthy bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria bifidum, the less chance the Candida yeast will have of taking over your gut.
What do the Experts say about Probiotics?
“Evidence from clinical research demonstrates that adding ‘good’ bacteria to the diet promotes a healthy digestive and immune system.”
— Dr. Allan Walker,
Professor of Nutrition and Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
“Compelling new studies are showing how probiotics can help keep healthy people healthy. One study showed a decreased incidence of common infectious diseases among kids in day care.”
— Dr. Mary Ellen Sanders,
“Friendly bacteria are vital to proper development of the immune system, to protection against microorganisms that could cause disease, and to the digestion and absorption of food and nutrients.”
— National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
“With the level of evidence that probiotics work and the large safety margins for them, we see no good reason not to prescribe probiotics when prescribing antibiotics.”
— Dr. Benjamin Kliger,
Associate Professor of Clinical Family and Social Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
“Taking probiotics is a habit that can really benefit the digestive system, which is intricately connected to our overall health.”
— Dr. Michael F. Roizen,
New York Times best-selling author, Chief Wellness Officer, Cleveland Clinic