Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last few decades, you probably have heard that probiotics help prevent gas, bloating and constipation.
You also might know that they support your immune system and can help ease asthma and allergies.
And maybe you’ve even heard that they are helpful with depression since most of your body’s serotonin is produced in your gut (especially if you read my blogs on a regular basis!).
Well, there are 2 more surprising health benefits of probiotics that go way beyond your gut!
Specifically to your heart and your liver!
Here’s the scoop:
Surprising probiotic benefit #1: Lower blood pressure
Studies have shown that people who consume probiotics on a regular basis tend to have lower blood pressure, and the wider the variety of probiotics taken, the more effective they are at counteracting hypertension.
Now, you’re probably wondering what on earth probiotics have to do with blood pressure.
Quite a bit actually.
You see, inflammation is a leader causative factor behind high blood pressure.
Well, probiotics can help with inflammation because they support more regular bowel movements. Having healthy, regular bowel movements helps ensure that wastes and toxins are cleared from your intestinal tract--instead of having them sit in your gut (such as when you’re constipated) and then get absorbed into your bloodstream and stir up inflammation!
Probiotics also help enhance nutrient absorption and this is crucial.
Nutrients such as vitamin B6, B12, potassium, magnesium and Coenzyme Q10 (Co Q10) all help encourage a healthy functioning circulatory system and promote lower blood pressure.
In addition, most people don’t realize that one of the ways your blood vessels can get into trouble is when you don’t eliminate old cholesterol like you should.
Normally your body eliminates old cholesterol in your bowel movements. But if you are constipated a lot, the old cholesterol can instead be reabsorbed back into circulation and stir up inflammation.
Since probiotics help encourage healthy BMs, that can help your body eliminate the old cholesterol like it should!
And last but not least, probiotics manufacture B vitamins (especially B6 and B12) which can reduce blood homocysteine levels and help encourage lower blood pressure.
Surprising probiotic benefit #2: Healthy liver
Although countless studies have been done on probiotics and how they help with digestion, recent research also shows they can have a positive impact on your liver function too!
One study used 2 groups of mice—one group was given food with added probiotics (specifically the strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus) for 2 weeks and the other group was untreated. After the 2 weeks all the mice were given a toxic dose of acetaminophen (Tylenol)—which has been known to cause liver damage.
The results showed the probiotic mice suffered far less liver damage than the other mice.
These results are significant because painkillers of all kinds—including acetaminophen and NSAIDs—can dramatically increase your risk of liver disease, and heaven knows our reliance on these medications continues to explode.
Other animal studies have shown that probiotics have a protective effect against alcoholic liver disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
This is critical because we’ve seen an increase in cases of NAFLD in recent years—especially in teenagers who drink a lot of soda and consume other foods with liver-killing high fructose corn syrup.
Make sure you’ve got a strong supply!
The benefits of having a healthy gut environment and a well-balanced population of beneficial bacteria continue to grow, so it’s vital to ensure your intestinal tract is pampered and your body has a strong supply of these friendly microbes.
Here are 3 ways to help ensure your gut environment is in tip-top shape:
1- Keep it safe
Avoid things that are harmful to your intestinal flora including:
- Cigarette smoke
- Unfiltered tap water
- Excessive alcohol (especially beer)
- Refined carbs and sugars
- Processed and fast food
- Antibiotics, acid reducers and birth control pills
- Regularly lacking sleep
2- Support the helpful good guys
This involves replacing and supporting your supply of beneficial bacteria, and this is done with a full-spectrum probiotic supplement like Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula.
Contrary to what you may think, your friendly intestinal inhabitants are not “permanent residents”—they only “vacation” inside of you for about 12 days. So it’s crucial to make sure you consistently help replenish your supply of troops in your protective intestinal army.
Note that Super Shield contains Lactobacillus rhamnosus, which was shown to help with liver function in the mice studies I mentioned above!
Plus Super Shield provides a complete blend of 13 outstanding, well-studied probiotic strains—not only do all of these strains have their own “specialty” in terms of how they support your health, but also remember that the greater the variety of strains, the more helpful for lower blood pressure!
3- Dietary support
Supporting a healthy gut flora balance means nourishing your friendly flora with gut-loving foods like fresh vegetables and fermented foods.
“Fermented foods” includes sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir (a fermented milk drink that tastes like drinkable yogurt), kimchi (Korean fermented cabbage), and kombucha (a tangy tea-based drink).
Note that soy-based products like tempeh and miso are also fermented foods, but I hesitate to recommend soy because most of the soy grown in the US is now genetically modified.
Support your gut microbiome and help it enhance your health in countless ways!
To your health,Sherry Brescia
Hello Judy, thank you for your comments. Prebiotics are natural fibers that are not digested by our bodies, but it nourishes the beneficial bacteria in our intestines.
While it is true that harmful bacteria may try to feed off of FOS as well, it is not their “food of choice”—they prefer sugar, refined carbohydrates and acid-forming foods. Prebiotics favor beneficial bacteria growth, especially the Bifidobacterium species.
It is found naturally in foods like asparagus, artichokes, bananas, chicory, garlic, leeks and onions.
We hope this helps and hope to hear you’re feeling better soon!
Hello John, thank you for your kind feedback. We are thrilled to hear you’re doing better and enjoy our Super Shield and VitalMega-3. We hope to serve you for years to come!
I agree that prebiotics are good. However, after a colonoscopy last fall, my good bacteria has been wiped out. Have klepsiella pneumonia and candida problems as well as allergic to the daisy family. So prebiotics will only make it worse right now.
I have had my my prostate removed 5 years ago because of cancer, and my colon removed (Ileostomy) this past Oct because of 30 years of UC and cancer cells and did not have to do Chemo or Radiation yet I believe because of daily use of super shield and fish oil for years, Thanks Sherry