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probiotics

What Do Probiotics Do?

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are good bacteria found in your gut. This is the part of the body that absorbs and digests food. Gut health is very important. An unhealthy gut can affect your immune system, your weight, and your overall wellbeing.

How Does an Unhealthy Gut Affect the Body?

One of the signs that you might have an unhealthy gut is skin irritation. For example, a study carried out on a group of people with rosacea found that many of them tested positive for a condition known as Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO).  When these people were treated with antibiotics their rosacea improved because the antibiotics reduced the bad bacteria in the small intestine, which in turn reduced the inflammation in the skin.

The gut usually produces anti-inflammatory metabolites, when your gut isn’t working properly the metabolites won’t regulate your immune system. As a result, the immune system thinks it is under attack and produces inflammation in the body.

Probiotics Drinks

Probiotic drinks are a popular method of treating your gut. But, research is divided as to how much they actually help. Some doctors recommend them for their patients with diarrhoea or those that suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. But, how much they help people who don’t have a bowel condition needs more research. Saying that they definitely won’t do you any harm, so if you are drinking them then carry on.

Eating Well

The best way to keep your gut healthy is to eat plenty of foods like onions, artichokes, asparagus and bananas. Add peas to your meals, cook with ginger and use olive oil on salads and vegetables. Snack on a handful of almonds each day or eat a full-fat live yoghurt.

Another food that will increase your good gut bacteria is oat. Oats can also help with cholesterol, so a bowl of porridge in the morning will give you a double health benefit.

Foods that contain fibre to help digestion or that contain polyphenols (full of micronutrients), will all help to keep your gut in tip-top health which, in turn, will mean healthy skin. 

image:istock.com/GeorgeRudy

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