First, it was kale. Then coconut oil. And now, the product that is taking over the center stage as the most talked-about health supplement is probiotics.
But is it really as beneficial as it's touted to be?
Being the health-craze cynics that we are, we decided to do a deep dive down the rabbit hole, to see what all the fuss was about.
Before jumping into the probiotics frenzy, it's important to understand the backstory of WHY people are so eager to take them.
Within the human body is a whole ecosystem of bacteria, or microbiota, known in their entirety as the microbiome.
According to research from the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the University of Colorado, “the human microbiota consists of the 10–100 trillion symbiotic microbial cells harbored by each person, primarily bacteria in the gut. The human ‘microbiome’ consists of the genes these cells harbor.”
Emerging research shows that your health depends on the health of this internal community of microbiota. In fact, science has discovered a direct link between your gut and your brain, meaning that what's going on in your gut may influence weight gain/loss, anxiety, depression, and so much more.
Everything from diet, stress, antibiotics, and lifestyle can harm and even wipe out your gut microbiome. Doctors and scientists alike are recommending that people take probiotics to assuage these factors and restore the healthy flora in your gut.
While the study of probiotics is a relatively new frontier in science, evidence shows that taking the supplement may lead to powerful improvements in health.
In addition to supporting a healthy digestive system, good gut bacteria have been shown to:
So we know that keeping our gut happy and healthy is crucial, but how do we keep the microbiota flourishing?Doctors recommend avoiding obvious negative factors such as smoking, toxic or chemical cleaning products, allergen causing foods, and unnecessary intake of antibiotics (take them only when absolutely necessary), and recommend:
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