Some health and nutrition trends come and go as fads (remember when raspberry keytones were all the rage?). Other health trends go from buzzy to tried-and-true solutions that stick around for the long haul. The reason? Because they work. Probiotics fit into the latter category because the research really backs up all the hype. But are probiotics the right choice for you?
We’ve got your back with all the research-backed information you need to decide if probiotics can help your digestive — and overall — health.
Wait, what exactly are probiotics again?
Bacteria gets a bad rap because it’s known to cause a whole bunch of illness and disease, but there is actually such a thing as good bacteria. We need the good bacteria to keep our bodies running in tip-top shape, especially our digestive system.
Unfortunately, the balance between good and bad bacteria in our guts can get out of whack. This can happen for any number of reasons, but especially happens when we take antibiotics to get rid of a nasty illness. The antibiotics are designed to kill off bacteria, but the meds can’t differentiate between types, so inevitably some good is killed alongside the bad.
That’s where probiotics come into play.
Probiotics are live microorganisms — both bacteria and yeast — that can help bring your gut back to the proper balance of good bacteria in your digestive system. While not specifically listed as an ingredient, you can find probiotics in a number of fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut, and in supplements (rmdy’s Daily Digestive Essentials contains four specific strains of probiotics that are scientifically shown to have gut health benefits).
Why are probiotics good for you?
The science of why probiotics are good for you can get really technical really fast. However, it all boils down to this: So much of our health is determined by our gut, and unbalanced gut bacteria is shown to cause everything from allergies to mental health issues.
Treating the root cause of many gut problems with probiotics is shown to help prevent, alleviate — or even stop — certain diseases and conditions right in their tracks.
But that isn’t the only reason to take them. According to research, probiotics are shown to:
Improve the microbiome. Probiotics are shown to help with rebalancing dysbiosis, an imbalance in gut bacteria that can occur for a number of reasons (like taking a course of antibiotics). They accomplish this by adding beneficial bacteria that can help boost the amount of good bacteria to help minimize the effects of the bad.
Improve heart health. One review of several scientific studies found that probiotics can help reduce blood pressure. Another study showed that eating probiotic-packed yogurt decreased LDL (bad) cholesterol by 5 percent.
Regulate GI function. Several studies show that probiotics can help prevent and treat diarrhea, especially when it’s caused by antibiotics. One study showed that taking probiotics reduced instances of antibiotic-induced diarrhea by 42 percent. It’s also effective at battling infectious diarrhea and traveler’s diarrhea, regulating GI function (and speeding the healing process from “bad” bacterial overgrowths).
Boost immune system. Believe it or not, probiotics can have a positive effect on your immune system. Put simply, having a large amount of good bacteria in the gut can help crowd out the bad guys, leaving them no room to take over. And studies show it works: Several scientific reviews show that consumption of probiotics can be a natural treatment for allergies.
We’re just barely scratching the surface on how probiotics can potentially help improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Should I take probiotics?
Everyone’s gut microbiome could be at least a little healthier.
We should have anywhere from 30,000 to 40,000 strands of bacteria and yeasts in our gut, but most of us only have a fraction of that. Antibiotics, a poor diet, and other chronic health conditions are all root causes of this imbalance — and probiotics can help.
More specifically, people who have issues with gas and bloating should take them, as well as people who have undergone courses of antibiotics or chemotherapy — any treatment that could have wiped out the good bacteria.
While the decision to take probiotics is a personal one, there’s really no downside or potential side effects associated with taking them.
Should I take probiotics with food?
There’s a lot of mixed messages out there about the best time to take probiotics. Some claim that you should always take them on an empty stomach. However, we recommend taking Daily Digestive Essentials right before the first bite of food.
Why? It’s simple: Research shows that bacteria live longer in the gut when taken alongside fats and carbs.
Should I take probiotics every day?
Taking probiotics every day is a personal choice, but we recommend it to experience sustained benefits.
Each bottle of rmdy’s Daily Digestive Essentials comes with 60 chewables that’ll be there whenever you eat common, everyday foods that may cause trouble. Better yet: We can ship to you at regular intervals so you’re never without your secret weapon for good gut health.