According to the Health & Wellness Trends database, the sale of probiotic products has soared in the last four years from $15.9 billion to $32 billion. It seems the benefits around probiotics for health and anti-aging are out!
Probiotics protect you by replacing lost bacteria and making sure that you have enough good bacteria in the gut. Good gut bacteria supports a healthy digestive tract, aids in nutrient absorption, and keeps you regular.
In the past we relied on getting adequate probiotics through our gut by eating yogurt, kefir, aged cheeses, sauerkraut, etc. or taking a probiotic supplement. But today, probiotics are also found in products that are applied to the skin. These topical products claim to be effective and offer anti-aging benefits when they stay on the epidermis layer.
Anti-Aging Benefits of Probiotics
Recently there has been a great deal of hype over the use of yogurt on your face to improve the complexion. That’s because the lactic acid in yogurt will gently soothe and exfoliates the skin. The good bacteria help to combat redness and swelling.
Other reasons probiotics are finding their way into your cosmetics besides the hope of its anti-aging effects are to prevent acne, rosacea, and other skin irritants.
“We have good and bad bacteria on our skin, just as they are in our gut, ” according to Ellen Marmur, MD, an associate professor of dermatology and genetics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.“If the balance is off-kilter, it can result in acne or rosacea,” explained Dr. Marmur. “The right bacteria may also keep skin young.”
A study published in the Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists said certain types of probiotics are good for the skin if they are used often enough and they are the right kind. However, the research did show that yogurt is not the best probiotic for the skin. More research is certainly needed.
Not with standing the new idea of topical application of probiotics, there is not much dispute over the benefits of probiotics on the skin when ingested.
According to Natural Solutions (Jul. 2008, issue 109, p.89), probiotics can clear up one’s complexion. Authors concluded that when the good bacteria enter the body, they strengthen the skin’s acid mantle and protects the outermost layer of the skin from pathogens and free radicals.
Health Benefits of Probiotics
Probiotics can benefit your brain function according to researchers at UCLA. “Findings indicate that some of the contents of yogurt may actually change the way our brain responds to the environment. When we consider the implications of this work, the old sayings ‘you are what you eat’ and ‘gut feelings’ take on new meaning.”
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
CFS can be disabling but the University College Cork scientists are reporting that probiotics might help those with CFS reduce their symptoms.
Research released by American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions in 2012 found that certain forms of probiotics can reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol.
There has been a small amount of research conducted that indicates that probiotics might even be able to lower blood pressure.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Nutrition in Clinical Practice looked at the therapeutic use of probiotics for treating irritable bowel syndrome and they found that probiotics are very effective at managing IBS.
According to The Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Research has shown that probiotics can treat diarrhea and other gastroenteritis issues.
A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences learned that probiotics can protect against bacterial infection.
Using the Right Probiotic
There are a number of strains of probiotics and if you are trying to treat a specific condition, it is important that you read the research and ensure you are taking the correct strain.
- Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086
- Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis 35624
- Bifidobacterium animalis subscp. lactis BB-12
- Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis
- Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM
- Lactobacillus paracasei St11
- Lactobacillus plantarum 299v
- Lactobacillus johnsonii La1
- Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC
- Saccharomyces boulardii
Foods that Contain Probiotics
There are a number of foods that you can eat that contain probiotics including:
- Aged cheeses
- Some soy beverages
Overall, you simply can’t go wrong by incorporating probiotics into your diet!
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