Is That Yogurt Good for You? - All About Probiotics
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria (yeast or microorganism) found in humans from infants to adults, typically located in the gut, small intestine, and large intestine.
Good probiotic bacteria is also found in dairy milk products, breast milk, kombucha, pickles, kimchi, and made into supplement pills.
Probiotic health benefits include:
Reducing gastrointestinal issues like Lactose Intolerance and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Supporting a healthy digestive tract for every age, infants to adults
Balancing microbiome to help break down nutrients in food
Supporting vaginal health
Promoting mental health and clarity
There are Two Families of Probiotics
Probiotics are classified into two different family species with multiple strains in each. These probiotic families are:
Let’s look at the differences, similarities, and benefits between the two probiotics.
Lactobacillus can be found within the human body.
This probiotic typically settles in the small intestine to help move food within the digestive tract and separates the nutrients before moving food through the large intestine.
It can also be found in animals like cows and utilized in fermented dairy milk forms like yogurt.
Bifidobacterium is the probiotic strain that lives in your gut and settles in the large intestine(colon).
This bacteria helps the digestive system move food through the stomach, minimizing any pain, discomfort, or backups.
This strain lives in all people from babies to adulthood.
Health Benefits of Probiotics
Though there are two strains of probiotics, they tend to have similar characteristics and benefits.
It supports a healthy digestive tract in the gut, small intestine, and through the big intestine.
Benefits Lactose Intolerant individuals
Probiotics break down the sugar in milk, making it easier for them to digest the proteins and carbohydrates.
Reduces acid and bile in the stomach when feeling nausea or our gut is trying to reject food.
Can help balance microbiome to assist with any gastrointestinal issues like (4):
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Peptic Ulcer Disease
For Digestion and Stomach Pain
Promotes a healthy overall immune system by supporting a healthy digestive tract
Helps with weight management
It can help shield you from infection
Supports oral health
Can reduce hormones like insulin
Supports vaginal health
It may help reduce belly fat and can make you feel full after eating
Healthy Immune System & Weight Management
It helps infants digest breast milk.
Separates the best nutrients for babies in milk, formulate, and regular food
Supports the microbiome in their gut to reduce constipation or backups
Healthy for Babies
Preserve a healthy level of cholesterol - lowers LDL
Lowers blood pressure
Supports healthy vitamin d levels
Maintain levels of CRP in blood for less inflammation and healthy arteries and heart
Healthy fibrinogen - blood plasma is not too thin or thick(risking blood clots)
Relieve occasional bloating
Heart Health Benefits
Improved Mental Health
Research has shown positive reactions from most age groups, infant through adulthood.
It can help maintain a healthy response to occasional stress
There have been studies on both strains of probiotics and their relationship to mental health and wellness.
The studies showed improved levels of stress and anxiety, depression, and OCD. It can also increase mental clarity and memory too!
Helps Replenish Good Bacteria
Taking probiotics is also great when on antibiotic medication because it actively fights bacteria in the body and can reduce your amount of good and healthy probiotic bacteria in the gut.
Eating some yogurt or taking fiber pills can help bring back some good bacteria that will stay and improve digestion.
Let’s Talk About Yogurt!
Not only does yogurt contain probiotics that help improve your digestive tract, but some types, like Greek yogurt, can raise the number of good bacteria living in your body for prolonged gut health.
Make sure to choose yogurt that has active/live cultures.