Myth: Consuming probiotics provides no benefit to gut health

Truth: The gastrointestinal tract, also known as the gut, is involved with the digestion and absorption of nutrients from the foods and liquids that we consume. The intestines are dependent upon the microorganisms that reside within it, to help carry out its functions. This microorganism population develops at a young age, usually a year or two after birth, and has many roles, including aiding in the creation of both vitamins B and K. However, the microorganism population is not static, with changes in age and diet affecting composition. Additionally, there is a difference between microorganisms that are more permanent, and those that are relatively transient. An example of transient microorganisms is probiotics, which are believed to have benefits on gastrointestinal health.

A recent study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, reviewed a collection of data examining the effects of probiotics on various infections afflicting the intestines. One of the diseases that were examined was Endotoxaemia, which results in an elevation in the amount of molecules produced by gut microorganisms found in the blood. This disease tends to be associated with diabetes and obesity. Research findings indicate that taking probiotics actually helps to reduce the severity of the symptoms experienced. Additionally, researchers examined the effects of probiotics on necrotising enterocolitis (NEC), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Findings indicate that while the addition of probiotics improved some of the symptoms, further research will be required to come to definitive conclusions about just how impactful probiotics are on treatment. For more information about how probiotics impact gastrointestinal diseases click here.

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