It’s no wonder that the word “probiotic” literally translates to “for life” (pro and biota). Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in our bodies and support normal health. They help to enhance and repopulate intestinal bacteria, which balances gut flora and boosts our immunity!
When you hear “beneficial bacteria,” it sounds like an oxymoron. Heck, there are oodles of hand sanitizers and house cleaners that kill bacteria! Why on earth should we ingest them?!
Let’s Weigh In On It:
3 pounds: the weight of all the bacteria within our intestines.
100 trillion: the amount of bacteria that makes up those 3 pounds!
The majority of this bacteria supports digestion, immune function and nutrient absorption. These little buggers are responsible for synthesizing nutrients in the intestinal tract, such as folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and vitamins B6 and B12. If these beneficial bacteria become depleted due to poor diet, disease, stress, or overuse of medications (i.e. antibiotics), health problems can result.
Curious about the power of probiotics? Here are a few reasons to fall in love with these microorganisms:
– Possible Treatment of Health Conditions
Probiotics have been used for centuries by many cultures to treat various conditions. They have been used for lactose intolerance, GI distress, bowel irregularity, colitis, IBS, yeast overgrowth, and more.
Also, probiotics have been successful in lowering cholesterol and inflammation and reducing allergy severity. Side effects are rare, which make probiotics a low risk/big benefit addition to your daily regimen.
– Digestive Health
It can be embarrassing to talk about poop, but let’s face it … we all do it, and we all want it to be normal! Probiotics are a healthy way to regulate your regularity. The friendly bacteria help to reduce inflammation in the intestinal tract and can balance out either constipation (the no-go situation) or diarrhea (the always on-the-go situation).
– Immune Strengthening Powers
About 80% of immune system function takes place in the intestinal tract! Digestive health is directly related to immunity and overall health. Probiotics activate immune cells (T and B lymphocytes), important for fighting against and preventing infections. These mighty bacteria can improve an already healthy immune system or bolster a weakened system.
– Boost Protein Absorption
Bacillus coagulans (BC30) is a specific probiotic that has been studied and shown to increase leucine absorption by 20%! This is an amino acid (a building block of protein) that can increase post-workout effects of muscle growth. Want to read the published study on this amazing finding? Check it out here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21831748
Getting excited to get your daily dose of probiotics?
These living organisms can be sensitive to air, light, and heat, making it hard to find a shelf-stable product that you don’t have to protect with your life before ingesting it. Plus, if you have a bacteria that requires refrigeration, how on earth are you supposed to travel with it? (When you travel, that is a time you REALLY need the immune and bowel regularity support from probiotics!)
One of the easiest ways to incorporate 1 billion CFU (colony forming units) of probiotics into your daily regimen is to drink it with your morning shake. You will always have breakfast or lunch, so why not use VIBE, a vegan meal replacement, that contains BC30? No need to refrigerate these buggers … they’re shelf-stable and ready after a simple shake, shake, shake!
Check out the Livestrong article that inspired this blog: http://www.livestrong.com/article/418612-what-do-probiotics-do-for-your-body