Your gut microbiome is comprised of the variety of microbes that take up residence within your intestinal system. The microbes include billions of bacteria, fungi and viruses. Although some of these microbes can disrupt the body’s natural balance and functions, the healthy types play a crucial role in improving the operation of your immune system as well as the digestive process.
In recent years, medical researchers have discovered that a consistent intake of probiotics can go a long way in restoring and maintaining an ideal balance of microbes in the digestive tract. More and more health experts are recommending that women should take a probiotic in order to maintain optimal health and wellness.
Here is what you need to know about the use of probiotics in the healthy function of your gut microbiome.
Live beneficial microorganisms and yeasts that are present in foods or marketed as targeted supplements are known as “probiotics.” These health-promoting bacteria live inside of the gut and boost a variety of biological operations, including the support of prime immune function.
As more is learned about probiotics, it becomes clear that they bacteria play an instrumental role in the maintenance of the gut microbiome as well as the overall physiological processes of the body.
The Importance of Supporting a Healthy Gut Microbiome
The average gut microbiome weighs between two to five pounds, functioning as its own organ. Once you learn more about the importance of a solid gut microbiome, you will understand why it is vital that you take the necessary steps to support its functions.
One of the most obvious reasons that all women should take a probiotic to support a healthy microbiome is to maintain proper gut health. For example, probiotics that contain Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli can reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. A healthy microbiome has also been shown to include the right types of bacteria needed to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Gut health and heart protection are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ways in which the gut microbiome affects nearly every facet of your overall health and wellness. The function of this microbiome can also play a factor in your mental health by protecting the brain, your risk of developing diabetes, the function of your immune system and your ability to maintain a healthy weight.
Why Women Should Take a Probiotic
One of the best ways to support a healthy gut microbiome is to take a daily probiotic supplement. Here are just some of the benefits that you will enjoy if you are committed to taking a daily probiotic.
1. Prevent and Treat UTIs and Yeast Infections
For women in particular, a daily probiotic can be helpful in the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections and yeast infections. Some strains of probiotics have been shown to suppress the growth of the harmful vaginal bacterial pathogens that may lead to these issues.
In addition, the healthy microbes cultivated through the use of probiotics can improve the acidity levels of the vagina, encouraging the growth of healthy bacteria. Together, this can improve overall vaginal balance.
2. Support Mood and Brain Function
The benefits of probiotics go well beyond obvious physical health advantages. Probiotics have also been demonstrated to help improve mood while also reducing aggressive thoughts. A probiotic regimen may also boost cognitive function and support good brain health.
Scientists are discovering more facts all the time about what has become to be known as the gut-brain axis. This connection explains how a disruption to the gut microbiome can translate to a disruption in brain function and mental health.
3. Regulate Menstrual Cycles
Similar to the gut-brain axis, there is also a bi-directional connection between the gut microbiome and a woman’s hormones. Taking a probiotic will help to establish normal bacterial levels, thus improving hormonal function and regulating menstrual cycles.
4. Boost Immune Health
As a woman, you likely are juggling a million different responsibilities. This stress can take a toll on your immune system. A daily probiotic can be just what you need to boost immune function so that you do not get sick as often.
5. Help to Control Body Weight
Who would not want any extra help that they can get in maintaining a healthy body weight? Some probiotic strains have been shown through research to help control body fat, supporting a healthy weight in the process.
6. Improve Thyroid Function
Thyroid disease causes unintentional weight gain, disruptions to the menstrual cycle, hair loss, mood disorders, constipation and more. The good news is that a probiotic can indirectly improve the function of the thyroid by reducing inflammation and treating the autoimmune issues that may lead to a thyroid disruption.
7. Encourage Optimal Gut Health
Most people initially turn to the use of probiotics as a means to encourage optimal gut health. It is no secret that a probiotic supplement is a powerful tool in your arsenal of ways to improve the function of your gut.
You have nothing to lose by taking a daily probiotic. In contrast, what you can gain is an optimally functioning gut microbiome and improved overall health.