Support Your Immune System: Probiotics

Posted on by Paula Gallagher

Beneficial bacteria are critical to a healthy digestive and immune system. We all have them and without them, poor assimilation of nutrients, intestinal irritation or constipation can result. But their effects go beyond those commonly associated with digestion, including affecting our immune system. Some preliminary studies also report that certain probiotics can play a role in reducing the development of allergies in children, decreasing Helicobacter pylori colonization of the stomach, helping patients cope with side effects of antibiotics, managing relapse of some inflammatory bowel conditions, decreasing the risk of certain cancers, decreasing dental-caries-causing microbes in the mouth, and keeping healthy people healthy. Here are some other clinical benefits of probiotics: Gastrointestinal Health: Probiotics have a beneficial effect on specific pathologic conditions. Many studies support the use of probiotics for digestive health. Probiotics may also help prevent traveler's diarrhea and antibiotic-related diarrhea. Immune System Health: Beneficial bacteria keep pathogens (harmful microorganisms) in check, aid digestion and nutrient absorption, and contribute to immune function. Candida: Beneficial bacteria such as L. acidophilus and other strains of bacteria may help to keep candida yeast in check. Probiotics help to keep candida from over-colonizing in the digestive tract. When choosing a probiotic, there are many things to consider, such as what you are using it for and how long you will be using it. For help picking the right probiotic, speak to a health care practitioner.