“You are what you eat” takes on a deeper implication. University of California, Los Angeles researchers discovered the first evidence that proves bacteria in food, as well as gut bacteria, can affect human brain activity. The findings of their study appeared in the June 2013 issue of the journal Gastroenterology. This may mean that an intestinal tract that teems with good bacteria from the regular consumption of probiotics, such as yogurt products, can enhance brain function.
You might also want to learn about the other ways probiotics can benefit you—minus the marketing hype. Here are four more studies that show the amazing health benefits of good bacteria in your body.
A study made by researchers from the University of Michigan showed that intestinal flare-ups brought about by stress can be minimized by the consumption of probiotics, which are live bacteria that aid in digestion, help in absorbing nutrients from food, and prevent the explosive growth of pathogens or bad bacteria. This is why people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome can benefit from the intake of probiotics.
The findings of the study on a new hepatic encephalopathy treatment were unveiled at the 2013 International Liver Congress. The study found out that 160 liver-disease patients treated with probiotics showed remarkable improvement after three months.
How about knowing a safe and effective way to stop the symptoms of common cold? According to a paper published in an October 2012 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, probiotic supplements—with strains lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and bifidobacterium animalis lactis BB12—help ease the severity and duration of symptoms associated with upper-respiratory infections.
You can also ingest probiotics to get rid of pathogens. When you misuse antibiotics or take them even if you can deal with a minor infection through natural means, you end up killing the good bacteria in your gut. Have you noticed that taking long-term doses of antibiotics lead to diarrhea? It’s because your digestive system need those beneficial microorganisms in the intestinal tract. But that’s not all the problem you will get when you decimate the essential gut flora. You also develop new illnesses because your body is now susceptible to pathogens. So why not replenish the good bacteria by consuming probiotics? A paper that appeared in a March 2013 issue of the journal Infection and Immunity described how the Barnesiella species of good bacteria can clear vancomycin-resistant enterococci, a pathogen, from the intestinal tract.
So enjoy your favorite yogurt daily!