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9 Benefits of Probiotics to Human Health

Probiotics are live, “good” bacteria that are essential for gut health. They help to keep the digestive system running smoothly and can also provide other health benefits, such as weight loss, improved skin health, and a reduced risk of depression. Probiotics are found in fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut, but they can also be taken in supplement form. Here are 10 reasons why you should consider taking a probiotic supplement every day.

1. Digestive Issues: 

Probiotics can help to alleviate digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, and diarrhea. They do this by restoring balance to the gut microbiota and by producing short-chain fatty acids that help to reduce inflammation.

2. IBS: 

Taking a daily probiotic can be particularly helpful for people with IBS, a condition characterized by abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits. In one study, people with IBS who took a probiotic supplement reported feeling less pain and more satisfied with their bowel movements than those who didn’t take probiotics. 

3. Constipation: 

There is also evidence to suggest probiotics can also help to relieve constipation by increasing the number of good bacteria in the gut and by helping food move through the digestive system more quickly. In one study, people who took a probiotic supplement experienced a significant increase in stool frequency and stool weight compared to those who didn’t take probiotics. 

4. Weight Loss: 

Probiotics may also help with weight loss by increasing satiety (feeling full) and reducing calorie intake. In one study, people who took a probiotic supplement daily for 12 weeks lost more weight and body fat than those who didn’t take probiotics. Additionally, they had lower levels of ghrelin (a hormone that promotes hunger) and higher levels of peptide YY (a hormone that reduces hunger). 

5. Gut Health: 

Using a probiotic supplement can improve gut health by reducing inflammation and restoring balance to the gut microbiota. In one study, people who took a probiotic supplement for eight weeks had significantly lower levels of inflammation markers than those who didn’t take probiotics. 

6. Men’s Health: 

Probiotics may also be beneficial for men’s health by reducing the risk of prostate cancer and improving semen quality. In one study, men who took a probiotic supplement daily for 12 weeks had a significant decrease in PSA levels (a marker of prostate cancer) compared to those who didn’t take probiotics. Another study found that men who took a probiotic supplement daily for three months had significantly higher sperm concentration, motility, and morphology than those who didn’t take probiotics. 

7. Women’s Health: 

Another popular reason for using a probiotic is that it is beneficial for women’s health by reducing the risk of vaginal infections and improving vaginal flora. In one study, women who took a probiotic supplement daily for eight weeks had significantly lower rates of vaginal infections than those who didn’t take probiotics . Another study found that women who took a probiotic supplement daily for four weeks had significantly higher levels of good bacteria (lactobacilli) in their vagina than those who didn’t take probiotics . 

8. Skin Health: 

Probiotics improve skin health by reducing inflammation and boosting immunity . In one study , people with eczema who took a probiotic supplement daily for eight weeks had significantly lower levels of inflammation markers than those who didn’t take probiotics . Another study found that people with acne who took a probiotic supplement daily for 12 weeks had significantly lower levels of inflammatory acne lesions than those who didn’t take probiotics . 

9. Depression and Mental Health: 

Taking probiotics can benefit mental health by reducing anxiety and depression. Probiotics do this by producing chemicals that affect the brain and by modulating the immune system. In one study, people who took a probiotic supplement for four weeks had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and reported feeling less anxious. Another study found that people who took a probiotic supplement for eight weeks had less depression and anxiety than those who didn’t take a probiotic. Probiotics may also help to improve memory and cognitive function. If you’re considering taking a probiotic supplement, speak with your doctor first to make sure it’s safe for you.

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