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Probiotics, as defined by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), are "live microorganisms administered in adequate amounts which confer a beneficial health effect on the host."
Friendly Bacteria, or Probiotics
Probiotics, as these bacteria are called, promote efficient digestion, support the immune system, inhibit the growth of pathogenic microorganisms, and produce several vitamins. Different bacterial species are available as probiotic (friendly flora) nutritional supplements.
The Importance of Bacterial Balance
Causes of Bacterial Imbalance
Probiotics Affect More Than The Gut
Probiotics have long been known to provide many benefits to human health. There have been several research reports published on the actions of probiotics. Just a few years ago, most scientists believed that probiotics only acted locally in the gut. However, there are studies suggesting that gut bacteria could play a role in various brain and psychiatric disorders as well as being involved with individual behavioral differences.
One experiment found that mice fed broth containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus behaved less anxiously than mice fed broth without these bacteria. The behavioral changes can be partially explained by differences in brain chemical receptors and stress hormone (corticosterone) levels. The overall observation was that a change in the mix of intestinal bacteria provided by L. rhamnosus influenced mouse behavior by way of the vagus nerve. The vagal impulses induced by the microbes resulted in an increase in GABA (gamma amino butyric acid, a brain chemical and neurotransmitter) receptors in the brain and lower levels of stress hormones. The net result was a significant decrease in anxiety observed in the mice receiving the bacteria.
There are many more studies on the benefits of adding a supplemental friendly bacteria to your daily supplement program. Start supporting your health. today.
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