Do probiotics work?
Stomach acid is designed to break down proteins, both for digestion and to prevent harmful bacteria from entering our bodies. It is pretty harsh and certainly does kill a lot of bacteria, both friendly and harmful.
Some probiotics definitely make it through our digestive system alive.
Here’s some of the evidence:
- A number of studies have looked at the survival rates of various strains of bacteria and found that certain strains digestion. From my quick look at the research, L.gasseri, L. acidophilus, and B. bifidum all survive, especially if they are in a dairy culture.
- There are a lot of health benefits associated with eating probiotic foods. So some probiotics must make it through our stomach to improve gut health.
- If you’ve ever had a strong reaction to a new probiotic food, then you are proof that probiotics make it through our digestive system.
Probiotics For a Healthy Microbiome
A microbiome is all of the microorganisms (yeasts, bacteria, fungus) that live in and on our bodies. Our bodies are a micro (tiny) biome (home).
- Our microbiome is more than just gut health, it is also on our skin and in our lungs. In fact, there are more microorganisms in our body than human cells!
- The makeup of our microbiome is influenced by the microbiome of those around us. And close-knit communities have their own unique microbiome.
- Eating probiotic-rich foods helps our whole microbiome to be healthy and vital.
- Making fermented foods actually changes the microorganisms (yeast and bacteria) in our homes, which improves the microbiome on our skin and in our lungs.
- What we eat also greatly affects our microbiome. For example, someone on a paleo diet will have a fairly different microbiome from someone on a vegan diet. And making a change to your diet will rapidly affect your microbiome, which is why it is important to maintain a healthy microbiome diet.
Do Probiotic Supplements Work?
Honestly… I’m often approached by companies looking to have me support their probiotic pill, but I really don’t think any of them are worth the money. However, here’s a post I wrote on how to choose the best probiotic supplement.
Better yet make your own fermented foods for a deliciously affordable probiotic supplement!