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This is not a probiotic review, but an informative article designed to tackle multiple aspects at once. We will present you with basic notions regarding probiotics, the benefits that are being associated with the regular consumption, as well as the best natural probiotic sources. Although there are a lot of reviews available, you rarely see one that would offer you with all the information you need.
Aside from this, it seems like probiotics are being more and more appreciated by the large public, due to the fact that the benefits are impossible to ignore. Although we still have a lot to learn about the way they influence our organisms, we still possess a lot of information in this regard, which is why the public’s attention is aiming in their direction lately.
A useful insight in the world of probiotics
There is no way you have not heard of probiotics until now. While their role was still unclear in the beginning, we now know enough to understand how important they are for our biological functioning. As a matter of fact, without probiotics, we would be living in a completely different world. According to the latest researches, the body needs them in order to function properly. They are not optional.
This is what leads us to one of the major problems in our today’s societies. Trying to stay safe from the harmful influences of the bacteria and germs, people fall prey to exactly the same germs when they sterilize their environments. This is something that it is affecting children especially. But we will talk about this aspect in the following section.
Until then, in order to fully understand the importance of probiotics, let’s have a look at some of the benefits that are being associated with their regular consumption:
- Great support for the digestive system
Probiotics are useful in breaking down harder to digest foods, like proteins, carbs and lactose. Without them, we would not be able to extract the nutrients from some aliments. Using probiotics in your regular eating habits could actually help you to avoid lactose intolerance, among other things.
- Improved metabolism
This is one of the things that make people adopting probiotics as weight loss supplements. It is not that hard to see why. Since the body will be able to process a lot more food, it will therefore build up a lot more energy, which leads to a physical boost up. You will be able to lose more weight with lower efforts.
- Immune system boosting
It is one of those things that cannot be separated from probiotics. After all, this is how they occur in the first place. Probiotics appear as a natural competition to the harmful pathogens in the early stages of our lives. Since their influence is beneficial, the organism will learn to identify them and accept their presence, as long as they fight off the microscopic intruders. Having a balanced probiotic level in the organism will help you to remain safe from any potential microscopic intruders.
- Fight off a lot of digestive issues
Among these we need to mention antibiotic related diarrhea. This will always occur when using any powerful antibiotic. As the name suggests, antibiotics are used to kill off infections and some of them are rather highly potent and efficient in doing so. The big problem here is that they also destroy the good bacteria. In these cases, almost always the doctor will prescribe you probiotics, to supplement and rebalance your intestinal flora.
- Reestablish the mental integrity
Although it may seem peculiar, this is an actual benefit. In scientific terms it is called the gut-brain axis, which states that the gut microbiota heavily influences the mood and the brain state. It has also been determined that providing the organism with a healthy level of probiotics is essential in fighting off anxiety.
These are only a handful of benefits, basically only what we have been able to identify beyond any doubt. But researchers suggest that there may be more than that. Some studies have linked probiotics with cancer prevention and these are just a few of the diseases that could possibly be avoided simply by regulating your intestinal flora.
What are the best probiotic sources?
Here is where we need to mention the 2 different sources: regular natural probiotic sources and professional supplements. This is where we need to draw a distinct line between them, because they provide you with different outcomes.
It is undeniably true that there is a significant difference between the different probiotic rich sources. You may wonder why we need professional supplements if we can have our probiotic fill from natural sources. Indeed, you can easily get useful probiotic levels from a wide variety of foods and aliments, like: apple cider vinegar, kimchi, kefir, pickles, kombucha, yogurt and, basically, every other fermented food you can get.
However, as you will see, there is a crucial difference between these and the supplements that the health market is filled with. We will argue that the last ones are incomparably better and more advantageous than the naturally occurring probiotic sources and here is why:
- Unlike foods, probiotic supplements contain live bacteria – This does not mean that the foods only contain dead ones, but they tend to survive less than in the advantageous environment provided by the supplements. These are created only using live bacteria that are highly reactive and efficient.
- The bacteria found in supplements are highly resilient – This is another major difference between the natural probiotic sources and the professional ones. While in foods the microorganisms are weaker and, for the most part, cannot adapt to the highly acidic environment of the gut, those coming from supplements are extremely resilient and can withstand the same conditions a lot easier.
- The number of strains varies significantly – Why is this important? Because when talking about probiotics, the strength is in the diversity. The higher the number of bacterial strains, the more effective the product is.
It is a fact. Probiotic supplements are definitely a lot more valuable than the natural counterparts. But let me clear that up for you. When I am using the “natural” term I am not doing so in order to differentiate between these two sources from a qualitative standpoint, but because I want to differentiate between their different occurrences.
In other words, the probiotic supplements are not artificially made. They are also natural and highly effective. As a matter of fact, when talking about the health industry, these products may be among the few that are completely natural and lack any artificial or potentially harmful component.
Are probiotics designed to improve our health?
This is the only thing that they have been designed for. Probiotics have a wide range of benefits and it is a fact that they are bound to take the health industry by storm in the next few years. They already have, although not everybody trusts them as much as they should.
This is partially because of the fact that all of the products claim to be natural, when in fact they are composed out of plenty of artificial components, extremely dangerous in some cases. This is not what probiotics are and the word “natural” is what describes them the best. They are naturally occurring microorganisms. What supplements do is simply encompassing a concentrated formula made out of billions of Colony Forming Units (CFU), along with dozens of bacterial strains.
The word of order is efficiency. If this is what you are looking for, then you are on the right track.
Can probiotics help us lose weight?
If I was to name a question that people ask the most when talking about probiotic supplements, then this is it. Recent studies have shown that losing weight is definitely linked to a healthy bacterial microbiota and the mechanism by which this happens is actually quite easy to grasp.
It is all about the metabolism. Among their many benefits, probiotics have shown to also significantly increase our metabolic rates which provide us with a faster nutrient absorption. At the same time, the body will utilize the fat deposits in order to increase the physical performances.
This means you will have double the energy and resilience. So, in order to answer any similar questions that may appear in the future, yes, probiotic supplements can help you lose weight. It all depends on the strains it contains, the number of Colony Forming Units and how determined you are to make a change.
Are probiotics a pathway to a healthier lifestyle? There is no question about it.