In today’s world of widely accessible health information, most people have heard of probiotics and know they have an impact on gut health and digestion. Ongoing research on the importance of the gut microbiome has shown that probiotics may have beneficial effects all over the body. Probiotics can play a significant role in disease prevention and improving our overall health.
What is the Gut Microbiome?
The gut microbiome refers to the hundreds of species of bacteria that live in our intestines. Everyone’s gut microbiome is unique and is made up of different types and amounts of bacteria. The development of the microbiome begins at birth and is constantly changing throughout life with factors such as diet, exercise, and stress. Although these bacteria live in our intestines, they impact critical processes all over the body, including digestion, metabolism, immunity, and brain function.
Scientists believe that maintaining a balanced gut microbiome is a critical factor in staying healthy and helping us feel our best.
The Gut Microbiome and Disease
Recent studies have linked an imbalance in gut bacteria to several common diseases, including obesity, depression, IBD, diabetes, and even certain cancers. When the balance of good bacteria in the gut is thrown off, the body cannot function normally, which increases the risk of disease. It is still unclear exactly how these bacteria can prevent or promote disease. However, maintaining the right balance of bacterial strains in your gut can reduce your risk of developing many chronic diseases. This realization has led to research on the use of probiotics to maintain/restore the balance of the gut microbiome to improve universal health issues. Certain probiotics may be beneficial for things such as weight loss, improving mood disorders, and controlling mild symptoms of IBS like constipation and diarrhea.
Probiotics in the Diet
The easiest ways to change your gut microbiome is to consume probiotics. Probiotics are avail through food or supplementation. Probiotics are live bacteria found in certain foods and supplements that help populate your gut. They are present in many fermented food products such as aged cheeses, yogurts, sauerkraut, tempeh, and kombucha. Unfortunately, not all fermented foods contain probiotics due to manufacturing processes like baking and pasteurization that kill the bacterial cultures. To determine whether a product contains probiotics, look for the name of a bacterial culture or the words “live cultures” or “active cultures” on the label.
If you don’t consume a lot of probiotic-rich foods in your diet, you may want to add a probiotic supplement to your routine.
There is currently a wide variety of probiotic supplements on the market that vary based on the strand type and dosage of bacteria. Before purchasing a supplement, you should consider which benefits you are hoping to achieve from the probiotics. Individual strands or combinations of strands of bacteria seem to be more effective for specific processes than others. It is essential to research which strands may be best for you. Depending on what nutrients you may lacking in your diets, many of us can benefit from a basic supplement regimen.
Also, It’s good practice to make sure supplements are third-party certified, so you know they are safe, effective, and made with quality ingredients. Look for the IPRO third-party certificate stamps, so you know that it has been tested and contains what it claimed on the label.
Furthermore, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new supplementation regimen! They will help you find the right solution customized to your health needs.
Are you looking for lab-tested, third-party-certified supplements? Explore certified products now.