Probiotics are actually live bacteria that occur in some certain foods such as fermented vegetables: kimchi or sauerkraut, also live-cultured yogurt. Probiotics are also added to some dark chocolates and they are available as supplements.
Semantically, the word “probiotic” means “promoting life” or “for life”. It means that probiotics have some benefits for health. So, what are they? Read this article to discover all health benefits of probiotics for infants, toddlers and adults.
Top Health Benefits Of Probiotics For Infants, Toddlers And Adults
1. Treat Colic In Babies
Colic is a common condition in infants. They just cry and can’t let parents know the reason. However, if parent pay attention to their babies’ digestive system and find any problem, add probiotic supplements to their babies’ diet. These supplements will work to improve the babies’ digestion and immunity. As a result, the babies will heal their colic naturally.
According to a study in 2007 released by Pediatrics, in 28 days of a test, breastfed babies whose moms consumed a proper dose of probiotic source like yogurt or probiotic supplements cried about 194 minutes less than the group that did not. In another study in the same journal published in 2010, the scientists indicated that there are 194 good reasons of consuming probiotic supplements daily, for people of different ages.
2. Boost Immunity
Beneficial bacteria in the intestines can crowd out harmful bacteria and give direct effects on the immune response. In fact, changes in gut bacteria happen as we are aging, especially the decline in Bifidobacteria that inhibit all pathogenic microbes. Normally, this process increases the susceptibility to flu, colds and infections and probiotics supplement can aid in restoring these illnesses.
In a study, 475 healthy women and men who didn’t get flu shots either vitamins and minerals combined probiotic supplements daily for 5.5 months during the winter to the spring. All individuals reported flu, colds, and respiratory symptoms. Another group taking vitamin, mineral and probiotic supplement combination got 25% fewer flu symptoms, 19% fewer colds and 50% fewer days with fever symptoms than that placebo group.
3. Regulate Blood Pressure
The scientists proved that poor marks on your physical might send you on a quest to lower cholesterol. In the AHA scientific meeting, the researchers found that a strain of probiotic supplements present in meats and dairy products called Lactobacillus reuteri could aid in lowering LDL levels in individuals by 12% more than the placebo group and their overall cholesterol was controlled and lowered by nearly 9%.
Researchers showed that probiotic supplements can break up all bile salts and lower absorption in human gut.
4. Improve Gastrointestinal Health
Health benefits of probiotics are not only for immune system, but also for gastrointestinal health. Typically, probiotics can help reduce diarrhea, constipation related to IBS and other bowel diseases. Just with a cup of live-culture yogurt a day or a proper dose of probiotic supplement you can control bloating, IBS effectively. A study published by Health Alerts also indicated that individuals who consumed 2 to 4 ounce servings of yogurt daily experienced less gastrointestinal problems and experienced more bowel movements during a few weeks.
Another research was conducted by Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics showed that participants who consumed yogurt twice/day experienced short amounts of time between bowel movements and eating – That’s less time they had to spend doubled over clutching the stomach in pain.
5. Improve Oral Health & Dental Health
Evidence suggests that health benefits of probiotics may aid in controlling bad breath and boost better oral health. Specifically, Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus and other strains can help curb the growth of bacteria like Streptococcus mutans, which contribute to your cavities, bad breath and gum problems.
Many studies and researches have shown that Lactobacillus reuteri, a probiotic can kill bacteria that cause tooth decay as well as lessen negative effects of gingivitis. So, add probiotic supplements to your diet for a full mouth of healthy teeth and the reduction of bleeding gums and breath problems.
6. Control Respiratory Infections
Some people often get sick when the weather or season changes, but that will not be you in this year. Studies from Cochrane Library indicate that, probiotics can help reduce most upper respiratory infections.
In another research in children during 18 days in Helsinki, Finland the scientists indicated that the group drank probiotic-added milk reduced 17% of respiratpry infections and 16% illnesses, in comparison with the group drank non-probiotic milk.
Beside live-cultured yogurt or probiotic-added milk, you can consume fermented vegetables such as kimchi or sauerkraut to get rid of respiratory infections effectively.
7. Beat Diabetes
The scientists show that supplemental probiotics can help inhibit the onset of glucose intolerance in some animals. According to a study in 2010, supplements called L. acidophilus could have positive effect on the insulin sensitivity. Some scientists found that individuals with type II diabetes had different bacteria in the gut than people without diabetes.
