Scientists are looking at many benefits of probiotics. Those with the most evidence are outlined below.
Gastrointestinal Health Benefits of Probiotics
Probiotics have been shown to help reduce duration of pediatric acute diarrhea, decrease symptoms associated with taking antibiotics, manage symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, reduce crying time in infants with colic and reduce relapses of ulcerative colitis. Certain probiotics may also inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori, bacteria that colonize the stomach and can cause ulcers and stomach cancer.
How Probiotics Boost Your Immune Health
Studies suggest that probiotics can improve how the immune system functions such as by decreasing upper respiratory tract infections in adults and reducing the need for antibiotics.
Probiotics Help Benefit Those With Lactose Intolerance
Probiotics in yogurt help digest the lactose in the small intestine, before it reaches the colon. In addition, the yogurt starter cultures L. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus help to break down the lactose.
Probiotics Offer Potential for Obesity, Diabetes and Weight Management
More and more evidence shows that the gut microbiota may play an important role in the development of obesity, obesity-associated inflammation and insulin resistance. Obesity and Type 2 diabetes are associated with changes in gut microbiota.
Probiotics May Contribute to Brain and Mental Health
This is one of the newer areas of probiotic research. Described as the “gut-brain axis,” researchers believe that the communication between the gut and the brain affects not just physical but also mental health and behavior.