Probiotics may be beneficial to our physical and mental health. Nutritionist Liz Cooper explained how ingesting the microorganism can pay dividends in terms of overall health.
Reducing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms
Nutritional advisor at Bio-Kult, Liz Cooper began: “IBS can be debilitating for some, because of pain, bloating and frequent trips to the toilet.
“Probiotics can help balance bacteria in the gut thereby reducing bloating, normalising bowel habits, and improving people’s quality of life.”
The largest double-blind randomised controlled trial of live bacteria supplements – using Bio-Kult Advances Multi-Strain Formulation – was recently conducted.
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The study involved 400 participants who suffered from symptoms of IBS.
The four-month trial reported 69 percent of participants experienced a reduction in abdominal pain and frequency.
And 34 percent of participants were free from IBS symptoms by the end of the trial.
The researchers concluded that Bio-Kult significantly reduced overall symptom severity in those with IBS.
Support stress response
These findings don’t surprise Cooper, as she stated: “Approximately 70 percent of our active immune cells are found in the gut.”
And she attests that probiotics help to keep the gut healthy and fully functioning.
Looking after your gut health is paramount to good mental health.
“There is considerable evidence to show that stress has a negative impact on the gut,” Cooper interjected.
“And poor gut health in itself has been shown to contribute to stress and anxiety in individuals,” she added.
Stress is thought to destroy beneficial bacteria in the gut, “so taking a daily live bacteria supplement may help to maintain levels of beneficial bacteria and optimise gut health”.
Cooper stated: “This reduces the risk of stress and elevates mood.”
“Serotonin regulates bowel motility, mood, and sleep,” Cooper explained.
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“The majority of serotonin is made and stored in the gut, and the lack of serotonin has been linked to anxiety, depression, and low mood,” she elaborated.
This suggests that good gut health ensures adequate serotonin is made.
Short-chain fatty acids (SCFA)
Cooper said: “SCFAs are produced by beneficial bacteria in the gut through their fermentation of fibre.
“They are vital for metabolism and energy, and the health of the gut lining.”
She added: “They also help to maintain the pH of the gut. Taking a live bacteria supplement can help to maintain levels of SCFAs – making us feel better in the process.”
Synthesis of B vitamins
Live bacteria in the gut “can produce B vitamins, such as folate, riboflavin and vitamin B12”.
Cooper explained: “B vitamins are fundamental to our health, and vital for energy production and stress hormone regulation.”
“Gut bacteria assist in nutrient digestion and absorption,” Cooper finished off.
“This ensures we can utilise the vitamins and minerals in food needed for the maintenance of energy and regulation of mood.”
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