You have probably heard a lot lately about keeping a balance in your life. Specifically, we mean working too much vs. relaxation. Your gut needs that balance too. We’re talking about good bacteria versus bad bacteria, which leads us to the question: are probiotics good for my GI health?
What Exactly Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are living bacteria or other microorganisms that have beneficial effects when ingested. Many people take probiotics found in foods and supplements to gain some health advantage.
Our gut, otherwise known as our microbiome, is filled with both good and bad bacteria. We normally think of bacteria as “bad”, but probiotics are considered good bacteria and, therefore, good for our gut. It follows that our microbiome is filled with a collection of germs, some of which are beneficial, while others are not.
Balancing out our microbiome keeps our digestive system working its best.
Specific Advantages Of Taking Probiotics
Studies on humans suggest that our microbiome, or gut, is important in the development of certain diseases and health problems, like obesity and diabetes, and they play an important part in inflammatory bowel diseases, like Crohn’s disease.
In fact, your overall health may depend on the “diversity” of your gut. Consuming probiotics can provide healthy bacteria and can help restore the balance of gut bacteria. Whereas disturbing the natural balance of bacteria in your gut can lead to digestive issues, infections, and other problems.
Some research shows taking probiotics can help with the following:
- Managing gastrointestinal conditions
- Insulin resistance
- Type 2 diabetes
- Improving the immune system
Are Probiotics Safe?
Probiotics are generally safe and the side effects are mild and do not last long. Foods like yogurt, pickles, kombucha, and kefir are all healthy additions to your diet. For the most part, probiotics cause no harm so go ahead and try them. It is always best to talk to Digestive Health Services when changing your diet.
Although not yet scientifically proven that probiotics are good for your GI health, the benefits will most likely outweigh any negative issues.