When people think of the term “bacteria,” it’s usually in a negative light. While we’re generally taught that sterile things are good and bacteria is bad, this is often not the case.
That’s because your body is home to millions of good bacteria that work together to keep you healthy. These microorganisms are called “probiotics” and they help balance your gastrointestinal and immune systems in many different ways.
Balancing Your System
Probiotics work to restore the balance of your gut bacteria. But what causes that imbalance? Why are there more bad bacteria than good? A number of culprits can be the cause of these imbalances, but it’s often the result of illness or poor diet.
Antibiotics can also kill too many good bacteria by mistake and lead to an imbalance, as can certain medications. For this reason, it’s definitely a good idea to talk to your doctor about what the best probiotic for bloating gas and constipation (or other digestive issue) might be for you.
Strengthening Immune Systems and Prevention
Taking probiotics has been shown to strengthen your immune system and to aid in maintaining a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in your body. It helps to think about it this way: your gut contains a lot of bacteria. This collection is called the microbiota. The microbiota consists of both helpful and harmful organisms. When you take probiotics, you introduce more helpful bacteria into the mix, and this gives your immune system an advantage.
Digestive Disorder Treatment
Now let’s talk about probiotics and digestive disorders. There have been several strains of probiotics that have shown positive results in treating ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory bowel diseases. While there is, so far, limited proven efficacy in treatment of Chrohn’s disease, there has been success in the use of probiotics in treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It’s important to understand that the best probiotics for bloating, gas, and constipation reduction contain multiple strains. So single strains probiotic supplements are not going to be as effective for relieving these types of symptoms.
Weight Loss and Mental Health
In addition to multi-strain probiotics being best for bloating, gas, and constipation, these types of probiotic supplements have also been shown to help in other areas of your body. Some exciting research is emerging in the field of probiotics and mental health. Although the study of psychobiotics is still developing, there have been some positive outcomes thus far.
Also, probiotics can help prevent the absorption of dietary fat in the intestines, causing the body to expel that fat instead of storing it. One study found that “Probiotic supplementation appears to change gut microbiota by decrease gut permeability, inflammation, and metabolic disorders, creating a promising environment to weight loss.”
While research in the use of probiotics is still in early phases, when it comes to discovering the full benefits of these bacteria, the future seems bright.
So far, probiotics appear to be safe for most people with few reported side effects, but you should still talk to your doctor about the best probiotic for bloating, gas, or constipation if you’re suffering from those symptoms.