What is a Probiotic?
Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide numerous health benefits to the human body. They are found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut. By maintaining a healthy diet, probiotics are naturally produced in your body, as well.
The main job of probiotics is to keep a balance between good bacteria and bad bacteria in your body. Probiotics have also been shown to aid digestion, boost the body’s immune system, and improve mental health. There are single-strain probiotics that only contain one type of bacteria and multi-strain probiotics that contain more than one type of bacteria.
What is a Multi-Probiotic?
Multi-probiotics are a combination of different strains of probiotics that are intended to provide a broader range of health benefits than single-strain probiotics. The seven core types of bacteria most often used in probiotic products are Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Saccharomyces, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, Escherichia, and Bacillus.
What Causes Poor Digestion?
Poor digestion can be linked to several factors such as gastrointestinal issues or stress. Some common symptoms of digestive diseases include heartburn, indigestion, bloating, and constipation. Other causes of poor digestion include eating too many processed foods, taking certain medications, not drinking enough water, and specific food intolerances.
Do Multi-Probiotics Help with Digestion?
The answer is yes, but there are several factors that play into the effectiveness of multi-probiotics on overall gut health. The type of strains of probiotics used, the dose, and the individual person’s health can all determine the success of the multi-probiotic on digestion.
Every person has their own unique microbiome, which is a complex ecosystem of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms that live in the gastrointestinal tract. The balance of these microorganisms plays a critical role in digestion and overall health. When the gut microbiome is out of balance, it can lead to digestive issues like bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea.
Multi-probiotics can help restore balance to the gut microbiome by introducing a variety of beneficial microorganisms. Different strains of probiotics have different functions and can target specific digestive issues. For example, Lactobacillus acidophilus has been shown to reduce diarrhea and improve lactose intolerance, while Bifidobacterium lactis can help reduce inflammation in the gut and improve bowel regularity.
One study published in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that a multi-strain probiotic supplement improved symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common digestive disorder. The probiotic supplement contained eight strains of probiotics, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Streptococcus thermophilus.
Are Multi-Probiotics Safe?
Microbes used to make probiotics are already naturally in your body, so multi-probiotic supplements and probiotic-rich foods are generally considered safe.
Taking a multi-probiotic can also have other health benefits. Multi-probiotics may help with:
- Inflammation: Probiotics reduce systemic inflammation, a leading cause of many diseases
- Depression and Anxiety: The probiotic strains Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum have been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in people with clinical depression
- Blood Cholesterol: Several probiotics have been shown to lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels
- Blood Pressure: Probiotics may cause modest reductions in blood pressure
- Immune Function: Several probiotic strains may enhance immune function, possibly leading to a reduced risk of infections, including those that cause the common cold
- Skin Health: There’s some evidence that probiotics can be useful for acne, rosacea, and eczema, as well as other skin disorders
Other ways to Improve Digestion
In addition to taking multi-probiotics, there are several other things you can do to improve digestion and promote a healthy gut microbiome. These include:
- Eating a diverse range of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This can help provide the nutrients and fiber you need to support a healthy gut.
- Avoid processed and sugary foods. These can disrupt the balance in your gut and lead to digestive problems.
- Managing stress.
- Getting enough sleep. Sleep is important for overall health, including gut health.
- Exercise. Recent studies have shown that exercise can increase the amount of good bacteria in the gut, improving gut health.
Questions about what multi-probiotics can do for your gut and overall health? Reach out to 10X Health to learn more.