We are almost certain that a lot of you are familiar with probiotics. You might not know where they come from, but you have probably heard that they are beneficial for a healthy digestive and immune system. Establishing a healthy balance of gut bacteria can be the difference between a life of lethargy and a life filled with energy. But you have to know a little more about probiotics in order to benefit from them.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are made up of one or more strains of live bacteria and yeasts. Each of these strains is unique and, when ingested, can help to aid healthy digestion and immune function. You want to be able to identify which strains in the probiotics you are consuming, and whether or not they are beneficial for you. This can help you maximize your health and make sure that the probiotics are working for your body.
Upon introducing healthy bacteria strains to the body, healing starts to begin. Many people who consume probiotics have noticed better immune function and lower blood pressure, without the side effects of pharmaceuticals. What these friendly bacteria do is train your immune system to differentiate between cancer-causing pathogens and friendly antigens, and respond in the correct way.
Different Strains Have Different Benefits
Each person has about 500-2,000 types of bacteria in the digestive system. Some of them live in the small intestine, while others live in the large intestine. Because different strains do different things, a lot of people take various probiotic supplements. This is because most supplements only provide one strain. If you are taking a probiotic with one strain when you actually need a different one, you may not experience any benefits.
Probiotics have to survive the journey through your stomach acid in order to make it into your gut. They won’t be beneficial if they aren’t intact upon reaching the gut. Spore-forming probiotics are typically the most resilient, most essential, and also work to get rid of bad bacteria. You’ll find the best probiotic strains below.
Recent studies have shown that this probiotic strain helps to fight back against tumor growth by killing tumors in the body. It also works to improve digestion, reduce the severity of respiratory diseases, and helps to boost the immune system. B. lactis has demonstrated that it can make it harder for harmful toxins to pass through the gut wall and contaminate the rest of the body.
This strain is naturally found in the body, but most people don’t have a lot left, or are completely devoid of it due to poor eating habits and antibiotic consumption. L. gasseri has been known to reduce blood sugar and support digestive health. Additional research suggests that this strain is beneficial for fighting H. pylori, which causes stomach infections.
Infants actually start out with a lot of this in the large intestine, but it dwindles as we age. This is one of the most common probiotic strains and it works to keep unwanted bacteria out of the gut. During allergy season, this is an essential strain to consume because it plays a huge role in immune function and allergy response. This strain also contributes to healthier looking skin.
In addition to keeping acidity levels balanced, this probiotic strain works to influence amino acid fermentation, which helps the body maintain muscle and cell structure. B. longum is also effective in reducing daily stress and improving the body’s metabolic rhythms by fermenting carbohydrates.
L. salivarius helps to fight unwanted microbes in the mouth and small intestine. Recent studies have shown that this strain produces its own antibodies that target invasive bacteria like E. coli or salmonella. Additionally, it works to produce lactic acid to ward off unhealthy bacteria to create a healthy environment for other probiotics.