What’s your Gut feel?

What’s your Gut feel?
Gut health has been a topic that’s been widely spoken about over the past couple of years. The incidence of constipation and complications related to gut health has surfaced exponentially during this time. Constipation, a condition characterised by hardened faeces and problems of elimination of bowels is not uncommon. It is something which has been psychologically affecting people and even causing depression. The sunshine in this situation is that there are simple ways of alleviating the condition. Probiotic is a solution that has come to rescue many. Probiotic is a live microorganism or “good” bacteria offering health benefits when administered in adequate amounts. It can be absorbed through fermented foods or supplements.

The common groups of probiotics include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Its strains are L. acidophilus, L. reuteri, B. animalis, B. breve and B. lactis. The yeast present in probiotics is called Saccharomyces boulardii. These are gut-friendly bacteria and collectively called gut flora. The gut flora performs many functions such as manufacturing vitamins, including vitamin K and also some of
the B vitamins.

The imbalance of these bacteria in the digestive system is connected to the condition of our overall health and disease. Imbalanced gut flora is linked to numerous diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, colorectal cancer, Alzheimer’s, depression and many more.

Foods with probiotics

Probiotics, if taken regularly, can help correct and maintain a healthy gut flora balance that will spread a range of health benefits. It comprises benefits for digestive health, immune modulation and even weight loss in general.

They are naturally found in fermented milk products such as dairy products, drinks and yoghurts. Fermented foods like miso, pickles, tempeh, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir may also hold lactic acid bacteria, the commonly found bacteria in fermented foods.

Advantages galore

Their main benefit from consuming probiotics is to ensure a proper balance between pathogens and the beneficial microorganisms in the gut.Several bad bacteria may cause digestive problems, allergies, mental health issues, obesity and more. Probiotics help re-establish the natural sense of balance in the gut.

Probiotics prevent and treat diarrhoea. Using antibiotics may result in diarrhoea as they undesirably affect the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. Strains such as the yeast Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Lactobacillus casei are most commonly associated with a compact risk of diarrhoea and therefore needing a revamp.

With improved gut health we have improved anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), autism and memory related problems. Supplements with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains can be taken for one to two months. It aids in reducing the levels of hormones such as insulin and also the levels of C-reactive protein (an indicator of inflammation). It is evidence found that taking probiotics can be useful for acne, rosacea and eczema in infants and children.

Some probiotics have been revealed to encourage the production of natural antibodies in the body. They may also boost immune cells such as T lymphocytes and IgA-producing that prevent the progression of destructive gut bacteria. The probiotic Lactobacillus crispatus has also been observed to cut the risk of urinary tract contaminations (UTIs) in women by 50 per cent.

Research reveals 

Researches reveal that probiotics are helpful in alleviating hypertension, reducing LDL-cholesterol, refining insulin sensitivity and the other components of the human metabolic syndrome. Studies in human and animals show that probiotics reduce non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It also plays a key role in preventing cancer by several different mechanisms as probiotic microorganisms can bind to prospective cancer-causing agents thereby killing their growth.