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The Link Between Probiotics and Gut Health

Dec 9, 2019

Based on scientific evidence, probiotics are live microorganisms that provide benefits when consumed in sufficient amounts. Probiotics are often used to counteract antibiotic side-effects (diarrhea, constipation, cramping, ulcers, and bloating) due to the good bacteria being killed along with the bad bacteria. They also promote gut health by encouraging the proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and play an integral role in the immune function by preventing the attachment and activity of pathogenic bacteria in the intestinal walls.

The human body contains trillions of microorganisms with the majority being harmless, or beneficial to the optimal functioning of the body. The human GIT is one of the areas of the human body where there is the greatest concentration and variety of living microorganisms. The number and diversity of these microorganisms are what ensure a healthy gut, which helps digestion and metabolism and prevents gastrointestinal problems. The gut microflora also contributes to the body’s immune function as well as to the maintenance of cognitive health through the gut-brain axis.

A person’s gut bacteria population is affected by his genetics and diet. However, various stresses such as disease, the use of antibiotics or environmental factors can alter the gut’s beneficial bacterial population. It is possible however to restore the good bacteria population through diet and consumption of fermented probiotic-rich foods or probiotic supplements.

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