As holistic dentists, Aesthetic Family Dentistry is very much in favor of anything that promotes health and wellness. One such ‘thing’ is the field of probiotics. Now more evidence points towards the health benefits of these products, we feel comfortable promoting their use.
Probiotics are often referred to as compounds that encourage ‘healthy bacteria’ and are increasingly linked to wellness. The current belief is that consuming probiotics can help boost your immune system, help with things like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and a range of other conditions. It is also thought to boost our overall digestive health. There is also growing evidence that probiotics can also boost mental health too.
So what are those five health benefits of probiotics?
Boosted immune system
Probiotics are widely thought to boost immunity by stimulating the immune response when needed. Quite how it does this is still under study but increasingly, researchers are linking the intake of probiotics to a healthy immune system.
Reduction of allergies
Those that are lactose intolerant are recommended to take probiotics as they are linked to the ‘normalization’ of gut bacteria that helps absorb the lactose sugar within dairy products. There is also research that indicates pregnant mothers who take probiotics help their babies avoid eczema.
We have over a thousand types of bacteria living in our guts. For the most part, they are invaluable, helping us digest food, extract nutrients and numerous other tasks. Probiotics are designed to keep all these bacteria healthy and balanced. This has a knock-on effect to our overall wellbeing.
Sufferers of IBS, antibiotic-associated diarrhea, infection-related diarrhea and other gut conditions also report the alleviation of symptoms when taking probiotics.
Urinary and yeast infections
There is also a link to the reduction of yeast infections in women who take probiotics and urinary tract infections in both sexes. Both conditions are caused by a buildup of bacteria that cause the conditions. Probiotics are thought to manage this bacteria and help prevent the conditions from occurring.
We know that obese people have different gut bacteria than those of a normal weight. Probiotics are thought to align those of obese people closer to those of a normal weight, helping weight reduction and maintaining weight loss. This is still an area under study so evidence is not conclusive, but it looks promising.
Probiotics are an area of emerging study with more claims than evidence to support them. However, eating probiotic-rich foods such as plain yoghurt, Kefir, Miso, pickles, Tempeh, Kimchi and Kombuchi tea are increasingly being linked to health benefits. We are of the opinion that foods that naturally contain these compounds could benefit those people who include them in their diet.