Probiotics: What They Are For And Why We All Need Them
The term “probiotic” is starting to become familiar to most people these days. Mainstream over the counter pharmaceutical products are heavily advertising the digestive benefits provided by the probiotics they produce. Very few times these days are advertisers telling the whole truth. But in this instance, you would do well to listen to their message about the benefits of probiotics.
Probiotics are one of the most beneficial supplements you can give to your body, and the benefits expand beyond just the digestive support they provide. So what are they? In short, probiotics are bacteria - but not the germ kind. They are beneficial bacteria that keep the entire gut operating in a state of homeostasis and optimal functioning.
Science reveals more and more to us every day about the human body. We now know that the gut makes up nearly 80% of the immune system. That’s right - that means that your digestive system largely controls the state of your health. Doesn’t it stand to reason, then, that if you want to be healthy, you should start by doing your best to make your gut healthy?
Sure it does. So what does the gut need to be healthy?
That is not a simple answer, because the many functions, hormones, chemicals, blood cells, and other mechanisms at work in the gut work symbiotically and it is a very complex system. To function at its peak, it needs support in several ways. The gut needs to be hydrated, periods of occasional fasting, exercise to keep things moving, quality nutrients, low sugar processing, and it needs the right balance of bacteria.
Probiotics help with that last part. Without the proper bacterial balance, the digestive system does not function at its peak. Most people today have taken antibiotics at least once or twice in their life. This is important to note because antibiotics strip the body of all bacteria - the good and the bad. The body can’t always fully restore all of the necessary bacteria that gets lost in that process.
Antibiotics can absolutely be life-saving, but they are not risk free. Furthermore, they leave your body in a somewhat compromised state without all the beneficial bacteria it needs to function. It’s important to restore your body to health after taking them. Giving the body back the bacteria it needs to be in balance helps keep it functioning for optimal health.
Not all probiotics are created equally, however, and it’s important to take a good one if your body needs it. You can buy a probiotic at any big box retailer, but it may not have as much gut support as your body needs. Try to find one in the refrigerated vitamin section of a health food store. A good probiotic is not going to be cheap, but it will be worth it. It’s hard to say how much each person needs to take because each person’s needs are unique to them. Some may need more than others.
Taking care of your immune health requires many things. Health does not come from a pill in any form. However, sometimes when the body can be supplemented with some much needed nutrition, it can function properly. Ultimately, this is the definition of health.