This is the fourth in a series of 5 on what we, at Damron Chiropractic & Wellness, consider to be the “Vital & Integral Players” – or VIPs – of the supplements necessary for healthy aging.
It seems to be everywhere. Probiotics. Everything from t.v. advertisements, coupons, and product labeling. But why exactly is this the case? Is this just another health fad like toning shoes or olestra? You’ll be happy to know that probiotics are not a fad and are here to stay. In fact, this VIP supplement is a great way to invest in your longterm health.
Probiotics are actually living microorganisms – bacteria and yeast. Hearing the word bacteria, though, we typically jump to the negative, thinking disease and infection. However, in the world of bacteria there exists both the good and the bad. The good bacteria is what you find within your digestive system. It is also in probiotics. The ideal occurs when the good and bad bacteria are in balance, meaning everything is functioning as it should. But there are times when we have an imbalance. Symptoms appear telling us so with the onset of an illness, a syndrome like Irritable Bowel, or a skin conditions such as eczema. This is a red flag that our good bacteria needs some help from us to regain that optimal balance.
But what exactly does good bacteria do for us? Surprisingly, these good guys serve a vital role in our overall wellbeing:
- promotes colon health and proper functioning
- helps to keep cholesterol in check
- works to ensure hormone balance
- specific vitamin formation (i.e. K)
- creates certain digestive enzymes
It’s important to know that there are two main types of probiotics: lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. The first is the most common and found in yogurt or other fermented foods, the second is found in some types of dairy. Both play a key role in digestive health. While we can get much of our probiotic needs met from the foods we eat (yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, dark chocolate, kimchi, tempeh, and miso soup), the reality is that our busy lifestyle may prevent us from doing so. Having a quality probiotic supplement will ensure your digestive needs are being met on a daily basis.
Remember, life happens. We eat too much of the wrong foods, we get sick, we get older, we encounter periods of stress. As one of the VIPs of the supplement world, probiotics can help you be prepared for those bumps in the road and be that preventative maintenance you need to keep your body running as it should.