The Health Benefits of Probiotics That You Can’t Live Without

The health benefits of probiotics are critical for you to be well. These benefits target your digestion and your immune systems, as well as others, which then affect the rest of your body and its genome. It's no wonder that your digestion and your immune system are so intricately tied because 70-80% of your immune system is in your intestines!

You can learn more about how probiotics work, what their benefits are, why you probably don't have enough, and what to do about it in my book, "Probiotics: How to Use Them to Your Advantage."

You can learn about how probiotics may help your specific health condition at the bottom of this page. To learn about even more conditions that probiotics may benefit, check out my book, "Probiotics for Health." Probiotics truly are amazing and these resources can help you benefit from the power of probiotics!

Health Benefits of Probiotics

Probiotics don’t just live like couch potatoes inside you.

Probiotics have numerous benefits on your body, whereas not all species of flora in your microbiota do. According to some researchers, dysbiosis (meaning skewed microbiota) is “one important factor that can lead to conditions that promote disease such as obesity, diabetes, IBD, rheumatoid arthritis, and even MS, and leave a person susceptible to infection” (Reading, et. al).

You can read about the connection between genetics and probiotics on this page.

To be a probiotic, technically the microbes must be alive. However, sometimes they produce products which can benefit your health even if the microbes later die. For the most part, though, you want the microbes to be alive for maximum impact on health. More information on sources of probiotics can be found here.

Each type of probiotic has its special characteristics that make it beneficial.

Click on the links below to learn about the health benefits of probiotics for specific health conditions. Remember, probiotics and other beneficial microbes work better as part of your strategy to be well and prevent a health crisis, rather than to resolve a health issue once it is established. As a result, unless they are classified as a drug or a medical food, probiotics are not meant to treat or cure any disease, although you may find that they resolve some conditions.

For a discussion of antibiotics and their usage, please see this page.

 Benefits for Female Issues

Vaginitis - The cause of your vaginitis doesn't have to be a mystery.

Aerobic Vaginitis (AV) - A bacterial infection with vaginal discharge that is often mistaken for BV (bacterial vaginosis). Knowing the difference could mean being cured – or not.

Aerobic Vaginitis Symptoms and Treatment - How to know if you have this bacterial vaginal infection and what to do about it.

BV (Bacterial Vaginosis) - You could have it and not know it. Is it increasing your risk for infections, especially in pregnancy?

BV (Bacterial Vaginosis) Diagnosis - BV is a type of vaginitis that needs to be diagnosed by a healthcare practitioner, especially in pregnancy. Here is how it’s done.

Treatment of Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) - Conventional Treatment - What is the treatment of bacterial vaginosis? Are antibiotics such as clindamycin the answer?

Treatment of Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) with Probiotics - Can probiotics help with treatment of bacterial vaginosis?

Candidiasis (Vaginal Yeast Infections) - Is Candidiasis to blame for your vaginitis? Learn how to recognize the causes and symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection

Vaginal Yeast Infections Diagnosis - Vaginal yeast infection may or may not be easy. Here are things to consider before self-treating your vaginitis.

Yeast Infection Treatment - Vaginal, Conventional - Yeast infection treatment for the vagina depends of the type of yeast involved. Is it Candida? Learn about your options for relief of your vaginitis.

Yeast Infection Treatment - Vaginal, Probiotics - Yeast infection treatment and probiotics? How are they related? Do probiotics show promise for this type of vaginitis?

 Benefits for Intestinal Issues

Constipation - Constipation is a regularity problem in the colon which limits bowel movements. Prevention is key.

Causes of Constipation -Know the causes of constipation so you can take preventative action before it becomes chronic constipation

Relief for Constipation - Conventional - Relief for constipation is big business since constipation problems affect nearly everyone at least once. Are constipation medications such as laxatives your only choice?

Probiotics for Constipation - Are probiotics for constipation a good choice? Or are laxatives your best bet?

Diarrhea - Anti-diarrheal medications can increase your risk of heart problems.

GERD -GERD is a Common Complaint with Indigestion. How Do You Get Heartburn?

GERD and Probiotics -Is There Help for GERD with Probiotics? Reflux affects a lot of people, and it’s important to know if probiotics can help.

GERD Symptoms - GERD Symptoms and Complications Involve More Than Indigestion and Heartburn

Antacids -Antacids like Tums are often used for GERD. Some people eat them like candy, figuring that they are helping their bones. Is this the best way to control stomach acid, reflux and indigestion?

H2 Blockers -H2 blockers such as Zantac or Pepcid are often used for GERD. Can they be used long-term to control stomach acid, reflux and indigestion? Here’s a look at these drugs.

Proton-pump Inhibitors - Proton pump inhibitors like Nexium or omeprazole (Prevacid) are often used for GERD. Is this the best way to control stomach acid, reflux and indigestion? Here’s a look at PPIs.

