We usually think of bacteria as a very bad thing, but our bodies are full of bacteria and yeasts that actually have beneficial roles in our health. Known as probiotics, these bacteria benefit elimination, immunity, mood, and more. In these studies, probiotics showed promise in supporting those with diarrhea, as well as people struggling with metabolic syndrome.
Probiotics for Diarrhea
People who take antibiotics for any reason often have diarrhea as a side effect. In this review of six studies in children and 15 in adults, the probiotic S. boulardii significantly reduced chances of diarrhea.
In 1,653 children, those taking S. boulardii were 57 percent less likely to have diarrhea compared to kids who didn’t take probiotics. In 3,114 adults, those taking the probiotic were 52 percent less likely to have diarrhea compared to placebo.
In an important finding in children, S. boulardii reduced a painful type of diarrhea caused by excess amounts of a bacteria known as “C-diff,” which can attack the intestinal lining, doctors said.
Reference: Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics; October, 2015, Vol. 42, No. 7, 793-801
Probiotics and Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of traits that include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, similar to those in pre-diabetes. In this study, 51 people with metabolic syndrome took 2.7 ounces of fermented milk per day, with or without the probiotic lactobacillus bifidobacterium. After 45 days, while there was no change for non-probiotics, the probiotics group saw body mass index scores improve by 1.3 points, and total and LDL—the “bad”—cholesterol, decrease by 7.2 and 13.6 percent, respectively. Doctors also saw a decrease in two types of pro-inflammatory molecules in the probiotics group.
Reference: Nutrition Journal; June, 2016, Published Online
Betsy’s Note: This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Consult your healthcare provider before taking a supplement, especially if you have a medical condition or take medications. For example, some probiotic products also thin blood.
Article copyright 2016 by Natural Insights for Well Being. All rights reserved. Used with permission.