The Power of Probiotics

Check out this article about a new study of probiotics given to mice!

I guess my title should be the power of a healthy digestive system. Probiotics are simply healthy bacteria or yeast that are ingested to help balance the microflora in one’s intestines.  According to WebMD, in the average human intestine, 400 different types of probiotic bacteria can be found. This “Gut Flora”, plays a role in helping to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, helps break down undigested carbohydrates using enzymes that humans lack, increase cell growth in the intestines, and has a dynamic effect on the systemic immune system. They are believed to assist us in synthesizing specific vitamins and absorbing ions such as calcium and magnesium. Probiotics help alleviate symptoms of IBS and might also help prevent the developing of allergies. They are also used to help replenish bacteria growth after the use of antibiotics which can kill beneficial bacteria as well as the harmful bacteria they are targeted towards.

While the verdict is still out on for the effects of using probiotics to treat disease and more serious health ailments, as more and more studies are coming in that show serious benefits, I think only good things will be brought to light with the current research. The article above, from ABC News, illustrates the difference in the shiny coat of fur in the skinny yogurt fed mouse versus the regular, noticeably larger, regularly fed mouse next to it. The probiotic mice were slimmer which suggests, as other studies have too, that the yogurt might help the mice reduce the risk of age-related weight gain. And the reported “swagger” in the male mice’ step? Well, healthier = happier = sexier… right?

I’d be interested if the probiotic fed mice were also more energetic, exercising more or just being more active. But I guess, keeping things “moving” so to speak by keeping the digestive system healthy is overall just a good thing to keep on top of!