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What Is Lactobacillus? And the Top 6 Ways It Can Benefit Your Gut Health

Lactobacillus and the Top 6 Ways It Can Benefit Your Gut Health

Research indicates that specific probiotics – strains of live bacteria and yeast – may have a tremendous positive impact on a number of health issues. However, many people may tend to be unaware of this. Probiotics are live microorganisms promoted with claims that they provide health benefits when consumed, generally by improving or restoring the gut flora. 

Specifically, when it comes to overall gut health, probiotics can be highly beneficial.. health benefits that make probiotics one of the most desired food supplements.

Interestingly, each probiotic strain can have different effects on your body. For example, Studies have suggested that a number of physical and even mental health issues from chronic fatigue syndrome to depression may be able to be helped with certain types of probiotics. One particularly effective strain is Lactobacillus.

What Is Lactobacillus Exactly?

Lactobacillus produces lactic acid by breaking down several different sugars from the diet. It produces an enzyme known as lactase to do this. Unlike some probiotic strains, which have received more marketing than actual research, extensive studies have been conducted on lactobacillus. As a result, there is significant evidence to support the various health benefits associated with it.”

6 Incredible Health Benefits Lactobacillus Offers

Although there are dozens of individual health issues that Lactobacillus may address, we narrowed the list down to the six most promising ones:

1) Weight Loss

Although more research still needs to be conducted, studies in 17 human trials and over 60 animal trials found an association between certain lactobacillus strains and weight reduction. Additionally, some early studies conducted exclusively on animals discovered that other strains were actually associated with weight gain.

2) Improve IBS Symptoms

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects a growing number of people all across the world. Symptoms can vary from mild to chronic stomach pains and often include bloating and odd bowel movements. Research suggests that when using lactobacillus to address this issue, the best method is to take it as a single strain probiotic rather than in conjunction with others

3) Prevention and/or Reduction of Cold & Flu Symptoms

Since healthy bacteria improve immune response and lower the risk of viral infectionsCITATION, the role of probiotics in fighting these types of illnesses is becoming increasingly clear. Numerous studies have shown a reduction in fever, as well as other symptoms, in many cases.(1. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23372900/)

4) Aid in the Prevention and Treatment of Vaginal Infections

In most circumstances, Lactobacillus is the most commonly found bacteria in the healthy vagina. However, in cases where vaginal infections are frequent, it is usually because other, harmful microorganisms have grown larger in number. Research suggests increasing the amount of Lactobacillus in the vagina may reduce the chance of infections, such as vulvovaginal candidiasis, and vaginosis.

5) Prevention and/or Reduction of Allergy Symptoms

Both large and smaller studies have reported very encouraging results concerning the impact certain Lactobacillus-based probiotics have on allergies. In these studies, children and adults experienced relief from such symptoms as itchy and runny noses, as well as watery eyes.(2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25899251/)

6) Aid in Cholesterol Reduction

High cholesterol has long been associated with a higher risk of heart disease and heart attacks. LDL cholesterol, also referred to as “bad” cholesterol, is considered to significantly increase these risks. Lactobacillus acidophilus may have  the potential to positively impact good and bad cholesterol levels.

Possible Side Effects & Risks

As with anything you ingest, it’s always important to understand the risks associated with taking any supplement. Furthermore, it is also important to always consult your doctor before trying anything new. Although most people who are generally healthy tend to report no issues with Lactobacillus acidophilus, there are certain exceptions with some people reporting an increase in bloating and gas in their stomach.

However, people with serious health issues or compromised immune systems may experience worse problems. Those who are critically ill, have had recent surgery, as well as very sick infants, may need close monitoring from a medical professional before incorporating Lactobacillus into their system.

How To Use It

How to Use Lactobacillus for gut health

The best way to take Lactobacillus, and most probiotics, is through food that is rich in it or in capsule form. Such foods are usually of the fermented variety and include:

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Miso
  • Tempeh
  • Cheese
  • Sauerkraut

Many food manufacturers add probiotics to their products so they can boast about their health benefits. However, it is important to note that many do not include the proper amounts to provide the benefits that studies have shown may be effective.

In addition, they may not list the specific ingredients of the probiotics to inform the consumer of the strains they are getting. As a result, the term “probiotics” has been banned from food packaging in Europe. With all of this confusion, it is probably best to look for a source that plainly and clearly lists the amount and type of strains used.

Lactobacillus in Probiotics

 When Lactobacillus is combined with other good bacteria in probiotics formulas, it can have an even greater impact on various aspects of your health. Although, if you prefer to take it as an individual supplement, you can do that as well. We recommend looking for a product that contains one billion CFUs per serving, if not more. Additionally, if you are new to probiotics, it is probably best to start with one serving per day for a couple of weeks. After that, you can see how you feel and adjust the amount accordingly or as recommended by your practitioner.

Summary

With so much positive research to support Lactobacillus' role in promoting various health benefits, it only makes sense that it is rapidly becoming one of the most popular probiotic supplements. At BIOHM Health, we specialize in offering probiotics that incorporate Lactobacillus, as well as other specifically formulated products to maximize their benefits. Contact us today to find out more.

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