Indigestion - Indigestion is a cry from your body for help. Are you listening or just covering the symptoms with medications?

H pylori Infection - H pylori is a common pathogen that may lead to serious diseases. Do you need to eradicate it? Can probiotics help prevent or reduce it?

IBD, Inflammatory Bowel Disease - Probiotics for IBD are a promising way to manage the worldwide increasing incidence of  inflammatory bowel disease, especially in addition to standard dexamethasone therapy.

Necrotizing Enterocolitis - Necrotizing enterocolitis is a serious gastrointestinal tract disorder which can affect premature infants. Probiotics can help prevent it.

Probiotics for Crohn's Disease - Some research has been documented, but is it enough?

Benefits for Mental Health and Brain Function

Anxiety - Probiotics make perfect sense for helping with anxiety. Find out ways to start decreasing your levels.

Depression- Depression may have some of its roots in the gut. Probiotics may help.

Insomnia - The inability to fall asleep or stay asleep can have disastrous consequences. "I can't sleep" is not an option.

Mood and Sleep - Serenity and sleep with a psychobiotic probiotic.

Benefits for Other Health Conditions and Choices

Acne - Acne is an imbalance from the inside out, so are antibiotic creams and pills the best choice?

Acne and Probiotics - Acne and probiotics may seem totally unrelated, but here's why they may make a perfect pairing for your gut health and breakouts.

Alcohol Flushing - What causes this condition and what should you do if you have it?

Alpha-Gal Allergy - Do you think you are allergic to meats? Find out more about why this may be and what you can do.

Autoimmunity - Probiotics have actions for autoimmunity prevention and progression. Find out how.

Cholesterol - This probiotic is shown to help reduce LDL cholesterol.

Chronic kidney disease - Chronic kidney affects 1 in 3 Americans. Find out what you can do to care for your kidneys, including what probiotics may have to offer.

CKD - Learn about the risk factors, early symptoms and assessment of chronic kidney disease
Pets - Dogs and Cats - Yes, dogs and cats can benefit from probiotics just like you do. Find out what the research shows and which probiotic products are recommended.

Essential Oils and Probiotics - There are similarities and both can enhance  your health. Find out how.

Grapefruit Essential Oil for Weight Loss - Grapefruit EO can be part of a weight loss strategy, plus it has other benefits to gut health, the microbiome, cognition, mood and more.

How to Purchase Quality Essential OIls - No sense using them if you aren't using the best ones you can.

Flu - Probiotics are a great way to boost your defenses against influenza.

Functional Abdominal Pain in Children - Functional abdominal pain is a common disorder in children with an estimated worldwide average prevalence of 13.5%. Is there a role for probiotics?

Heart Disease and TMAO - Maybe the cause of heart diseases like atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction starts in your gut. Can probiotics help?

Lavender oil for Anxiety- Lavender essential oil has research to back its use in supporting anxiety.

Long Hauler Microbiome -  Long haulers are those people with persisting symptoms after infection with COVID-19, including after tested clearance of the virus. Other names for long hauler syndrome are post-COVID syndrome, long COVID, or long-term COVID. Research shows that a long hauler microbiome may play a role in their lingering symptoms.

Lymphoma - Lymphoma is a scary disease. As with almost any cancer, the causes are multiple and varied. Probiotics may have a role in lymphoma prevention – that of a protective role against it.

Mediterranean Diet and Probiotics - The two are mutually beneficial. Find out how.

MRSA Infection - Studies show that gut dysbiosis may set the stage for a worse prognosis

Mucus Enhancement in the Gut - Mucus in the GI tract serves many important functions, and probiotics can help nurture it.

NAFLD - Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease benefits from diet and lifestyle interventions, including probiotics.

Oral Health: Gingivitis, Periodontitis, Cavities - Is brushing and flossing enough? What about mouthwash?

Osteoporosis - Bone density is not the most important factor. This is.

Parkinson's Disease - Is there a link between the gut and Parkinson's?

Sinusitis - Sinus probiotics are being investigated for chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). What does research show about the sinus/nasal microbiome and probiotics?

Sinus Flushing- What are the benefits of it and how do you do it?

Sugar Cravings - There is a surprising link to the gut concerning these.

TMAO Reduction - Studies suggest ways to reduce trimethylamine-N-oxide levels

TMAU (Trimethylaminuria) - The causes, types and triggers for this metabolic disorder characterized by body odor.

TMAU (Trimethylaminuria) - Can probiotics and dietary elimination help this FMO3 metabolic disorder?

Triclosan Toxicity - Learn about what the antibacterial chemical triclosan may be doing to you and your gut microbiome.

This page discusses side effects of probiotics.

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