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Do Probiotics Really Work?

Why Probiotics Are Necessary

Almost 2X as many women suffer from digestive health issues than men

Do You Need A Probiotic?

20 million Americans suffer from chronic digestive diseases:
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Colorectal cancer
  • And more
62% of people worldwide suffer from digestive complaints such as constipation, indigestion, or diarrhea, at least once per year
  • 72% of Americans regularly experience one or more symptoms of digestive distress 
  • 44% of people worldwide went to work in the last month experiencing digestive health problems

The Gut Microbiome

Bacteria, fungi, and viruses living in the digestive system
  • Includes 100 trillion bacteria from hundreds of species
  • Weighs up to 6 lbs
  • First acquired at birth
  • Influence by diet, exercise, and antibiotic use
Microbiome can be made unhealthy with:
  • Lots of Sugar 
  • Antibiotics
  • Lack of movement
Microbiome can be made healthy with:
  • Nutrient dense foods
  • Sunshine / fresh air
  • High Quality gut health supplements
What does it affect?
  • Immune function: 70-80% of immune cells are located in the gut
  • Digestive inflammation: The lower digestive tract contains to 100 billion cells per gram 
  • Brain health and stress response: 95% of serotonin, a major mood-influencing hormone, is produced in the small intestine
How does it work?
Microbiota are present through the digestive tract
  • Millions of microbes are swallowed daily as we eat and drink
  • Digestive enzymes, antimicrobial proteins, and bile reduce the population of microbes passing through the stomach 
  • Variables like pH, oxygen concentration, and transit time impact persistence of microbes as they move through the digestive tract 
  • The small intestine and and lower digestive tract contain the greatest amount of microbes —
Microbiota provide signals for development and function of the immune system
  • Inflammation influence the balance of the gut microbiome
  • The gut microbiome helps modulate immune response and inflammation 
  • An imbalance gut microbiome may contribute to poor immune health

“There’s no doubt that the gut interacting with bacteria has important effects,” — Stephen Allen, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Probiotics Build “good gut health”

Types Of Supplements

1. Probiotics: Live bacteria found in certain foods or supplements that provide various potential health benefits and colonize the digestive tract

  • Generally considered safe but may pose a risk to those who are ill or immunocompromised
  • Found in fermented foods such as yogurt, cheese, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut

2. Prebiotics: Fiber and carbohydrates that aren’t digested by the human body, but feed beneficial bacteria in the gut

  • May help modulate the composition of gut microbiome and encourage “good” bacteria to colonize
  • May aid absorption of nutrients like calcium, as well as formation of vitamin K and short-chain fatty acids 
  • Found in high fiber foods such as apples, broccoli, yams, and zucchini

3. Immunobiotics: Heat-killed bacteria that help trigger a stronger immune response but do not colonize the body

  • Don’t require refrigeration, are stable at room temperature and have a much longer shelf life
  • Safer alternative for immunocompromised patients

Probiotics & Disease

1. Probiotics may improve health through by:

  • Interacting with other microorganisms
  • Stimulating growth of beneficial bacteria
  • Inhibiting growth of harmful bacteria
  • Influencing bodily organs directly
  • Producing anti-inflammatory compounds
  • Modulating immune system response

2. Experts generally agreed that some probiotics are effective in reducingotics may improve health through by:

  • Rotavirus diarrhea and necrotizing enterocolitis in infants
  • Antibiotic-associated diarrhea
  • Clostridium difficile infections
  • Symptoms of digestive discomfort

3. Other health claims show promise but are yet to be proven

■ Treatment of :

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Atopic dermatitis 
  • Respiratory infection 
  • Urinary tract infections 
  • Obesity and metabolic disorders 
  • Food allergies

■ Reducing symptoms and side effects of :

  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Colorectal cancer 
  • Chemotherapy 
  • Depression and stress

By 2023, the market for probiotics will reach $69.3 billion worldwide

Signs You May Need To Improve Your Digestive Health

1. Illness, antibiotic use, and other factors can offset the balance of good bacteria in the digestive system, probiotic supplement may help 

  • Consistent upset stomach, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and/or heartburn
  • Rapid weight gain or loss without making changes to a diet or exercise

2. Poor diet can decrease the diversity and population of “good” bacteria in your microbiome

  • Highly processed foods and refined sugars feed the wrong bacteria
  • Able to grow faster and colonize more easily, without as many helpful bacteria to balance them out
  • Foods treated with pesticides may have negative effects on the gut bacteria, although more research is needed to confirm this
  • More harmful bacteria and less healthy gut flora has also been associated with higher BMI and greater risk of metabolic diseases
  • Use of oral antibiotics may reduce the population of “good” bacteria while treating harmful bacterial illnesses

3. Talk to your doctor or dietitian before making significant changes to your diet or starting a new supplement

4. Taking too many probiotics may backfire — causing side effects like bloating, gas, and nausea

Know the difference in the right probiotics for you. Here's to the future of your health!