Since covid more people have become interested in improving their health. The demand for healthier diet choices, clean water and natural solutions to prevent health problems has grown. Our food does not have the same nutrient value it used to have and digestive issues have increased. Probiotics have the potential to restore balance and are becoming increasingly popular.
In fact, they are the third most-used dietary supplement in the U.S. after vitamins and minerals.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are intended to have health benefits when consumed or applied to the body. Probiotics are made of a combination of live beneficial good bacteria and/or yeasts that naturally live in your body. You have both good and bad bacteria in your body. When you get an infection, there’s more bad bacteria, knocking your system out of balance. Good bacteria helps eliminate extra bad bacteria, returning the balance. Probiotics supplements offer many health benefits and they have been linked to balancing the “GOOD” bacteria in the gut beginning with the mouth.
Bacteria is usually viewed in a negative light as something that makes you sick. However, you have two kinds of bacteria constantly in and on your body — good bacteria and bad bacteria. Probiotics are made up of good bacteria that helps keep your body healthy and working well. This good bacteria helps you in many ways, including fighting off bad bacteria when you have too much of it, helping you feel better.
Our oral cavity is the second to the gi tract in populated microbiome occupancy in the human body with more than 700 different types of bacteria both good and bad.
Having a healthy mouth and adding a probiotic can assist in countering harmful bacteria caused by lifestyle choices such as diet, smoking, medications, lack of oral care and systemic diseases.
Probiotics are part of the puzzle concerning bacteria, your body and your microbiome. Think of a microbiome as a diverse community of organisms that work together to keep your body healthy. This community is made up of things called microbes. You have trillions of microbes on and in your body. These microbes are a combination of:
- Fungi (including yeasts).
Everyone’s microbiome is unique. No two people have the same microbial cells — even twins are different.
For a microbe to be called a probiotic, it must have several characteristics. These include being able to:
- Be isolated from a human.
- Survive in your intestine after being swallowed.
- Have a proven benefit to you.
- Be safely consumed.
Where do beneficial microbes live in my body?
The most common place linked to beneficial microbes is your gut, mainly the large intestines, you have several locations in and on your body that host good microbes. These locations include your:
- Urinary tract.
The digestive tract is home to more than 500 bacterial species, each contributing to body functions, such as digestion, immune system development and nutrient production. Further, different people can have varying strains of gut microorganisms based on what intestinal conditions they may be experiencing. For example, a person with elimination issues may have more of a specific bacterial variety than someone with no issue.
When introduced into the digestive system, probiotics can also help break down proteins and fats, which can be supportive during times of lowered immunity. Different probiotic strains also work on different sections of the digestive system. Some are meant to carry friendly bacteria through to the large intestine, while others can’t survive the stomach acid.
How do probiotics work?
The main job of probiotics, or good bacteria, is to maintain a healthy balance in your body. Think of it as keeping your body in neutral. When you are sick, bad bacteria enter your body and multiply in number. This knocks your body out of balance. Good bacteria work to fight off the bad bacteria and restore the balance within your body, making you feel better.
Good bacteria keeps you healthy by supporting your immune function and controlling inflammation. Certain types of good bacteria can also:
- Help your body digest food.
- Prevent disease in your mouth stimulating healthy saliva.
- Keep bad bacteria from getting out of control and making you sick.
- Help support the cells that line your gut to prevent bad bacteria from entering your blood.
- Breakdown and absorb medications.
This balancing act is naturally happening in your body all of the time. You don’t actually need to take probiotic supplements to make it happen. Good bacteria is just a natural part of your body. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in fiber every day helps to keep the number of good bacteria at proper levels.
Sources of Probiotics?
Probiotics can naturally be found in foods, and dietary supplements. Each strain can have multiple purposes, such as aiding in digestive health, women’s health or oral health. Probiotics are also present in fermented plant-based foods and drinks, like miso, kimchi and sauerkraut, water kefir, or dairy products, like yogurt, milk kefir and fermented cheeses. As cows milk dairy is one of the most common food sensitivities, it’s best to consider non-dairy food sources of probiotics or stick with sheep or goats milk or plant based sources as an alternative. Working in tandem with probiotics, prebiotics are found in fiber-rich foods including many fruits, vegetables and grains, and serve to feed the good bacteria living in the gut to help maintain balance.
Not surprisingly, what you feed your microbiome may have the biggest impact on its health. And the healthier it is, the healthier you are. When ingested or applied topically, probiotics can help to balance the body’s microbiome and eliminate more harmful strains of bacteria.
But with so many different strains of probiotics, how can you know which probiotic supplements to use? This article will provide an introductory guideline to understanding probiotics, why you may choose to incorporate them into your nutrition plan and how they can be beneficial to your health.
As a whole, probiotics actually contain several unique strains of beneficial bacteria and yeasts, most notably formulated to promote and balance gut health. Each strain has a specific purpose, but multi-strains have been shown to be even more effective in maintaining balance within the digestive tract, which is why understanding probiotics is important to choose the one that best supports you.
Certain strains are designed to potentially replace the good bacteria that prescribed antibiotics also kill off. The probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii, a beneficial yeast, may be especially helpful in balancing the gut during or after antibiotic use. It can help prevent the overgrowth of certain unfriendly fungi, yeasts or bacteria.
Burst offers a proprietary blend of probiotic strains that were carefully chosen based on clinical research that showed a substantial reduction in bad breath in over 85% of patients in just a 3-day period.* Every lozenge contains a whopping 6 billion CFU at time of manufacturing (2 billion CFU expected at 18 months expiry.
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The most common probiotic species are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. You may have seen their specific strain on food or supplement labels with names like L. acidophilus or B. lactis.
It’s also important to note that not all probiotics are created equal. Your microbiome may require a very specific strain to rebalance your gut using a scientifically formulated protocol or plan. If you suspect you may have a bacterial imbalance, you can run a simple at-home lab test to assess how well your digestive system is functioning and the relationship with your energy levels and mood.
Working alongside certified health practitioners, https://yourguidedhealthjourney.com/ you can further understand your results with a personalized wellness plan and the appropriate probiotic recommendation that best supports your current health to restore any imbalances.
It all starts with knowledge and sharing that knowledge a healthy mouth is a healthy body and a longer happier healthier life!