Do You Know These 10 Surprising Health Benefits of Probiotics?

Do You Know These 10 Surprising Health Benefits of Probiotics?

When you think about probiotics, your mind probably goes straight to your gut. As you may know, the right probiotics help keep your gut microbiome – the trillions of bacteria in your gut – balanced and healthy. And that helps alleviate or prevent digestive problems like gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.

Probiotics also help secure your protective gut barrier. That barrier keeps toxins, food particles, and pathogens (bad bacteria) locked safely inside your gut and out of your bloodstream. Plus, probiotics produce important compounds like essential vitamins and special short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that your body needs for optimal health. 

So, while the many benefits of probiotics start in your gut, they don’t end there. In fact, scientists keep discovering new ways that the right probiotics help keep every organ and system in your body healthy… far beyond your gut. But to enjoy those whole-body upgrades, you need clinically studied strains of probiotics  the ones proven to deliver targeted health benefits.

10 Research-Backed Ways Probiotics Promote Vibrant Health

Practically every day, scientists discover surprising new ways that probiotics affect your overall health.1 Those discoveries include things like helping you fight infections, aiding in weight loss, and improving mood and cognitive function. That’s because your gut microbiome plays a part in every aspect of your health and life. Here are 10 unexpected ways probiotics can help boost your physical and mental health:

1. Type 2 Diabetes

Taking the right probiotics has been shown to dramatically effect on blood sugar levels in a positive way. Probiotics help your body manage blood sugar more effectively and efficiently, helping to shuttle sugar out of your bloodstream and into your cells where it’s needed. Studies show that probiotics help: 

  • Lower fasting blood sugar2

  • Lower HbA1c, a measure of long-term blood sugar control3 

  • Improve insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance4 

2. Cholesterol and Triglycerides Levels

Your body needs just the right amount of cholesterol and triglycerides. When levels rise too high, these blood lipids (fats) can affect your circulation and heart health. When they drop too low – which can happen with cholesterol-lowering drugs – that can damage your brain health and hormone production. Probiotics help keep cholesterol and triglycerides in just the right balance by: 

  • Increasing HDL (good cholesterol) levels5 

  • Keeping total cholesterol at the right level6 

  • Lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) levels7 

  • Reducing high triglycerides levels7 

 

Probiotics tackle cholesterol in three key ways8:
 

  1. Produce SCFAs, such as propionic acid, that reduce cholesterol production in the liver 

  1. Break down bile acids, which forces the liver to use existing cholesterol to make more bile acids 

  1. Eat excess cholesterol as a preferred food 

3. Blood Pressure

Blood pressure measures how hard your blood pushes on the walls of your blood vessels as it flows through. When you have high blood pressure – also known as hypertension – the force of your circulating blood is too much for your arteries to manage. That increases your risk for several severe health problems, including stroke, kidney disease, and dementia. Probiotics help keep your blood flowing smoothly at just the right level of pressure. And studies show that probiotic bacteria can: 

  • Reduce arterial stiffness, which helps those blood vessels remain flexible and elastic so they can handle variations in pressure9 

  • Lower blood pressure levels, especially when it’s elevated10

  • Treat hypertension to reduce the risk of complications11

4. Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease – conditions that affect your heart and blood vessels – is the leading cause of death in the U.S. It kills more than 655,000 Americans every year… causing a death every 36 seconds. But with the help of clinically studied probiotics, you can keep your whole cardiovascular system performing properly. Along with tackling cholesterol and taming blood pressure, probiotics also help your cardiovascular system by: 
 

  • Lowering levels of a compound called TMAO that’s associated with heart attacks and strokes12 

  • Decreasing oxidative stress, which is closely linked with several cardiovascular conditions including blood vessel disease and heart failure13

  • Significantly reducing inflammation by lowering levels of pro-inflammatory compounds called cytokines

5. Liver Health

Probiotics help your liver do its most important jobs, such as removing toxins from your body and storing essential nutrients. And when your liver can't work effectively, your overall health can go downhill very quickly… but probiotics can help prevent that by: 

