Since the discovery of probiotics and their many health benefits, it’s strange why only a few of the world’s wellness trendsetters are catching on and making the most out of these good bacteria. You’ve heard of them too, I’m sure, but never really quite got around to convincing yourself why probiotics are good for you.
We’ve taken to the experts for a crash course on probiotics and why you should start taking them now.
The name probiotics was derived from the Latin word ‘pro’ meaning ‘for’ and the Greek word ‘-biotic’ whch means ‘life.’ According to Jeannel Astarita, founder of an NYC based skin clinic, probiotics are healthy bacteria that thrive primarily in your gut and play an important role in maintaining overall health. In fact, 80% of our immune system cells are found in our gut!
Dendy Engelman, a registered dermatologist, also points out that probiotics work similar to antibiotics in the treatment of acne and other skin problems – they help fight inflammation by fighting skin-disease-causing microorganisms.
We’ve broken everything down to 5 reasons why you should start taking probiotics now:
1. Probiotics keep your gut flora and immune system healthy
Astarita says a balanced, healthy gut flora can help bring cholesterol levels to normal, decrease blood pressure, improve urinary, vaginal and kidney health, fight heart disease, and also dementia.
She says that many chronic health issues and inflammatory conditions can be traced back to a damaged gut flora, where bad bacteria has taken over and the gut walls are more vulnerable to toxins and bacteria leaking through the intestines and into the bloodstream.
Taking probiotics regularly will help reduce your risk for developing these diseases. Amy Shapiro, founder and director of Real Nutrition, says that probiotics prevent immuno-related diseases by improving your gut’s mucosal immune system.
2. Probiotics help relieve skin issues
Dermatologist Engelman says probiotics can also come in topical form and when applied directly on the skin, they can act as barriers that prevent the skin cells from seeing the bad bacteria that may trigger your skin’s immune system response. The healthy signals produced by probiotics prevent skin cells from sending ‘attack’ messages to the immune system that usually result in acne breakouts.
Your skin and gut go hand-in-hand. Shapiro recommends taking probiotics to keep your gut healthy, and eventually help your skin problems disappear.
3. Probiotics aid digestive functions
This is the more popular benefit of probiotics and is widely backed by science. Shapiro says probiotics will address many digestive issues such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and flatulence by increasing the population of healthy bacteria in your gut.
4. Probiotics improve athletic performance
Shapiro adds that probiotics aid the muscle cells’ ability to absorb nutrients, resulting in better recovery time and improving your athletic performance over time.
5. Probiotics help prevent wrinkles
Probiotics help eliminate toxins that may cause early signs of aging. Shapiro explains that these healthy bacteria flush the body of these free radicals and help reduce the risk of developing early wrinkles.
Want to learn more about probiotics and why you should be taking them now? Head over to this article by The Thirty and discover a few more specific steps to starting your probiotic journey.
Have you tried adding probiotics to your regular intake? How did it work for you? Share it in the comments below!