Overview Do we really have one brain? Is there actually a connection between our gut and brain? Well, it turns out that our body has a “second brain” situated in our bellies. That is why many of us tend to have those “butterflies in the stomach” when we are anxious. Our emotions affect our gut […]
Overview Sneezing and coughing? Catching a cold or flu can be annoying. It is usually treated with home remedies like steam inhalation, saline rinse, gargles, and herbal teas. Getting a yearly flu vaccine is also recommended by the WHO to stay in good shape during the flu season. Research reveals that taking probiotics during this […]
Introduction With more and more recognition of the importance of digestive health, the demand for probiotic (live bacteria) delivery systems has been on an upswing. These delivery systems differ widely in terms of efficiency to benefit an individual. A 2014 study revealed that 65% of respondents are aware of the significance of probiotics for digestive […]
Overview While it is okay to be sad at times, being depressed more often can have serious consequences on your well-being. Depression carries a major burden. It can be severe enough to interrupt your daily social and occupational life. The weird fact about depression is that it doesn’t always appear as just being sad, excessive […]
Microbiome and Diet: How are the two linked? Our microbiome is home to trillions of diverse microbes (a property called microbial diversity) that regulate almost every function of our body. In addition to several environmental factors, dietary patterns have the largest impact on our microbiome. Unfortunately, the current Western diet is gradually clearing away the […]
What is Pancreatin? Pancreatin is an enzyme released by the pancreas that aids in the digestion of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. It is a blend of various digestive enzymes, namely amylase, lipase, and protease. What is the Pancreatin enzyme used for? Since pancreas plays a vital role in the digestion of nutrients, pancreatin may be […]
What is a colon cleanse? A colon cleanse includes a variety of alternative medical treatments that aim to flush out toxins from the intestine. What is auto-intoxication and how does it relate to colon cleansing? According to naturopaths, these colonic toxins build up as a result of infrequent bowel movements and/or the consumption of unhealthy […]
With a vast array of novel researches performed on probiotics, scientists have been able to reveal the influence of gut bacteria on cardiac health. These beneficial bacteria help control the factors that have a negative impact on the heart, and therefore, provide a ground to optimize the cardiac health.
Probiotics can help improve the following risk factors for heart disease:
1. Formation of fatty plaques
The cholesterol that we consume in our diet can combine with fat, calcium, and other substances in our blood to generate plaques or fatty deposits. These plaques that clog arteries (primarily of the heart) form as a result of a series of inflammatory steps. One of the reasons that cardiologists recommend probiotics for heart health is the suppression of these inflammatory processes that trigger the formation of fatty deposits in your arteries.
A 2010 study showed that probiotic-containing Bifidobacteria exerts anti-inflammatory effects via decreasing the number of white blood cells being propelled to a damaged artery and, thus, lessening the inflammation and the chances of cholesterol buildup in that area. 
Moreover, probiotics, in particular, Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242 has been proven to cut the bad cholesterol levels by about 12%.  This further resists the accumulation of fatty plaques in the arteries. This probiotic, in essence, can eat up cholesterol owing to its distinctive bile salt hydrolase activity.
2. Blood pressure
Hypertension is estimated to affect several billion people worldwide and is a major but modifiable risk factor for cardiac disease. Luckily, recent studies show that certain probiotics, primarily lactobacilli can lower the blood pressure through a variety of mechanisms. One such mechanism is the relaxation (or widening) of blood vessels via blocking the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity. This enzyme narrows the blood vessels, raising the pressure of the flowing blood on the walls of the arteries, which defines hypertension. By suppressing the ACE activity, probiotic bacteria perform the same action as that of some of the commonly used blood pressure medications like Zestril and Monopril. 
3. Vitamin D levels
The vitamin D acknowledged for bone health is also crucial for cardiovascular health. Insufficient vitamin D levels can narrow the blood vessels and impair the function of filtration by the kidneys, both of which tend to raise the blood pressure.  According to a Canadian study, regular supplementation of the probiotic L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 boosted vitamin D levels by more than 25%, which is a notable increase. Hence, probiotics can be regarded as cardioprotective agents. 
Obese individuals are at high risk for cardiac disease sooner or later. Being a modifiable factor, obesity can be addressed via lifestyle modifications. One such modification is the supplementation of probiotics. These can help you lose weight, thereby reducing your odds of developing heart problems.  (more…)
While the benefits of probiotics such as alleviating yeast infections are widely known in women, they are not addressed frequently in men. That said, a growing body of research confirms the health benefits of probiotic consumption in men. This post highlights the importance of probiotics in men.
1. Probiotics Improve the Gut Health
Although IBS is more common in women, men also tend to suffer from the frustrating symptoms of IBS. Consumption of probiotics helps strengthen the leaky gut barrier, which underlies the emergence of IBS. This lessens the severity of abdominal pain, bloating, and other IBS symptoms.
More so, colon cancer, which is the second leading cause of death in the United States, occurs with greater frequency in men. The role of probiotics in preventing colon cancer has been widely studied. One of the several factors that contribute to the development of colon cancer is an imbalance in the composition of bacteria inhabiting the gut.  Since probiotics restore the balance of the altered microbiota, they can fend off abnormal cellular and DNA changes that trigger cancerous changes. In a trial performed on colon cancer patients, a 12-week administration of a synbiotic formulation (composed of both probiotics and prebiotics) resulted in a significant improvement in the cancer biomarkers. 
2. Probiotics Optimize Cardiovascular Health
Heart disease is the most common cause of death in men as per CDC. Probiotics benefit cardiac health in a number of ways, including but not limited to:
- Lowering LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels , primarily Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242
- Reducing blood pressure 
- Helping you lose body weight and preventing heart disease 
Pregnancy is a phase when the mom needs to be extra vigilant with the foods and supplements she is consuming for her own and baby’s well-being. While all of us know the role of a healthy diet and supplements like iron, folic acid, and multivitamins during pregnancy, we aren’t much aware of the benefits of probiotics during pregnancy.
Experts have been able to shed light on the role and safety of probiotics during this crucial time of a woman’s life.
Following are a few benefits of taking probiotics during pregnancy:
1. Probiotics Boost the Digestive System of the Mother
Replacing the gut with healthy proactive bacteria accelerates digestion and eases constipation and abdominal discomfort, which are universal complaints encountered by a pregnant woman. Weight control is another proven benefit in a pregnant woman on probiotics.
2. Probiotics help with Bacterial Vaginosis and prevent Preterm Labor
Bacterial vaginosis is a vaginal infection in which unhealthy bacteria replace the good lactobacilli. If a woman contracts this infection during pregnancy, she is at risk for premature labor.  Statistics show that intake of lactic acid-containing bacteria maintains a favorable vaginal milieu  by fending off the bad bugs while allowing the good bacteria to home the vagina. This lowers the risk of going into labor before the expected delivery date. (more…)