Briefly about probiotics

  • Contributes to good intestinal flora, which is important for the immune system
  • Probiotics counteract mental illness by contributing to a good intestinal flora
  • Helps rebuild a good intestinal flora after stress and illness

Learn more about probiotics

Our colon is home to about 10 trillion microorganisms of many different species, both beneficial and harmful. The gut microbiota mainly consists of various bacteria, and in a healthy and thriving gut, there can be around 1,000 different bacterial species. It’s like having its own little ecosystem where inhabitants rely on diversity and live in a harmonious balance. Diet and lifestyle greatly influence the well-being of the gut microbiota, and recent research has shown that people in the Western world have a significantly depleted gut flora with far fewer species compared to various indigenous populations.

A healthy colon predominantly harbors beneficial bacteria, although there are always some of the harmful ones present. These bacteria have different food preferences, and it is important to nourish the beneficial ones so that they can multiply and keep the harmful ones in check. The beneficial bacteria produce various positive substances as they break down food.

What are probiotics good for?

Probiotics are supplements containing beneficial bacteria that help create a balanced gut flora and prevent harmful bacteria from taking over. A healthy gut flora is of utmost importance for both our physical and mental well-being. Increasingly, researchers are starting to understand how the gut microbiota can influence a wide range of diseases and conditions that were previously considered chronic, such as depression, anxiety, MS, Alzheimer’s, autism, IBS, Crohn’s disease, and more.

Factors such as stress, poor sleep, unhealthy eating habits, processed food, high sugar intake, coffee, alcohol, smoking, lack of exercise, illnesses, antibiotics, and other medications can disrupt the balance of the gut microbiota and allow the harmful bacteria to thrive while suppressing the growth of beneficial bacteria. In such cases, probiotics can help reintroduce beneficial bacteria to restore the balance. Many of the beneficial bacteria in probiotics belong to the lactic acid bacteria group, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidus. They promote the growth of other beneficial bacteria while inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria.

What can a lack of good gut bacteria mean?

An imbalance in the gut flora, where harmful microorganisms outnumber the beneficial ones and take over, is called dysbiosis. This can lead to problems in the gastrointestinal tract, as well as other hidden issues such as poor absorption of minerals and vitamins, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, allergies, depression, anxiety, diabetes, weakened immune system, and more. Our modern lifestyle has resulted in stress becoming a growing health problem for many individuals. Stress increases the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which is a normal and vital function of the body. However, when stress becomes chronic, which is common in today’s lifestyle, the effects become harmful in the long run. Elevated cortisol levels lead to increased blood sugar levels, which is detrimental in the long term, and sugar negatively affects the gut flora.

Increased stress also leads to low vagal tone, which refers to reduced activity in the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the body, stretching from the brain to various organs in the abdominal cavity, including the gastrointestinal system. In other words, the gut and the microorganisms within it communicate with the brain. The gut microbiota produces various substances that, in turn, affect nerve receptors in the intestinal wall. These signals are then transmitted to the brain, where they are processed and subsequently sent back as signals.

How do we get good gut bacteria?

Fermented products promote a healthy gut flora, such as kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, and yogurt.

Supplements of probiotics provide different strains of beneficial bacteria and can help balance an unhealthy gut flora.

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