Another Reason Why Probiotics Matter

A new study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), revealed that probiotics are effective in preventing hepatic encephalopathy in patients with cirrhosis of the liver, giving us just one more reason why probiotics can be beneficial to optimal health.

David W. Victor III, MD, who contributed an editorial in the publication of this study, stated that this “rigorous new research finds that probiotics modify the gut microbiota to prevent hepatic encephalopathy in patients with cirrhosis of the liver. These results offer a safe, well-tolerated and perhaps cheaper alternative to current treatments.”

The AGA notes that the microbial communities that reside in the human gut and their impact on human health and disease are one of the most exciting and promising areas of research today, and that the AGA Center for Gut Microbiome Research and Education is committed to advancing this research.

Here at The Alternative Daily, we’ve discussed many of the benefits of probiotics. You’ve probably heard about their virtues on cartons of Greek yogurt, as well. They are live bacteria that naturally occur in certain foods, like live-cultured yogurt as well as fermented vegetables like kimchi and sauerkraut.

Probiotics are not just a marketing scheme meant to help boost sales of yogurt or other products. Broken down, the word “probiotic” means “promoting life” – they are literally living organisms that the intestinal tract needs in order to function properly.

When there are more bad bacteria in your gut than good, it can cause all types of digestive issues, like constipation and diarrhea. There are a number of things that can cause the balance of bacteria to get out of whack, such as medications, diet, illness and environmental factors. Probiotics can help get things back in balance so that everything functions optimally.

Taking probiotics can even help to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. A study presented by the American Heart Association found that a certain strain of probiotics found in dairy and meats known as Lactobacillus reuteri was able to lower LDL levels by nearly 12 percent more than those who took a placebo.

Research has also shown that this same strain of probiotics has the ability to kill bacteria that causes tooth decay and lessen the harmful effects of gingivitis. A Johns Hopkins health alert reported that those who ate two 4-ounce servings of live-culture yogurt during a study experienced less bloating and more bowel movements after a few weeks, making probiotics beneficial for those suffering from IBS or Crohn’s disease.

kefirThere are many other health benefits of probiotics, like the ability to help burn belly fat and strengthen the immune system, and it seems that more are being discovered all the time. As part of a healthy diet, including foods with probiotics can help you step things up a notch further in achieving optimal health and a slimmer waistline.

-The Alternative Daily

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