More and more research is finding that our gut health has a huge impact on our health overall—both mentally and physically.
For instance, one study referenced in Nature, the “international weekly journal of science,” has found that rats born via caesarean have higher levels of anxiety and depression. Why? The researchers suggest that these types of mental issues are caused by the baby rats not having access to their mothers’ microbes (bacteria) as they normally would in a vaginal birth. They go on to speculate that this lack of contact with their mother’s bacteria can ultimately negatively affect brain function later in life, which creates a predisposition to various conditions, such as autism and a compromised immune system.1
Isn’t all bacteria bad?
We are generally taught that all bacteria are bad—that is why it is constantly reinforced to wash your hands and keep your fingers away from your eyes, nose, and mouth, right? While these are healthful suggestions to follow, it isn’t quite that simple.
Certainly, there are bad bacteria that can make you sick and negatively affect your health, but good bacteria in the gut are actually necessary for optimal health.
What are good bacteria?
Good bacteria are the bacteria that promote your health and make you feel better inside and out. They reside in your stomach, your intestines, and other areas involved with the digestive process.
Robert DiPardo, pharmaceutical chemist and co-author of articles in various health-related publications, points out that these bacteria include lactobacillus, bifidobacterium, streptococcus, and bacillus coagulans.2
While some are there because your body makes them or they are in the foods you eat (such as in yogurt and fermented foods like pickles and sauerkraut), another way to promote the growth of good bacteria is with the use of probiotics.
What are probiotics?
In general terms, probiotics are the healthy bacteria that reside in your gut, whether they are there naturally or not. However, when most people talk about probiotics, they are talking specifically about supplements that contain these healthy bacteria, therefore promoting your total body wellness.
As a side note: Probiotics is a term that can also refer to various yeasts that have been found to be beneficial to health.
The ultimate goal of probiotics is to get your food through your digestive tract more efficiently. With this in mind, the American Gastroenterological Association reports common uses of probiotics to include easing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). They have also been found to help people suffering from infectious diarrhea, antibiotic-related diarrhea, and traveler’s diarrhea.3
According to WebMD, probiotics can also alleviate various skin conditions, like eczema. Additionally, they can increase the health of the urinary tract and vagina, reduce allergy issues, and aid in better oral health.4
A winning combination
Taking probiotics to help bolster your body’s good bacteria offers many benefits, which includes balancing out the bad bacteria in your system. Some even reduce the not-so-healthy bacteria so they have a less negative effect. They also benefit you in replacing good bacteria, which is important in certain circumstances, such as after taking a round of antibiotics that generally kill all bacteria, good and bad.
To find out whether probiotics could benefit you, talk to your doctor or other trusted healthcare provider.
Dee Cee Laboratories Inc. offers SUPER PROBIOTIC, which aims to support healthy intestinal flora.*
1 Reardon S. Gut-brain link grabs neuroscientists. Nature. 2014;515:175–177.
2 DiPardo R. “List of good bacteria.” SF Gate Healthy Eating. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/list-good-bacteria-7771.html. Accessed April 2015.
3 American Gastroenterological Association. “What are probiotics, are they safe and should you take them?” Gastro.org. http://www.gastro.org/info_for_patients/2013/6/6/probiotics. Reviewed May 2013. Accessed April 2015.
4 DiLonardo MJ. “What are probiotics?” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/features/what-are-probiotics. Reviewed December 2014. Accessed April 2015.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.