The topic of probiotics is gathering momentum at a fast rate. Is this another trend we’ve all gotten a bit over excited about and jumped on the bandwagon for or is it really worthy of its growing status in the health industry? In this article I’ll go through some of the potential benefits of probiotics and share with you why I believe it really is worthy of its royal status.
Probiotics are healthy bacteria which promote healthy gut microbiota. We often associate bacteria with negative connotations and something we look to remove in our lives, however, this type of bacteria is essential in the gut in order to ensure a complete and fully functioning cell lining of the gut wall. This is crucial in order to promote optimal nutrient absorption, a healthy digestion, reduce the risk of digestive disorders and to reduce the risks of leaky gut. This might all sound great but you might still be wondering why you should take probiotics. Let me explain.
1. Increases immune functioning: probiotics modulate the intestinal and gut immune functioning due to the presence of the live microbiota balancing and positively influencing the intestinal flora. This can reduce your overall risk of illness.
2. Reducing inflammation: many gut disorders are caused by or result in inflammation within the intestinal wall. This is particularly true in Irritable Bowl Syndrome. Probiotics reduce the inflammation through the release of cytokines such as IL-10 which acts as an anti-inflammatory in the gut mucosa.
3. Improved intolerance symptoms: some research has suggested that probiotics may actually reduce the symptoms associated with lactose intolerance in some individuals. In some individuals their lactose intolerance is a result of malabsorption and therefore lactose cannot be digested properly. This could be a result of reduction in the small intestinal mucosa or gut inflammation. It has been suggested that probiotics may reduce this inflammation and or restore healthy mucosa in the small intestine. However, please be aware this is not the case for all lactose intolerant individuals and so I urge you to seek personalised and professional help when managing an intolerance.
Evidently, research suggests that probiotics may be beneficial in gut disorders and restoring a healthy gut bacteria. Furthermore, there is constant new emerging evidence to suggest that the state of your gut may influence your brain functioning and play key roles in disorders such as anxiety.
I hope I have convinced you that the rise in the attention placed on probiotics and gut health may be hugely beneficial in understanding and managing nutrition-related health disorders.
Written by: Jenna Hope. I’m a registered nutritionist with a passion for healthy food and exercise. I strongly believe that eating well should only ever be an enjoyable part of your day, it should never feel like a chore and you should always listen to the needs of your body! Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for some delicious foodie inspiration and keep up to date with my top nutrition tips on my website www.jennahopenutrition.com
Singh, V. A., & Bunger, R. (2014). Probiotics and gut health. J. Int. Med. Sci. Acad, 27(1), 41-43.
Sánchez, B., Delgado, S., Blanco‐Míguez, A., Lourenço, A., Gueimonde, M., & Margolles, A. (2016). Probiotics, gut microbiota and their influence on host health and disease. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.