As odd and nasty as that may sound, your body is made up of millions of good and bad bacteria (flora) constantly waging war for your body’s health. Essentially, probiotics provide your gut with extra healthy soldiers to keep your gastrointestinal system healthy & thriving.
In this guide, we carefully examine and review the benefits of taking probiotics, along with the possible side effects some people could experience. Additionally, we review the top probiotic brands on the market today; and rate them accordingly based on quality, performance, & real user reviews.
This guide will take you where the lights don’t shine.
What the Heck is a Probiotic?
A probiotic is a microscopic gut bacterium, also known as a micro-biome or gut flora. Probiotics are essential in the function of the digestive system. They help to take-in nutrition while also powering the immune system, which fights off the “bad bacteria” , which can manifest as illness in many different forms (cancer, arthritis, gastro-problems, etc.).
Humans are born with trillions of probiotics in our bodies naturally as infants, and continue to develop more bacteria through our lives. According to Physicians, gut health plays a very significant role in cognitive function, as well as bodily function.
Did You Know? More neurons can be found in the stomach than anywhere else in the entire human body, even surprisingly than the brain itself.
Why All the Sudden Probiotics, Really?
For thousands or arguably even millions of years, human diets have consisted of organic fresh food, using preservation methods derived from fermentation (instead of MSG).
Fast-forward thousands of years to “Modern-Day”, we have industrialized our food production methods. Using harsh chemicals to both grow, and clean our produce. These chemicals kill good bacteria that our bodies would naturally absorb and recruit for cellular growth.
Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you’re in a position to benefit from probiotics.
What Benefits Can Probiotics Provide?
“Aside from having a healthy gut, what else can probiotics do me”, you subconsciously asked?
- Lower your risk for heart attack-
- Decrease Inflammation/edema
- Decrease risk for Cancer
- Decrease risk of mental illness
- Help nourish & maintain skin health
The gastrointestinal tract is the front lines between nutrition absorption and immune response to infection or ailment.
So…You may feel a slight cognitive enhancement from a balanced gut. Additionally, you probably won’t get sick as often with common ailments.
The stomach is the manufacturing center for Serotonin. Low serotonin levels have been linked to things such as; depression, anxiety, inflammation, autism, panic attacks, IBS, Crohn’s, and many more things.
Every organ of the human body is affected by the things we put into our stomach.
Probiotics also help the body produce these following key nutrients:
- Vitamin A & K- Both critical for bone growth,cellular growth, visual accuity. Vitamin K significantly reduces the risk of heart attack, by helping prevent blockage due to calcification of arteries.
- Vitamins B1-B3, B5-B7, B9, B12- This range of B vitamins known as the “vitamin B complex” basically provide ongoing maintenance to our bodies, as well as turning food into usable energy.
- Essential Fatty Acids- The keyword being “essential”, may help you deduce the importance of these nutrients. Our bodies can actually run on fatty acids, burning what is called Ketones as fuel (alternative to carbohydrates). Additionally, fatty acids have been shown to provide the following health benefits; prevention of heart disease, brain maintenance/protection, inflammation reduction, and decreased risk of depression.
Indirectly, probiotics also enhance bio-availability, digestibility, & cellular breakdown of these essential nutrients for the body:
- Copper: Deficiency can lead to cardiovascular disease. Helps for absorbing energy,collagen, and absorption of iron.
- Calcium: Most importantly, to develop and maintain strong bones.
- Magnesium: Helps to produce energy, and with digestion. Additionally, relieves and calms nerves and muscles.
- Iron: Oxygen carrier in blood. Vital for musculoskeletal health.
- Manganese: Lubricating nutrient for bone and cognitive health.
- Potassium: Electrolyte that helps maintain Blood pressure.
- Zinc: Zinc is found in small amounts but fights invading bacteria. Also Zinc helps the body make DNA, as well as heal wounds.
- Proteins: Growth and repair of muscles,bones,cartilage,skin, & blood.
- Fats: Three types of fats that help store energy, protect, and provide insulation.
- Carbohydrates: Fuel for the entire body providing energy.
Can Probiotics help… my problem?
- Gastrointestinal Diseases(Crohns Disease, IBS, Ulcerative Colitis)
- Acid reflux, bloating, and embarrassing gas.
- Cognitive Disorders (Autism,Depression,Anxiety)
- Decrease negative impact on organs.Heart Disease, Skin Disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Kidney Stones
- Yeast Infection
- Graft-versus-host disease
5 Signs You May Need Probiotic Supplementation
- Digestive Tract Problems
Frequent constipation, and/or loose stool affect nearly 1/5 Americans. Other digestive problems may include; persistent acid-reflux, diarrhea, irregular bowel movements,
- Always Tired or Sore?
This may be a sign your body is not absorbing enough essential nutrients; such as, B12, or glucose. Commonly because these nutrients are not being broke down before leaving the intestines. Leaving vital functions left to fend for themselves with low fuel reserves.
- Get Sick Often?
Getting the flu or cold is normal, especially in the service industry. However, if you get sick more than most of your co-workers this may be a sign you need bio-reinforcements.
- Skin Problems?
Often irritating or embarrassing, skin issues affect nearly 3/5 adults.
The skin (or Integumentary System) has to continually regenerate new cells. Hence, if it lacks the necessary components to make the 3 layered dip (aka skin), then it improvises and cuts corners, similar to the rest of the body. This is viewed as a form of cellular evolution used to survive, so cells resist death and instead become malnourished.
- Battling with Depression or Anxiety?
Approximately 10% of the population will suffer from some form of depression during their lives. Additionaly, roughly 20% struggle with anxiety. This numbers are climbing each year, and should be approached from every angle.
Early theories, confirmed by research studies, connected probiotics with a positive benefit in treating these disorders. In one of the most recent psychological studies (Probiotics for Depression,Emily Dean M.D, 2015). Doctors showed thorough blood test that probiotics provided an anti-inflammatory response to the gut, along with showing a major reduction in symptoms after 8 weeks.
Organic Foods that Contain Probiotics?
Of course, there are natural ways of consumption to get more probiotics into your diet. Eating the following foods will deliver drones of probiotics into your gut.
- Raw Dairy
- Coconut Kefir
Top 3 Probiotic Supplements Reviewed BY US (Unbiased)
- Garden of Life Raw Probiotics
Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5
- Produced by a trusted, well known brand
- Over 50 Billion CFU (Industry standard)
- Over 17 additional digestive enzymes for colon health.
- 33 Probiotic Strains
- Vegetarian capsules + free of potentially hazardous binders and fillers
- No fillers, guaranteed live cultures.
- Vitamin Bounty Pro 50
Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5
- Gluten Free
- 50 Billion CFU per serving
- All natural with delayed release capsules
- This product has thousands of 5 star reviews on Amazon.
- Bio-K+ Probiotic Fermented Soy
Average Rating: 4 out of 5
- Dairy Free
- CFU count is over 50 Billion
- Featuring Thirty-four Strains
- Vegan Capsules
- Very highly rated user reviews on Amazon.
Are there any Side Effects from Taking Probiotics?
Probiotics have been documented to possibly produce gas, bloating, or constipation in some trials. Most users report no negative symptoms when taking top shelf probiotic blends, but every-body reacts different, & therefore it’s recommended to consult your primary physician, and listen to your body when exploring supplementation.