This isn’t the first time I’ve written about probiotics – I’m a fan for sure. But it seems the general population is also becoming fans of probiotics. A recent survey conducted among dietitians and nutritionists showed that 66% believe that taking a daily probiotic is more important than taking a daily multivitamin. Probiotics are now the number 1 selling ingredient in the nutrition world. We see commercials and TV doctors extolling the benefits of yogurt. So what is happening here? I think the research community is recognizing the role the gut plays on a variety of health conditions. Studies are just beginning to come out on how altered gut flora can affect gene expression, immunity, and disease outcomes. Here is a brief look at just a few of the recent studies on probiotics.
- Consuming probiotics may decrease the duration of common upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) in adults and children by up to a day, compared to placebo. This resulted in less days missed at work and school.
- Daily doses of probiotics plus vitamin C can reduce flu incidence and missed school days by more than 30%.
- Probiotics were found to improve the quality of life of people suffering from allergies, specifically by improving ocular symptoms, such as itchy, watery eyes.
- Two months of consumption of probiotics resulted in reductions in hayfever symptoms in adults.
- Regular consumption of probiotics may help control blood pressure. Hypertension.
Probiotics are good…good bacteria. They are now available in a variety of forms from supplements to protein bars, kefir to non-dairy yogurt, kimchi to kombucha. I include them, often as yogurt or a supplement, in our regimen every day, both for me and my daughter.
If you would like the references for these articles, please let me know.