Probiotics, the healthy, “good” bacteria, used for thousands of years are now experiencing a resurgence in popularity around the world. Primarily used as preservatives and flavor and texture enhancers, probiotics are experiencing a growing popularity due large in part to their numerous health benefits, including digestive and immune system support. Recent research has even suggested probiotics are effective in treating anxiety.
Probiotics are the microscopic bacteria found in our digestive tract, proven to support health by minimizing the effects of harmful and dangerous bacterias. The most abundant, and most effective, probiotic is known as lactobacillus. This bacteria thrives off of sugars and carbohydrates, making it a natural probiotic to pair with lactose-rich yogurt, kefir and other dairy products.
Probiotics for Anxiety
In addition to supporting digestive and gut-health, probiotics are proving beneficial in reducing the effects of anxiety. Initial findings of a recent study demonstrates that subjects provided probiotics were much more calm and less anxious than subjects not provided probiotics.
In fact, researcher reported that the demonstrated results of this study indicated that probiotic usage to reduce anxiety, were as effective as current medications being used to treat anxiety and depression.
Researchers were quick to point out that this strain of probiotic is new, currently in development, and not yet included with the probiotics added to yogurt, kefir or other probiotic containing products. However, these findings offer exciting possibilities for the natural treatment of debilitating anxiety, without the use of prescription medication.
Other Health Benefits of Probiotic Supplements
Although the strain of lactobacillus used in the above study is not currently available in the market, probiotics in general offer several important, proven health benefits, including:
- Maintaining bacterial balance in the digestive tract
- Minimize illness and infection of the intestine and intestinal tract
- Treat and prevent diarrhea and constipation
- Support the healthy function of the immune system
- Minimize tooth decay and cavities caused by certain bacteria
- Prevent and lessen the severity and duration of yeast infections
- Manage the symptoms associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Probiotics have also proven essential in preventing the spread of harmful, antibiotic resistant bacteria, especially when actively taking antibiotics. Antibacterial resistant strains of bacteria have demonstrated the ability to spread rapidly, when not kept in check by good bacteria, the result can be fatal. Probiotics provide a steady stream of fresh, healthy active bacteria cultures that prevent dangerous bacteria from spreading through the body.
Although available in a host of products, probiotic supplements designed to improve digestive health seem to be the preferred products among a growing portion of the population. When looking for a probiotic supplement to support good health, read the label to ensure the product provides the recommended 10 to 250 billion of live active cultures per day.