Allergy, Skin Conditions, Immune | September 15, 2017 | Author: Naturopath
Probiotics are types of bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial for human health. These types of microorganisms concentrate in the digestive system but they also exist on the skin, in the reproductive system, and even in the joints, lungs, nasal cavity, eyes and ears! The body is an ecosystem and these little guys work in a symbiotic relationship to keep us healthy.
“Dysbiosis” is a term for the imbalance of beneficial (“good”) versus pathogenic (“bad”) bacteria in the large intestine.
When the bad guys overgrow the beneficial probiotics, our whole ecosystem can be thrown out of balance.
Digestive symptoms like gas and bloating are just the tip of the iceberg – dysbiosis has been linked to immune problems, skin conditions, and cardiovascular disease!
When people talk about “taking probiotics”, they probably mean they're taking a probiotic capsule full of beneficial bacteria strains. But high levels of probiotics also exist in all kinds of fermented foods and drinks:
The benefit of taking an encapsulated probiotic supplement is that the levels and types of concentrated bacteria are guaranteed. With food, you never quite know what you're going to get.
Everything! From to improving cognition to boosting libido, researchers are finding that probiotics are effective treatments for a wide variety of conditions  .
Massive amounts of research has been published in the last five years exploring the connection between the gastrointestinal and immune systems. The consensus is that the types of bacteria found in the gut microbiome directly and indirectly impact the functioning of the immune system .
When good bacteria is in abundance in the gut, the immune system quickly responds to signals from the rest of the body.
With an increase in bad bacteria, that response becomes slower and the immune system can get the signals confused – there is even strong evidence that dysbiosis is a risk factor for autoimmune diseases .
The skin is the body's second-largest elimination pathway (after the gut), so whatever gets absorbed through a leaky gut can end up being excreted through the skin. Um, gross?
Once excreted onto the skin, the bad guys (toxins, pathogenic bacteria etc) throw off the balance of the skin's own microbiome by overcrowding or killing off the probiotics. The immune system can mount a normal response against these bad guys, resulting in conditions like acne, resulting in zits and inflammation. Sometimes the immune system may become confused and mounts an autoimmune response against healthy cells, as seen in conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
The upshot: Probiotics in the gut can improve the health of the skin. By killing off pathogenic bacteria and strengthening the intestinal wall, probiotics prevent bad stuff in the intestines from getting into the blood stream and being excreted onto the skin. Probiotics can also reduce inflammation and redness of the skin. Particular strains of oral probiotic supplements have been researched to treat skin conditions:
DID YOU KNOW? The health of the skin's microbiota can effect the our immune system, too. Most of the probiotics that colonise our skin are essential for our survival – they educate immune cells on what types of pathogens are around and how to defend the body against them .
Probiotics can reduce cardiovascular disease risk by helping to break down cholesterol and reducing inflammation throughout the body.
They've been shown to:
With such a huge range of health benefits, taking a good quality probiotic supplement will give you something to smile about. And guess what? Probiotics can even make your smile brighter – supplementing with Lactobacillus reuteri has been shown to decrease gingivitis and plaque by crowding out bacteria in the mouth . We weren't kidding – probiotics are good for everything!
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