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Emilie's Blogs

Probiotics for Gut Health

What is the human microbiome?

Our microbiome is a sophisticated collection of living microorganisms, a community of bacteria, AKA microbiota that comprises the total of all microscopic organisms living in your body. Like your fingerprint, your microbiome is unique. Much of your gut community consists of bacteria - both beneficial and harmful.

Microbes inhabit just about every part of humans, living on the skin, in the gut, and in your nose. The National Institutes for Health have estimated that our bodies typically contain trillions of microorganisms with over 1000 different bacterial species. This equates to microscopic organisms outnumbering our somatic cells in the order of ten to one! You can find approximately two to six pounds of bacteria in a 200-pound adult.


The Function of Good Bacteria in Our Body

The gut is colonized with microbiota, helping to shape the immune system, metabolic function, and behavior in health and disease. Trillions of these healthy bacteria that make up your gut microbiome help you digest food, regulate your mood, defend against pathogens, aid in digestion and nutrient absorption, produce vitamins K and B, and boost our immunity. These good microscopic creatures nourish and feed many of our physical structures.

Most of the time, microorganisms live in harmony with us, providing vital functions essential for human survival. Our good bacteria keep our harmful bacteria in check by ensuring they don’t overgrow and cause bacterial infection and other sicknesses. In fact, our good bugs have such a substantial overall effect on us, that when they are killed off by antibiotics, overwhelmingly invaded by harmful bacteria or become overtaken by yeast or fungus, the results are wide-ranging and can include:

  • Stomach Upset
  • Yeast Infection
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling of low energy
  • Fungal infection
  • Skin irritations and rashes
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal Cramping
  • Chronic infectious diseases


Why is Our Gut Microbiome So Important?

Our personal microscopic army that keeps us safe from harmful bacteria also feeds six of our eleven organ systems directly, which include: immune, digestion, brain, nervous, skeletal, and sexual. Not only does our microbiome directly benefit more than half of our body, but it also indirectly helps other parts of our physical self. Maintaining a balanced microbiome is essential to your health.

In recent years, the study of gut microbiotahas become one of the most essential areas in biomedical research. Attention has focused on the role of gut microbiota in determining normal gut physiology and immunity. The National Institute of Health has also studied the link between the gut microbiome and mental health finding that patients with various psychiatric disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and autism spectrum disorder, have been shown to have significant differences in the composition of their gut microorganisms.

This study goes on to suggest that enhancing beneficial bacteria in the gut, through the use of probiotics, prebiotics, or dietary change, has the potential to improve mood and reduce anxiety in both healthy people and those suffering from mental illness. “Patients are becoming increasingly interested in the potential to treat mental illness with microbiome-based therapies.”


Enhancing Your Microbiome with Solaray Probiotics

Probiotics are communities of good bacteria that you can supplement with daily. Adding more good bugs to your biota positively impacts your microbiome with the effects possibly being felt in many different areas of your body. As with any supplement, contact your licensed medical health care provider to see if supplementing with probiotics is right for you.

When choosing a probiotic supplement, choose a multi-strain supplement to cover a wide range of probiotic species to support a specific aspect of your health.

You may also benefit from supplementing with a prebiotic - taken to feed your microbiome. Try PaleoFiber RS™ from Designs for Health as this supplement has been clinically shown to selectively enhance and promote the growth of "friendly" bifido and lactobacillus bacteria within the intestinal tract.

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