Probiotics and Your Immune System

If you use probiotics on a daily basis you’ll benefit greatly; probiotics are used both to prevent health problems and to treat disease. The most common probiotic bacteria strains seem to work well with most people, no matter if you enjoy normal health or if you suffer from poor health. But one thing is clear: 

  • The unhealthier your lifestyle is, the more you need probiotics.

It’s important to remember that each person carries a unique gut microflora. It’s like a unique fingerprint belonging only to one person. This microflora needs to be kept in a delicate balance to work well. If you eat junk food, processed foods, drink soda, or experience stress and tension daily, you can be sure it will affect your gut–it can easily get out of balance. 

  • The condition of your gut and intestine will affect the level of health you enjoy.

The specific makeup of the microflora in your gut and intestine is determined by your genes, your eating and drinking habits, and other factors. Most studies made on probiotics show that probiotics acts to balance your gut and combat the bad effects of modern, stressful living. And probiotics does this without side effects. 

  • Probiotics has proven effective to prevent and treat diarrhea caused by hostile microorganisms.

Rotavirus infections, that are a common cause of diarrhea in children, has been effectively treated with probiotics. While traveling abroad you might encounter hostile bacteria in foods and drinks; this usually causes only mild symptoms that disappear within a few days. But probiotics can reduce imbalances in your gut caused by harmful bacteria. One of the most common probiotic bacteria strain is lactobacillus acidophilus. Extensive research support claims that this strain can prevent and treat diarrhea caused by hostile bacteria. There are many other bacteria strains that are similar to this. A practical suggestion is to use probiotics a few weeks before you travel; this will build up a stronger resistance in your gut and intestine. If you continue taking probiotics while traveling, you will cut the risk to be affected by hostile bacteria even more. 

  • Antibiotics often reduce the healthy bacteria in the gut. This increases the risk for harmful bacteria, yeast or other microorganisms to grow (as clostridium difficile).

If you are on antibiotics you should compensate the loss of healthy bacteria by adding several strains of probiotics daily. Some good strains to consider are the following: 

  1. Lactobacillus acidophilus
  2. Lactobacillus reuteri
  3. Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  4. Lactobacillus casei

All these will reduce the side effects of antibiotics and promote growth of natural, healthy bacteria in your gut. Try also to eat foods rich in prebiotics as it will support the growth of probiotic bacteria. 

  • Probiotics affect your immune system.

Probiotic bacteria have proven a great resource to increase the functionality of the immune system. Research has shown that most of your immune system is connected to your gut and intestine. As mentioned earlier, healthy bacteria protect your body against harmful bacteria. But probiotics is also used by your body as a “training camp” to increase the efficiency of your immune system. Therefore, low levels of healthy bacteria lowers you body’s defense, but adding probiotics will boost the power of your body’s ability to withstand harmful bacteria, yeast and other microorganisms. 

  • Probiotics against helicobacter pylori

The nasty bacteria helicobacter pylori is often treated with antibiotics. But research published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that yogurt containing the probiotic strains lactobacillus and bifidobacterium can be much more effective. In the study, 138 patients received three different antibiotics. Despite this, the bacteria was still thriving in some patients. The patients were then divided into two groups: One group received treatment with four different antibiotics and the second group also received yogurt containing lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. Those patients who received yogurt saw a 91% decrease of helicobacter pylori while those who received only the extra strong antibiotics saw a 77% decrease. 

  • Treat acne and other skin problems with probiotics.

Your skin and gut might seem like an unlikely connection. But recent research shows that your intestinal microflora and your skin are closely interconnected. Signals from microorganisms in your gut interact with organisms in your skin. So problems in this connection could be responsible for such problems as skin dryness and irritation. An excellent solution is to combine natural skin care and probiotics to promote healthy, supple skin. I’ve suffered from eczema for many years but since I started taking probiotics daily, I’ve seen great improvement. I take a supplement daily with 70 billion CFU and 10 different strains. I also prepare my own fermented vegetables at home that I add to every meal. I use only natural skin care products.