 

  • Effectively treating non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) by reducing liver inflammation and improving liver health14 

  • Treating cirrhosis, an end-stage liver disease, by reducing liver scarring (fibrosis)15 

  • Reducing disease severity and rate of hospitalization for patients with end-stage liver disease16

  • Prevent or treat liver cancer17

6. Weight Management

Probiotics play a key role in appetite and metabolism, so it’s not surprising that researchers have discovered certain strains of probiotics that support healthy weight loss and maintenance. Dozens of clinical trials have shown that probiotics help:  

  • Prevent obesity18 

  • Promote weight loss19

  • Reduce BMI (body mass index)20

  • Decrease waist and hip measurements20

7. Brain Health

Your brain and gut communicate constantly over a pathway called the gut-brain axis. The messages your gut sends are heavily influenced by gut bacteria, and can have a huge effect on your thinking and emotions. Studies show that probiotics help: 

 

  • Improve memory and cognition21

  • Slow cognitive decline22

  • Reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety23,24

8. Strong Bones and Healthy Joints

Probiotics do much more than you’d expect to keep your bones strong and joints comfortable. In addition to controlling inflammation – which goes a long way toward relieving joint pain – probiotics also: 

  • Improve bone turnover, where your body removes old, brittle bone cells and replaces them with fresh, healthy new bone cells25

  • Promote and speed fracture healing26

  • Protect against osteoporosis and increase bone density27

  • Relieve osteoarthritis pain28

9. Autoimmune Conditions

Your gut microbiome plays a huge role in immune function. That includes helping your immune system calm down when there’s no threat present. Immune system overreactions cause autoimmune conditions, and patients taking probiotics suffer from fewer flare-ups and less intense symptoms.29 Probiotics have been found helpful for patients suffering from autoimmune conditions such as: 

 

  • Rheumatoid arthritis30

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)31

  • Multiple sclerosis32

  • Lupus33

10. Fibromyalgia

A study of more than 150 women found a major link between gut dysbiosis and fibromyalgia—including symptom frequency and intensity. Researchers discovered that fibromyalgia sufferers have significantly different levels of 19 species of bacteria in their gut microbiomes. They also have much lower levels of butyrate due to dysbiosis. Those differences can interfere with neurotransmitter production and function, and lead to confused pain signals—a driving factor in fibromyalgia pain.34  

Other studies back up this gut dysbiosis-fibromyalgia connection. Another study found that most fibromyalgia patients have gut dysbiosis that causes altered pain signaling. And yet another recent study found that people with fibromyalgia have significantly reduced levels of beneficial bacteria responsible for managing key neurotransmitters.35,36   

So, it stands to reason that if dysbiosis makes fibromyalgia worse, then rebalancing your gut microbiome will provide relief from those painful symptoms.

Using the Right Probiotic Formula Matters

You won’t get this amazing range of benefits from just any old probiotic you grab off the grocery store shelves. For your best health, you’ll need the specific probiotic strains proven to deliver healing effects. Look for a probiotic formula that contains these scientifically proven strains: 

 

  • B. longum42

  • L. acidophilus43

  • L. casei44

  • L. rhamnosus45

  • L. salivarius46

  • L. lactis47

  • B. lactis48

  • S. thermophiles49

 

Each of these ‘friendly’ bacterial strains delivers targeted health benefits. And when you combine them in a single powerful restorative formula, they can keep your entire body strong and healthy.

To boost their probiotic benefits, look for a formula that includes special prebiotic fiber like Modified Citrus Pectin to nourish and sustain them. Plus, you’ll want to add in probiotic-protective herbs like ginger and fennel that help maintain a healthy gut microbiome.

The more we learn about probiotics and the microbiome, the more important it becomes to nourish and replenish this vast network of friendly microbes. With their remarkable ability to transform your health for the better, the right probiotics may just be your best friends forever.

 

ecoProbiotic

This concentrated, fermented formula provides fast-acting, digestive and microbiome support, in a highly bioavailable liquid form.*

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