|Evan Watson, NatureCity author & contributor|
Research published in the May 2008 edition of the World Journal of Gastroenterology found that probiotic bacteria can reduce harmful lipids in your body that can lead to disease and digestive issues.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that can be found in your gut. They are known as “good bacteria” and are essential to a healthy digestive system.
Your gut should have about 85% of these good bacteria, but most people only have about 15%. That is because additives in our water like chlorine, preservatives in our food, and antibiotics all kill probiotics. Inadequate levels of these good bacteria in our digestive system can result in bloating, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea and upset stomach.
For the study, researchers from the University of Helsinki, Valio Ltd, and VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland recruited 14 males and 12 females with an average age of 42. For three weeks the participants were told not to consume foods containing probiotics (yogurt, milk, cultured dairy productsâ€¦). For the three weeks following the â€œwash outâ€ period, participants were asked to consume a milk-based fruit beverage containing the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG each day.
Researchers used something called lipodomic profiles to analyze the levels of specific lipids in the participants intestines. The lipodomic profiles were measured using a technique called ultra performance liquid chromatography as well as mass spectrometry (UPLC/MS). These tools allowed the researchers to identify and measure over 400 lipids in the participants, many of which are considered harmful to humans.
The researchers found that probiotics decreased levels of certain lipids that have been associated with an increased risk for high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart and bowel disease.
Previous studies have shown that probiotics can fight bad bacteria, boost the digestive system, and provide immune support. But this is the first study to show that probiotics can provide health benefits by decreasing harmful lipids in the body.
Probiotics have also been shown to help in the prevention and treatment of stomach ulcers, Crohns disease, urinary tract infections and eczema among other things.
The best probiotic supplements have several different friendly bacteria strains. That’s because each type provides a different health benefit. Probiotics are also very fragile organisms so it is important that they are still alive when you take them. Packaging that blocks light, air, and moisture is essential. Perhaps most important is that the probiotic be clinically proven to survive your stomach acid and bile, which kill many live probiotic cells in supplements.