National Diabetes Month: Medical science is starting to discover the incredible health benefits of probiotics.
Each and every one of us in a living ecosystem -- the average human gut is home to more than 5000 species of bacteria, totalling 100 trillion individual organisms. Amazingly, our bodies contain more bacteria that human cells!
Probiotics (literally means “for life”) are living microscopic organisms grant health benefits to the host when present in sufficient amounts. Probiotics are sometimes called “good bacteria” because having them in your body makes you healthy.
What Do Gut Probiotics Do?Of all the body parts, the large intestine has the most bacteria. These bacteria break down nutrients that the human digestive enzymes cannot, and contribute to good health.
Some benefits of Probiotics
- Support the immune system
- Help digest foods like carbohydrates and dairy
- Help absorb nutrients
- Produce B vitamins
- “Crowd out” bad bacteria
- Prevent fungal, bacterial and viral infections
- Reduce inflammation
Foods that contain Probiotics
- Pickles (fermented, not marinated)
- Other fermented, raw and unpasteurized foods
The more health-giving good bacteria you have, the less disease-causing bad bacteria you have!
What Happens if there's Not Enough Good Bacteria?
People who eat a lot of sugar and processed foods, or who have taken antibiotics are very likely to have disrupted populations of good bacteria and need to replenish them for good health.
An unhealthy gut bacteria ecosystem is implicated as a factor in with conditions like:
- Intestinal inflammation
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Skin conditions like Eczema
- Heart disease
- Frequent infections (due to compromised immune system)
- Insulin Resistance and Diabetes
Medical Science Starting to Catch Up
Western medicine has largely remained unaware of probiotics, their benefits and mechanisms of action, but new evidence is starting to scientifically validate what health champions have known for centuries: probiotics are good, and you should take them! Several studies and reviews have linked diabetes, obesity and probiotics. Here is a sampling:
“Gut Microbiota, Probiotics and Diabetes.” – Nutrition Journal We have shown in this review that a large body of evidence suggests probiotics reduce the inflammatory response and oxidative stress, as well as [reducing gut leakage]. Such effects increase insulin sensitivity and reduce autoimmune response. Source