If you don’t already take daily probiotics, this is your sign to start! Probiotics are a natural supplement and have centuries of recorded use in fermented foods like kimchi and Kombucha, but modern probiotic supplements make getting your daily dose of good-for-you cultures even easier.
Probiotics are live microorganisms or bacteria that occur naturally in our bodies. Some people get spooked by probiotics when they hear the word bacteria, but there is nothing to be afraid of. Both good and bad bacteria live in our bodies and make up our microbiome. When we get sick, the bad bacteria take over and imbalance our system. By supplementing good bacteria, you are restoring balance to your body and helping it function optimally.
Antibiotics, chlorinated water, stress, and hormonal contraceptives can all impact our internal microbiome. These are a few of the many reasons why a daily top-up of probiotics can help keep us balanced and healthy. With the exception of immunosuppressed people, everyone can benefit from a daily probiotic supplement.
Where do naturally-occurring probiotics exist in your body?
- Urinary Tract
Health conditions that probiotics are known to help:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Antibiotic-associated diarrhea
- Yeast and other vaginal infections
- Gum diseases
- Lactose intolerance
- Upper respiratory infections
Benefits of probiotics:
Promotes gut health
Probiotics are best known for keeping the gastrointestinal tract functioning and healthy. They help your body digest food, absorb medication, and fight bad bacteria in your gut that might otherwise make you ill.
Remember when we talked about good and bad bacteria? Well, probiotics can boost your immunity by fighting off extra bad bacteria.
Keep the urinary tract healthy
Although people don’t like to talk about them, UTIs are commonplace, especially in women. If you are someone who deals with regular UTIs, incorporating probiotics into your routine can help.
Treat vaginal infections
Probiotics can work wonders for treating vaginal infections. Good bacteria help keep the vaginal microbiome and your pH in balance.
Getting pregnant isn’t always easy. Some research indicates that probiotics can help. Thank you, good bacteria! Make sure to talk to your doctor before you make any changes to your prenatal care.
If all of this wasn’t enough, probiotics might also improve the skin! Although there isn’t extensive research in this area, probiotics have succeeded in treating acne and improving the skin’s repair function.
How much should you be taking?
Start in the 10-30 billion range listed on your probiotics per day if you consider yourself healthy. Go up to 50 billion if you have gut issues, and up to 100 billion for a short term if you’ve been on antibiotics. Switch up your probiotic every three to six months to make sure you are introducing new, beneficial probiotics. Remember to ask your doctor before you start a new supplement.