Do probiotics really work, and are they necessary? As 20 million Americans suffer from chronic digestive diseases such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and more, probiotic supplements can help the gut microbiome.
The gut microbiome contains up to one hundred trillion bacteria, fungi, and viruses in the digestive system. The microbiome can become unhealthy due to excessive sugar consumption, antibiotics use, and lack of movement. On the other hand, one can maintain the health of their microbiome by consuming nutrient-dense foods, plenty of sunshine and fresh air, and high-quality gut health supplements like probiotics.
The gut microbiome affects many parts of the body, including the immune system, digestive system, and the brain’s ability to respond to stressors. How does the microbiota in the digestive tract work? As millions of microbes are swallowed daily, digestive enzymes, antimicrobial proteins, and bile reduce the population of microbes in the stomach. While variables like pH, oxygen concentration, and transit time impact the persistence of microbes as they move through the digestive tract, the small intestine and lower digestive tract contain the greatest amount of microbes that signal for the development and function of the immune system.
Different types of supplements, namely probiotics, prebiotics, and immunobiotics, are generally agreed to reduce symptoms of digestive discomfort. Understanding the difference in the right probiotics can aid digestive health that may be suffering due to an offset of good bacteria in the gut microbiome.