Probiotics have been heralded as one of the best approaches to keeping a healthy gut, but more and more, studies are showing that high-quality, live culture probiotics have more benefit to your body than simple gut health.
The probiotic industry is on a steady incline. People are working probiotics into their routine for lots of different reasons, including healthier breastfeeding, more effective weight management, and even a reduction in anxiety. While some studies are more convincing and groundbreaking than others, it’s amazing to see the evolution of the probiotic industry finally start to take place after so many years as a gut health supplement.
Let’s dig into some of these different studies and benefits to better determine how and why these probiotics are supporting key bodily functions.
In the past few years, mothers across the globe have turned to probiotics to supplement their baby’s formula as a way to treat acute gastroenteritis and prevent other intestinal diseases. The trend is even more common in 2020, and that’s because studies have shown probiotics can support Bifidobacterium growth and help to prevent allergies that might be passed through breastmilk. For the supplement industry, this is a trend worth noting and one that could lead to new breakthroughs in probiotic infant formula.
This one may seem pretty obvious. Probiotics lead to better intestinal health, which leads to more regularity and more effective bowel functions, and the less you retain after a bowel movement, the less you weigh. That’s pretty straightforward. But a study just last year determined that the success of probiotic supplementation in weight loss is actually due to a difference in the intestinal microbiomes between a lean person and an obese person. While the study showed greater success for animal test subjects rather than human test subjects, as a nutritional product manufacturer, the findings are still worth considering and could prove to alter the market even more so than it has in the past year.
Anxiety & Depression
A recent review of 71 UK studies found that probiotics may alter chemicals in the gut that have an impact on the brain. The link between the brain and the digestive tract is well documented, but the latest theory is that changing the body’s natural biome by introducing a wide range of healthy bacteria into the gut may actually help treat anxiety and depression. Although not all the studies reviewed support the theory, it leaves many questions unanswered and many opportunities for the nutritional industry to explore supplements targeting anxiety and depression. It’s important to note that, while people shouldn’t rely heavily on probiotics to treat anxiety and depression, there is little harm in trying it and seeing how it works for you.