The Importance of Microorganisms in The Gut
The complex community of microorganisms in your gut is called the gut flora.
Your gut actually contains hundreds of different types of microorganisms, with some numbers going as high as 1000.
This includes bacteria, yeasts and viruses. The great majority is bacteria.
Most of the gut flora is found in the colon, or large intestine, the last part of the digestive tract.
The metabolic activities of the gut flora actually resemble those of an organ. For this reason, some scientists refer to the gut flora as the “forgotten organ”.
The gut flora actually performs many functions that are important for health. It manufactures vitamins, including vitamin K and some of the B vitamins.
It also turns fibers into short-chain fats like butyrate, propionate and acetate, which feed the gut wall and perform many metabolic functions.
They also stimulate the immune system, and regulate the integrity of the gut. This can help prevent unwanted substances from “leaking” into the body and provoking an immune response.
However, not all organisms in the gut are friendly. Some are good, others are bad.
The gut flora is actually highly sensitive to modern insults, and studies show that an “unbalanced” gut flora is linked to numerous diseases.
This includes obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, colorectal cancer, Alzheimer’s, depression and many, many more.
Dr MB’s 50 Billion CFU with 10 Strains Probiotics can help correct this balance, making sure that our “forgotten organ” is functioning optimally.
Probiotic Supplements Improve Some Mental Health Conditions
An increasing number of studies link gut health to mood and mental health.
Both animal and human studies find that probiotic supplements can improve some mental health disorders.
A review of 15 human studies found supplementing with Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains for 1–2 months can improve anxiety, depression, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and memory.
One study followed 70 chemical workers for 6 weeks. Those who consumed 100 grams of probiotic yogurt per day or took a daily probiotic capsule experienced benefits for general health, depression, anxiety and stress.
Benefits were also seen in a study of 40 patients with depression.
Taking probiotic supplements for 8 weeks decreased depression levels and reduced levels of C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation) and hormones such as insulin, compared to people who did not take a probiotic.
Other Health Benefits of Probiotics
Getting into all the incredible benefits of probiotics is beyond the scope of this article.
However, there are a few that are definitely worth highlighting here:
- Inflammation: Probiotics have been shown to reduce systemic inflammation, a leading driver of many diseases.
- Depression and anxiety: The probiotic strains Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum have been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in people with clinical depression.
- Blood cholesterol: Several probiotics have been shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol levels.
- Blood pressure: Probiotics have also been shown to cause modest reductions in blood pressure.
- Immune function: Several probiotic strains can enhance immune function and lead to reduced risk of infections, including the common cold.
- Skin health: There is some evidence that probiotics can be useful for acne, rosacea and eczema, as well as other skin disorders.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Probiotics have been shown to be beneficial for a wide range of other health problems.