Probiotics are one of those trendy health terms that everyone likes to talk about, but not many people understand. Chances are you’ve heard the word thrown around commercials that are advertising a new snack or yogurt that is packed with probiotics. Maybe you’ve even seen it on a food label or two, or have even been lured to make a purchase because the item promised it would bring you the benefits of probiotics.
The truth is that there are a lot of benefits to probiotics, and not all of them are even fully recognized yet. New research indicates that eating a diet rich in probiotics can support weight loss goals, can help improve mood, and may even help reduce certain allergies.
But the real reason that people are drawn to probiotics is for their ability to support a healthy gut. Probiotics support a health gastrointestinal tract by helping to reduce or even eliminate many of the worst GI issues.
Probiotics are found to provide relief from:
- Chronic constipation
- Lactose intolerance
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Nutrient malabsorption
- Acute diarrheal infections
- Antibiotic induced diarrhea
GI discomforts like those listed above are some of the most frustrating to cope with. This is partly thanks to the fact that for many people, the struggle is a silent one. No one wants to admit to having these issues—especially not chronically. And many people will actually put off seeking help in favor of trying more inconspicuous over-the-counter solutions that don’t actually do anything to address the underlying cause of the problem.
Probiotics have the power to make your GI issues a thing of the past. The ability to actually correct issues in the body and to fundamentally improve health by addressing the underlying cause of symptoms is a fundamental practice of functional medicine, and probiotics provide exactly that form of support.
What is exciting to the world of medical advancement is the fact that the very same probiotics that are so useful in promoting a healthy gut are also helpful in addressing other issues that are common causes of concern, like obesity and mood destabilization. One recent study found that including probiotics as part of your medical weight loss program can significantly improve your weight loss results, as much as 50%! In addition, it is found that having a healthy gut improves neurological functioning and can actually help to prevent depression and improve your ability to cope with anxiety.
There are plenty of reasons to take advantage of probiotics. While there are some probiotics that can be purchased over the counter, the best are found naturally in your diet. Talk to your functional medicine doctor about ways that you can incorporate more probiotics into your healthy diet plan.