Is Good Mental Health Achievable?
The benefits of probiotics are well-documented making these live microorganisms more popular than they used to.
Over the years, studies have proven that the balance or imbalance of bacteria in our digestive system is somehow linked to our overall health.
Probiotics are usually found in fermented foods though you can always take them in supplement form. They can help restore the natural balance of gut bacteria when taken in sufficient amounts which can then lead to a variety of health benefits.
The Benefits of Probiotics
Probiotics are known for several health benefits and below are some of them.
It can help prevent and treat diarrhea
One of the most popular health benefits probiotics is known for is their ability to prevent and reduce the severity of diarrhea.
Diarrhea is considered a common side effect of taking antibiotics and several studies suggest that the use of probiotics is associated with a reduced risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
It can improve heart health
Studies have shown that probiotics can help keep your heart healthy by reducing bad cholesterol in the body while lowering blood pressure at the same time.
Certain studies have found that specific lactic acid-producing bacteria may reduce cholesterol by breaking down bile, a naturally occurring fluid mostly made of cholesterol that helps in the digestive process.
By breaking down bile, probiotics can keep it from getting reabsorbed in the gut, thus preventing it from re-entering the blood as cholesterol.
It may help boost the immune system
Having a healthy immune system keeps us from contracting common diseases like colds and flu which is why it’s important to find ways to boost one’s immune system whenever possible.
Probiotics can help boost the immune system by helping in the production of natural antibodies that can help protect us from certain diseases.
Certain research has also shown that taking probiotics reduced the likelihood as well as the duration of respiratory infections although the quality of the evidence rendered it inconclusive.
Can probiotics improve one’s mental health?
Several studies conducted suggest that gut health may be linked to mental health.
Some of these studies, both conducted on humans and animals alike found that probiotic supplements can help improve several mental health disorders.
One such study for example, which involved 15 human participants, showed that taking Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains for a month or two can help improve anxiety, autism, depression, memory, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
A separate study involving 70 chemical workers also showed that those who took 100 grams of probiotic yogurt every day for six weeks experienced good overall health as well as improvement in terms of anxiety, depression, mood, and stress.
Lastly, consuming probiotic supplements for 8 consecutive weeks also showed a decrease in depression levels, making it an ideal treatment for patients suffering from clinical depression.
Researchers found that various probiotics seem to improve symptoms in patients with clinical depression, at least in the short term. While the results of these trials were positive, experts believe that they’re still inconclusive, to say the least.
Given the results of the studies conducted on the effects of probiotics, it’s safe to say that the health benefits it has to offer are more than promising. Apart from the positive effects it has on the body, the impact it has on one’s mental health goes a very long way especially for people suffering from anxiety, depression, and stress.
If you believe you’re one of them, you must start including probiotics as part of your daily routine. Whether you consume them through fermented food or take them as supplements, one thing is clear: You are giving both your physical and mental health a big boost!