The Little Known Nutritional Benefits Of Probiotics
Probiotics are one of many types of nutritional supplements and products lining the health food store shelves and gaining more mainstream traction. Basically, these are products that contain microorganisms that are good for the body, and most of them are naturally occurring in the human gastrointestinal tract.
It is well-known that probiotic supplementation is good for digestion, as it is the responsibility of the microflora in the intestines to keep everything in balance and functioning smoothly. Some of the nutritional benefits of probiotics are not as well known.
Scientific studies in 2003 and 2010 showed probiotic supplementation significantly decreased the colonization of Candida albicans and inhibited the growth of other pathogens. Additional studies have been done with various species of the lactic acid bacterial family. Acidophilus, perhaps the best known member of this family, occurs naturally in the body and serves primarily in this capacity of maintaining a good balance of microflora and yeast.
Helpful bacteria species include:
• Lactobacillus (L.) reuteri
• L. rhamnosus
• L. acidophilus
The skin is extremely sensitive to dietary, emotional and environmental stresses. Bringing the microflora in the body into balance is an effective tool in clearing up skin problems. Research has shown that probiotics are good for:
• Sun damage
• Sensitive skin
Probiotics may be applied topically or taken internally.
While many are aware that taking antibiotics can destroy even the bacteria in your body that are necessary for digestion and good health, few realize that natural supplements will do the same thing. Garlic, oil of oregano, and any deep cleansing program deplete the body of some of its most important natural resources.
The results of taking such supplements or cleanses may leave behind a sensitive stomach, dragging energy, and digestive discomfort from bacterial die-off. A high-quality probiotic with multiple species will aid in restoring natural balance and energy to the body.
High stress will deplete the body of important nutrients, including healthy microflora. When stressed, adding a probiotic may reduce the signs of stress in the hair, skin and body.
Immune System Support
Harmful bacteria are at the bottom of most contagious sickness, but they can be neutralized by adding the helpful bacteria available in a probiotic formula. Different kinds of bacteria require different environments in the body to survive. A healthy gastrointestinal tract will not permit harmful bacteria to gain a foothold.
1. M G Romeo, D M Romeo, L Trovato, S Oliveri, F Palermo, F Cota, P Betta. “Role of probiotics in the prevention of the enteric colonization by Candida in preterm newborns: incidence of late-onset sepsis and neurological outcome.” J Perinatol. 2011 January; 31(1): 63–69. Published online 2010 April 22. doi: 10.1038/jp.2010.57
2. Siver, R. (1964). “Lactobacillus for the control of acne.” The Journal of the Medical Society of New Jersey, 58 (2): 52-53. http://www.natren.com/pages/skincare.html
3. Blitzer, Ilana, “Probiotics: can bacteria benefit skin?” Self, Dec 2006.
About the Author
John Micheal is a freelance writer, designer, and marketing director. He enjoys working outside in beautiful San Diego, California and loves to hear ideas and make them happen. Drop him a line at [email protected]