So, to treat diabetes as well as control insulin levels, you can take L. acidophilus supplements or consume yogurt. Add probiotic supplements to your daily meals for beating diabetes naturally and effectively.
8. Reduce Depression & Anxiety
Some studies have indicated that when gut bacteria are dysbiosis or out of balance, this condition can affect bad emotions such as anxiety or depression. For instance, anxiety can give you butterflies as well as stress ties your stomach. Due to the gut brain connection, L. acidophilus and other strains appears to fix your stress and improve your emotion to be happy and positive.
Don’t forget to consume yogurt or take probiotic supplements daily for getting rid of depression and anxiety more easily.
9. Beat Eczema, Acne & Improve Skin Health
Next to wonderful health benefits of probiotics, consider probiotic supplements for treating eczema, skin inflammation and other skin problems.
When you suffer from eczema, you will get frustrating and annoying itchy, dry skin. Fortunately, probiotics can strengthen your immunity to beat these triggers fast. Specially, babies have high risks of eczema and skin issues because of their sensitive skin, and probiotics are the safest and the most natural cure for these skin problems.
For young adults, acne is actually a big concern. They get mood disorders and skin issues because of growth hormone changes. To deal with these problems, young adults should consume probiotics supplements or yogurts daily. In other studies, evidence suggests that there are links between psoriasis and intestinal bacteria. Thus, by adding probiotic supplements into meals, people can improve gastrointestinal health, especially for adolescents with acne.
10. Improve Women's Health
Like digestive tract, women’s vagina relies on the precarious balance of bacteria. When the balance is out of control, it will result in uncomfortable infections such as yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. In reality, bacterial vaginosis can lead to a yeast infection and other related infections.
Some studies have shown that Lactobacillus reuteri can help women activate the balance of bacteria in the body to prevent infection while supporting antibiotics. Normally, pregnant women are often susceptible to infections, especially vaginal infections, pesky yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis and probiotics have a great role in maternal health for preventing preterm labor.
According to a study from the Harvard Medical School, probiotic supplements can help balance bacteria present in the vagina and prevent overgrowth of all harmful microorganisms. Now, effectiveness of probiotics is being debated, scientists and researchers agree that there is no harm in consuming more probiotics in your diet.
11. Improve Urinary Health
Recent evidence suggests that probiotics are beneficial for people with urinary problems. Probiotics can help eliminate urinary tract infections (UTIs) by maintaining a good environment for healthy bacteria on tract’s adherence areas.
Nowadays, infections of urinary tract are more common, especially among women. A study in the Maryland Medical Center indicated that, by taking probiotics, most urinary tract infections disappear but nearly 30 – 40% might return.
For these benefits of probiotics in improving urinary health, consume yogurt as a yummy snack or take a proper dose of probiotics supplements daily for having improved urinary health.
Many allergy researches indicated that probiotics can add in reducing most allergies up to 30%, especially childhood eczema in infants and toddlers. Also, a study shown that probiotic can help fight off seasonal allergies in people with their histories of allergies. Infants who took probiotics reduced 50% of allergy incidence.
For these health benefits of probiotics, people with allergies can be active to consume probiotics and prevent these conditions for good.
Keep in mind that probiotics should be consumed frequently so that the consumers can get the best effectiveness of benefits of probiotics.
13. Diarrhea And Other Digestive Problems
Diarrhea is an embarrassing and unpleasant health condition that happens in infants, toddlers and adults. According to the American Medical Association (AMM), probiotics consumption may help control diarrhea episodes. A study in 2012 in the Journal of AMA indicated that participants who took probiotics supplements with antibiotics lowered 42% to diarrhea development than the placebo did.
Also, evidence suggests that probiotics can work for those with IBS – a hard-to-treat problem that has a wide range of intestinal symptoms like cramps, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.
14. Prevent Obesity
According recent researches, probiotics can help fight off obesity in children and adults. Bacteria that reside in intestinal tract may be involved in the energy regulation and nutrient uptake. Evidence reveals that in obese animals and humans, these bacteria absorb much more calories from consumed foods and store calories in fat. The differences have been noted in communities of thin and obese people. Thus, health benefits of probiotics are clear for weight loss.
Read on: Obesity Prevention
I’ve shown you the list of 14 health benefits of probiotics for infants, toddlers and adults. Make use of all these health benefits of probiotics for your overall health. Read more related articles at Home Health on the site VKool.
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