A massive 80% of our immune system is located in our digestive tract. Looking after the gut for strengthened immunity against viruses and disease and improved health could always do with a helping hand, which is where probiotics take centre stage. Probiotics are live bacteria, sometimes referred to as “good bacteria”, which aid the body in preventing infection and absorbing nutrients. A great way to add this to probiotics to your diet it through cultured milk drinks which contain billions of gut friendly bacteria.

Probiotics are a fantastic addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle. Diets high in veggies, fruits, lean proteins and healthy grains are generally considered to be the healthiest. The addition of probiotics to that diet can help with digestion as well as providing a variety of other benefits. Kefir, for example, is said to have anti-aging properties as well as aiding with weight loss and giving that glowing complexion.

What are probiotics good for?

Dr Axe discusses some of the common issues that probiotics can prove effective in improving. These include improved digestion, increased energy, better breath and healthier skin. There is also strong evidence to suggest that by adding a cultured milk drink into your diet can aid in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Research into the benefits of probiotics has not stopped yet though. In fact, there are a huge number of studies being undertaken into how effective the addition of probiotics could be for those battling cancer, dealing with liver disease or managing autism.

Probiotics for infants

The benefits of probiotics are also prevalent in children, with it seeming that you can never be too young. An article in Scientific American refers to a 2014 review by Cochrane that found that probiotics may be useful in neonatal intensive care units in hospitals. They mention how the addition of probiotics can significantly reduce the potential for developing necrotizing enterocolitis, an often fatal disease that can affect preterm babies.

Another study that is attracting a lot of public interest which was published in the Lancet Child & Adolecent Health, involved probiotics being given to youngsters who were allergic to peanuts. The Australian team added probiotics to immunotherapy to see to what extent it helped to reduce the children’s peanut allergies. Over the whole course of the study, which stretched over 4 years, the results showed that 82% of those children receiving the combination therapy had significantly reduced allergic reactions to peanuts. Professor Tang who led the team, stated that she believes that the science could be applied to other food allergies too.  

The full extent of the benefits of probiotics has still not been fully realized, with research continuing to suggest new and exciting evidence. The research so far seems to show that the addition of a cultured milk drink, packed full of probiotics, is beneficial both in the prevention or cure of ailments and disease typically afflicting from the very young to the elderly.

by Jenny Holt