Why Are Probiotics Important?

Why Are Probiotics Important?

  • Gut Health

  • Probiotics 101

  • By Jef L’Ecuyer, Registered Dietitian

    Why Are Probiotics Important?

    In recent decades, scientists and researchers have made fascinating discoveries about the role of the gut in human health. Your gut health can impact your digestion, nutrient absorption, immune system, mental health, and much more.

    Since your gut plays such a foundational role in your overall health and wellbeing, it’s important to take good care of it. Eating a diverse diet, getting adequate sleep, and managing your stress levels are just a few ways you can prep your gut for healthy living. Adding a convenient probiotic supplement  to your daily routine is another easy way to prioritize your wellness.

    If you’re still wondering why take probiotics, we have good news! We’ll explain why probiotics are good for you and how they can support your optimal gut health. 

    What Are Probiotics? 

    Your gut is home to a vibrant community of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and yeast. Trillions of these bugs exist within your gastrointestinal tract. Many of them are essential to your survival, while others can cause harm—the key to health is maintaining the right balance between bad and beneficial bacteria. 

    Together, this community is known as the gut microbiota.

    The “good” bacteria in your gut microbiota are responsible for breaking down your food, helping you absorb vital nutrients, and supporting your immune system. Probiotics supplements help maintain a good microbiota. 

    By consuming a probiotic supplement regularly, you can fill your gut microbiota with more friendly bacteria and reap the benefits of a healthier, happier gut. 

    Why Are Probiotics Good For You?

    So why are probiotics good for you? There are many ways a probiotic supplementation can improve digestive health. Probiotics support your gut health in the following ways:

    • Probiotics may increase the abundance of good bacteria in your gut – When your gut has an abundance of beneficial bacteria, it has an easier time fulfilling its important functions, like helping to digest your food. You can think of these good gut bacteria as little soldiers that fight on your behalf to ensure optimal health and wellbeing. The more robust your microbiota-militia, the better.  
    • Probiotics may push out some of the harmful bacteria in your gut – While many bacteria in your gut are beneficial, others are not so friendly. If left unchecked, harmful bacteria can overtake your gut microbiota and cause a condition known as “dysbiosis.” Dysbiosis is associated with a slew of health problems, including:
    • Bloating
    • Constipation
    • Diarrhea
    • Inflammatory bowel disease
    • Irritable bowel syndrome
    • Obesity 
    • Metabolic syndrome
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Ankylosing spondylitis
    • Eczema
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Poor immune function
    • Allergies
    • Asthma
    • Anxiety and depression

    Fortunately, probiotics strengthen your internal microbiota-militia. In turn, they may help you recover from dysbiosis and its associated conditions. 

    • Probiotics may improve the bacterial diversity within your gut microbiota – In addition to having an abundance of good bacteria in your gut, you also want a healthy variety of different strains. That’s because different bacterial strains perform different roles within your body. With more specialized strains in your gut microbiota’s rank, your body can function at its best.
    • Probiotics may reduce intestinal inflammation – The purpose of inflammation is to help your body fight off infections. However, if your body becomes chronically inflamed, it can cause a lot of health issues, ranging from ulcerative colitis to chronic fatigue syndrome. Fortunately, some strains of probiotics have anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce your body’s unnecessary inflammation.

    Probiotics help you cultivate and maintain a healthy, balanced gut microbiota. They can also help restore balance after your gut microbiota has been disrupted by antibiotic use, stress, a poor diet, or illness. 

    Why Should You Take Probiotics?

    With these benefits in mind, there are many reasons why you might consider taking probiotics. 

    Here are a few good reasons to add probiotics to your daily regimen:

    • To improve your digestion – As many as 20% of people struggle with digestion. Many digestive issues are caused by an imbalanced, inflamed gut. As a result, many people take probiotics to help soothe their digestive disorders. Probiotics have been shown to help relieve: 
    • Bloating
    • Acute diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
    • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
    • Ulcerative colitis

    If you suffer from any of these conditions, talk to your doctor before starting to take a probiotic.

