Skip the Seasonal Blues
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 200 viruses that can cause the coughing, sneezing, and stuffy nose associated with the common cold. Now that fall is well underway and winter is just around the corner, people will soon be coming together more to celebrate the holidays and dodge the chilly weather. Unfortunately, close quarters often result in increased sharing of germs that are unintentionally, but easily, passed via shared surfaces and physical contact. Good digestive health can be supported by a balanced diet and incorporation of a daily probiotic supplement to help the immune system defend against and fight off infection.
"When people convene, the simple fact is that germs are unfortunately shared. While invasive bacteria and viruses can kick start the immune system and drive the body into defense mode, the human gut naturally contains hundreds of good bacteria that battle infection and support overall health," said Kerry Neville, a registered dietitian in Seattle. "The incorporation of a daily natural probiotic supplement can give an extra boost to the digestive tract and put some additional muscle into your immune system."
Effects of Probiotic Supplements for Digestive Health
The benefits of probiotic supplements come from increasing the number of probiotic organisms in the gut, while pushing out harmful, invasive bacteria that can disrupt normal digestive function. Probiotic dietary supplements are grouped into two categories: yeast or bacteria, which each interact with the body differently. While bacterial probiotics may be more common, a yeast-based probiotic may have a clear advantage in supporting digestive health and promoting overall wellness. Bacterial probiotic supplements are made up of different bacterial strains, and as a result, their effects may vary.
Additionally, because antibiotics do not differentiate between bacteria types, bacteria-based probiotics may be compromised by the use of antibiotics. Yeast-based probiotics are able to withstand the harsh acids of the stomach, as well as more consistently stimulate the production of the infection-fighting antibody immunoglobulin A (IgA). Unlike bacterial probiotics, yeast-based probiotics are not compromised by antibiotic use. These benefits mean more consistent digestive harmony and immunity support, even when used simultaneously with antibiotics.
"The live microorganisms in probiotic supplements support the beneficial probiotic bacteria that already naturally exist within the gut to promote intestinal harmony and support digestive health. The gut is home to 70-80 percent of the entire body's immune cells so a healthy digestive tract can play an important role in supporting overall health and promoting natural wellness," said Neville. "Some common illnesses like strep throat and ear infections may require antibiotic treatment to kill the invasive bacteria that are causing the infection.
Unfortunately antibiotics cannot differentiate the natural probiotic bacteria from illness-causing bacteria, so the body's immune system may be left weakened and in need of improving the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. A probiotic supplement may be able to help maintain digestive balance.