Top Three Benefits of Probiotics

illustration of probiotics under a microscope

Typically we regard bacteria as a bad thing and associate it with infections and diseases, but over the last few years, the idea of “good bacteria” has been more widely discussed. Certain types of living bacteria, as known as probiotics, have become a mainstay in the health and wellness world as scientific findings support claims that these microorganisms can help treat and prevent some illnesses. The benefits of probiotics can especially be identified in gastrointestinal conditions. To help provide a baseline of knowledge, we’re taking time to discuss some of the top benefits of probiotics.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are kinds of live bacteria that naturally occur in your body. Most probiotics are consumed through certain foods and drinks, like yogurt, pickled vegetables, and kombucha. Specific strains of these good bacteria dwell in your gut and serve a variety of digestive health benefits. While probiotics are comprised of many different types of bacteria, the most commonly occurring types are part of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium groups. Probiotics may also occur in types of yeast. These different types of strains of probiotics offer specific effects and benefits depending on what system in the body for which they’re suited.

Benefits of probiotics

Defense against pathogens

Your digestive system uses its good bacteria to fight off harmful bacteria known as pathogens. When you consume more probiotics, you’re allowing good bacteria to kill pathogens and prevent them from multiplying, enabling you to remain healthy. Not only can probiotics satisfy shortages of good bacteria, they can also encourage the growth of beneficial microorganisms that already exist within your body.

Nutrient synthesis

Probiotics allow your body to combine nutrients in order to create powerful vitamin compounds that the body does not naturally produce. B12 vitamins and vitamin K are both examples of synthesized nutrients.

Supports a healthy immune system

One of your immune system’s first lines of defense is inflammation. But too much inflammation can lead to other health problems. Probiotics support the immune system and prevent inflammation from becoming too large of a problem.

Probiotics and your gastrointestinal system

While various strains of probiotics can benefit different systems in the body, a lot of emphasis is put on the relationship between probiotics and gut health. Research has suggested that probiotics may help treat symptoms associated with:

  • IBS
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Diarrhea

While no definitive conclusions have been drawn, studies have shown a 60% reduction in antibiotic-associated diarrhea when compared with a placebo. If you have questions about gastrointestinal conditions or the potential benefits of probiotics, reach out to Birmingham Gastroenterology today. You should also consult a healthcare professional prior to beginning any probiotic dietary supplement.

Contact Birmingham Gastroenterology 

If you are having trouble with your digestive health, Birmingham Gastroenterology can help. We have decades of experience treating diseases and disorders in all parts of the digestive system. To make an appointment to discuss your symptoms and treatment options, call us at (205) 271-8000.

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