In a world where everyone is trying to sell you something, sometimes it’s nice to read scientific research. However, when researching certain topics, you may encounter “studies” that are sponsored by people who benefit from their results. I.e., a glitter company sponsoring a study on how glitter makes children feel. This isn’t an unusual practice. And you may be left wondering, “Which research can I trust?” “Do probiotics work?”
At EssentialProbiotics.com, we don’t sponsor research. Instead, we curate probiotic content based on the latest research conducted by reputable sources. But how can you tell whether research is sponsored or reputable? Here are some questions to ask.
- Are the trials randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, and conducted by a third party with no affiliation to the researcher?
- Are there multiple third party studies that uphold the research findings?
So back to the question: “Do probiotics work?” The answer depends on the malady being treated or prevented. It’s important to remember that while many studies suggest that probiotics can have a positive impact on your health, other studies report weak findings. Although probiotics may not be the miracle cure you’re looking for, one thing’s for sure: they can’t hurt. The general consensus in the scientific community is that probiotics can benefit your digestive system, immune system and mental health.
Do Probiotics Work for Digestive Health?
The most buzz about probiotics seems to be surrounding this topic of our digestive system. Probiotics work to stabilize the microbiome, the powerhouse of your body. Once your microbiome is balanced, your digestive system will follow. Overall, most research dictates that probiotics are good for digestive health, especially if you have any antibiotic-related stomach issues or chronic problems (like IBS).
Do Probiotics Work for Immune Support?
This is, by far, the touchiest topic in the probiotic realm. Many argue that the immune system is its own entity and that it cannot be influenced by probiotics. However, a lot of research is coming out that indicates otherwise. Recently, a study done in The Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports showed that athletes who took probiotics regularly experienced 40% fewer colds than those who did not take any at all. While these numbers are not THAT impressive, there is still evidence of a correlation between immunity and the microbiome. Probiotics’ effects on immunity seems to be rather straightforward.
Do Probiotics Work for Mental Health?
Although it seems like a stretch, there is some research showing that probiotics can actually improve your mood and maybe even assist with dissipating depression. Scientists aren’t calling probiotics a treatment for depression, necessarily; they’re just insinuating that minds tend to follow bodies. If your body is healthy, you have less mental stress, less cortisol in the body, and therefore your mood can improve substantially!
These three fields are some of the most popular topics that come up when discussing the beneficial effects of probiotics. Although it is up to you and your family, the research does indicate positive effects when ingesting these healthy microbes.
If you don’t have time to do the research yourself, let us do it for you! Tune into our monthly newsletter covering a wide range of digestive health topics.