    • To enhance your nutrient absorption – Your digestive system breaks down food into absorbable nutrients. Once your food is broken down, its essential vitamins and minerals are absorbed into your bloodstream. When your gut is healthy, it’s much better at extracting and absorbing the nutrients from your food. If your gut doesn’t have enough good bacteria to do the job, you may suffer from nutritional deficiencies and other malabsorption issues.

      Fortunately, probiotics may help enhance your nutrient absorption by adding more good bacteria to your nutrient-absorbing arsenal. 
    • To strengthen your gut’s lining – The cell lining of your intestinal tract can become more permeable when your gut microbiota is out of balance or inflamed. This condition is known as leaky gut syndrome. A leaky gut can allow toxins and bad bacteria to enter your bloodstream, potentially leading to autoimmune issues and other illnesses. Probiotics may reduce this permeability by fortifying the strength of your gut lining.
    • To support your immune system – Did you know that 70 to 80% of your immune system is located within your gut? Probiotics have been shown to support immune function by promoting natural antibody production and increasing essential immune cells. After taking probiotics, you may notice that your body is better at fighting off colds and flus. 
    • To improve your mood and mental health – Your body produces many of your mood-regulating chemicals in your gut. In fact, that’s where 95% of your body’s serotonin comes from. Inadequate levels of serotonin are associated with depression, anxiety, and sleeping disorders.

      Your gut and brain also communicate through the gut-brain axis. If your gut health is suffering, your mental health may follow suit. In turn, an imbalanced gut microbiota has been associated with an increased risk of anxiety, depression, OCD, and stress. By supporting your gut health with probiotics, you may be able to improve your mood and mitigate gut-related mental health issues. 
    • To maintain a healthy weight – Since your gut regulates digestion, hormone production, and nutrient absorption, It also impacts your weight. If your gut health is out of whack, maintaining a healthy weight may feel like an uphill battle. Luckily, some strains of probiotics could support healthy weight management. 

    These are just a few of the powerful benefits you may experience from taking probiotics—and clear indicators of the importance of probiotics. 

    More Ways to Cultivate a Healthy Gut Microbiota

    Taking probiotics is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to optimizing your gut health. As we’ve noted, the gut, brain, and entirety of the body are all deeply interconnected. When you focus on other parts of your body, you improve your personal wellness from all angles.

    Some other steps you can take to promote a healthy gut microbiota include: 

    • Eating a diverse range of healthy foods
    • Adding more fermented foods to your diet
    • Eating more prebiotics (such as fiber-rich fruits and veggies)
    • Avoiding artificial sweeteners
    • Managing your stress levels
    • Getting enough sleep

    You can also protect your gut health by avoiding common triggers that may induce dysbiosis, such as:

    • Taking unnecessary antibiotics
    • Eating a lot of sugar, fried food, and processed food
    • Drinking alcohol in excess
    • Living a high-stress lifestyle

    Who Should Take Probiotics?

    As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why probiotics are important. But are they for everyone? 

    If you suspect that your gut health needs a little TLC, probiotics may be the solution. You can try taking probiotics for a few weeks to see how they impact the specific conditions you seek to target, as well as your overall health. 

    However, It’s always important to speak with your doctor before you start taking probiotics. While probiotics are safe for the majority of people, they’re not right for everyone. In particular, people with weakened immune systems should receive a green light from their doctor before adding probiotics into the mix. 

    Optimize Your Gut Microbiota With High-Quality Probiotics

    If you’re ready to experience the health benefits of probiotics first-hand, make sure to purchase yours from a trustworthy brand. Probiotics can vary notably in quality and purity, and only some brands have been clinically tested to prove their efficacy.

    If you want a proven, patented probiotic, Bio-K+® is the only place to shop, whether you prefer convenient probiotic capsules and delicious drinkables. We know just how important good probiotics are, so all of our products undergo extensive clinical testing before they reach you. In turn, you can rest assured that you’re getting the very best when you choose Bio-K+. 

    Browse our new Extra Line and our full selection of probiotics today. 


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    Jef L’Ecuyer Registered Dietitian
    About the author
    After her nutrition training at McGill University, Jef specialized in gastrointestinal health with a special interest in the microbiota and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. With Bio-K+, she continues on this path by making the world of probiotics more accessible to all.
    View all articles by Jef L’Ecuyer
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