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You’ve heard of antibiotics. And now “probiotics” are big in the news. If you’re wondering what they are and why you might want them, read on!
“Probiotic” is a word with Greek roots: “pro” meaning “promoting” and “biotic” meaning “life.” The World Health Organization defines probiotics as “live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.”
We usually think of bacteria as bad for us, and the wrong bacteria in the wrong place can certainly cause problems. But the right bacteria in the right place can be helpful in many ways. They can keep your digestive and immune systems healthy, help you manage weight, boost your mood, and possibly even keep you feeling and looking younger.
1. Probiotics and Gut Health
The most common reason to use probiotics is to support gut health. Research shows that probiotics work to restore the gut back to a healthy, optimally functioning state. Once the gut is in full working order, it can do its job to help support the immune system and maintain normal functions of the gut.
People who have used antibiotics long-term, or those with other gut issues, may benefit from adding a dose of healthy bacteria to their gut. But there are many other reasons to use a probiotic every day.
2. Probiotics and Weight Management
The idea that probiotics can assist in weight management is based on the theory that the type and amount of bacteria in the gut has a major impact on a person’s health. One study looking at the effects of probiotics on weight showed that when people used specific strains of bacteria, such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium lactis, they had an overall reduction in fat mass, body weight, and weight gain. In a review of 82 probiotic-related studies, the bacteria Lactobacillus plantarum appeared to be associated with weight loss.
In another review, researchers compiled the findings from 25 randomized human trials with over 1,900 healthy adults, investigating what kind of impact consuming probiotics had on body weight and BMI. They found modest reductions in BMI and body weight. But there was also enough evidence that even these modest reductions could have a positive impact on overall health and reduce the risk of conditions related to BMI and body weight. This study found that taking more than one type of probiotic for more than 8 weeks was most helpful.
Even though some still dispute the idea that probiotics can help with weight management, there are plenty of other good reasons to make one part of your daily routine.
3. Probiotics and the Immune System
Probiotics have been shown to support the immune system. Researchers recommend starting probiotics at least two weeks before the cold and flu season starts. Some researchers believe that probiotics interact with a person’s genetic makeup to actually change the immune system, making it function more efficiently. Harvard researchers recognized a connection between the bacteria in the gut and how well the immune system functions, but currently they aren’t exactly sure how this connection works.
A study of New Zealand rugby players showed that these athletes had 40 percent fewer colds and gastrointestinal infections when they took a probiotic as compared to those who took a placebo. An extra healthy immune system to help you fight off colds and flu is just one more good reason to take a probiotic.
4. Probiotics and Mood
Everyone knows that what you eat has an effect on how you feel physically. But how about mentally? Plenty of us get an upset stomach when we’re worried about something, and there’s growing evidence that the mind-body connection centers on gut health. According to Kelly Brogan, a psychiatrist who uses probiotics to help her patients, “Probiotic supplements and a change in diet can, in effect, rewire the brain.” Another study found that probiotics can help relieve the symptoms of people who are feeling anxious.
5. Probiotics and Skin
If you’re still not convinced you need probiotics, maybe this will change your mind: probiotics have been linked to antiaging effects, including skin improvements. You’ve probably heard of spa treatments like putting yogurt directly on the skin. But a study showed that taking probiotics orally can help protect the skin from the sun and help promote the quality of your skin and hair.
Dr. Whitney Bowe, an NYC dermatologist who studies probiotics, uses probiotics to help patients with antiaging and also to help with chronic skin conditions. Looking and feeling younger is a great reason to use a probiotic.
The Right Probiotics
The human body carries around 100 trillion microorganisms in the gut. How do you know which are the right ones to help you? The studies quoted above have thoroughly investigated the strains of probiotics found to support gut and immune system function, lift mood, manage weight, and feel all-around better. These are the exact strains of probiotics found in PhysIQ ProBio by LifeVantage.
PhysIQ ProBio provides 6 billion CFUs of healthy bacteria to support your digestive system. This product uses proven ingredients as well as controlled-release technology, known as BIO-Tract®, which delivers live probiotics deep into your gut over a 10–12 hour period. The probiotic also includes Wellmune® which helps boost your immune system to bring you closer to your health goals. PhysIQ ProBio includes six different strains of probiotics: Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus casei, Lacotbacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium longum. Each strain provides unique benefits to many systems in the body.