Here’s a startling fact: For every one human cell we have, there are ten bacteria cells in our body to match it. That means that the majority of DNA in our body isn’t even human; it’s from the 500 bacteria species that call us home.1 Thinking about that much bacteria might have your skin crawling, but the relationship between human and bacteria is really a perfect synergy: we give bacteria room and board, and in return, they work hard to protect our intestinal health, which ultimately protects the health of our immune system and overall well-being. But if we have that much bacteria already living in our gut, you might be thinking to yourself, what are probiotics’ benefits?
Probiotics contain 'good' bacteria, and that's exactly why we need them; because it's not just 'good' bacteria calling our gut home. Taking a probiotic pill or supplement (along with a healthy diet) increases the number of good bacteria, reduces the number of bad bacteria and creates an environment that’s suitable for beneficial microorganisms, which improves our overall health.
Types of Bacteria in Our Digestive System
To understand what probiotics do, we first have to understand the role that bacteria play in our body. There are three primary families of bacteria in our gut:
Many factors influence the proportion of each family; from the early years of your life (the type of birth you had, breastfed vs. formula-fed, exposed to antibiotics prenatally) to the later years, where more lifestyle factors like diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, stress, and sleep come into play. The bacteria species found in the digestive tract have a significant influence on overall health, both physical and mental, which is why it’s important to take care of them every day.
What Does Our Intestinal Bacteria Do?
All microorganisms that live in the intestinal ecosystem are collectively referred to as our “microbiota”. Studying the microbiota has helped us understand what our good bacteria does for our health.2-5
Good Gut Bacteria:
- Produces energy metabolites for our body and the cells in our intestines
- Produces certain B-vitamins and Vitamin K
- Helps digest fibre
- Protects us from pathogens
- Educates our immune system
- Effects the nervous system and mental health
- Helps address food tolerance issues (allergies, intolerance, food sensitivity)
- Protects against ‘leaky gut’ syndrome
Dysbiosis: When Bad Bacteria Outnumber the Good
An imbalance between good bacteria and pathogenic bacteria, yeasts or fungi, or a change in the bacteria species that colonize the digestive tract is called dysbiosis. It can have short and long-term effects on our body functions. These disruptions can reduce the immune system’s effectiveness, create unpleasant digestive symptoms (diarrhea, constipation, gas, etc.), be a contributor to certain chronic illnesses like obesity, and participate in producing pro-inflammatory metabolites.
What do probiotics do? Help to Create a Balanced & Diverse Microbiota
Healthy eating and taking a clinically proven probiotic supplement is crucial for cultivating a healthy and diverse microbiota, and ultimately a healthy body. But what do probiotics do?
Probiotics are living bacteria that are beneficial for our health. These good bacteria can be incorporated into our diets through various foods (usually fermented ones) and supplements.
The benefit of taking a probiotic supplement is that a supplement contains very specific bacteria known to have a beneficial effect on human health, and a positive impact on our gut microbiome. Taking a probiotic supplement has the added benefit of providing a specific and concentrated dosage of healthy bacteria, so you know you are getting a therapeutic, research-proven dosage every time.
Maintaining the balance, quantity and diversity of good bacteria in our digestive system is a critical step to avoiding dysbiosis. By improving our daily diet and incorporating clinically proven probiotic supplements like Bio-K+, we can prevent intestinal bacteria imbalances and the potential health issues that may arise because of it.
Bio-K+ Probiotics for Good Health!
Bio-K+ probiotic drinks are unique in the world of probiotics. The innovative manufacturing makes Bio-K+ both a supplement and a fermented food, containing three strains of probiotic bacteria that you won’t find anywhere else. What does this mean for your health? It means that drinkable Bio-K+ probiotics are good for providing health benefits from your mouth to large intestine, working synergistically together from your first sip to improve your microbiota and support any instance of gut dysbiosis.
If you’re new to Bio-K+, know that each bottle contains 50 billion live and active probiotic bacteria. Probiotics are good for a wide variety of digestive issues, so it’s best to customize your dosage based on what your specific needs are. If you are looking to take a preventative dosage to support the health of your microbiome, start with a ¼ bottle per day. If you suffer from digestive health issues or regularly take antacids, start with a ½ bottle of Bio-K+ per day. If you have more serious gastrointestinal issues or have had to take antibiotics, Bio-K+ probiotics are great for getting your system back on track. Start with a full bottle per day and see how you feel (we’ve had amazing results from our fans!). You might also want to try our probiotic supplements that come in a variety of potencies, including our 30 billion probiotic, our 50 billion probiotic, and our 80 billion probiotic.
Science uncovers more about the microbiota and the critical role it plays in our health. A daily dose of a research-proven probiotic product can help correct dysbiosis, support your gut health (in a preventive way, or for more chronic ailments) or give your system an added boost when you need it, like after a course of antibiotics or when you are travelling. When choosing to add a probiotic into your health plan, be sure to understand what the best probiotics for travel are, why you are taking a probiotic, what the specific probiotic strains are good for, and if it has the research to back up what it’s claiming to do.
If you have questions about microbiota and intestinal health, let us know in the comments below. Join our community for more healthy tips. To stock up on Bio-K+, click here. Contact us or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
1. L. Sears, A dynamic partnership: Celebrating our gut flora, Anaerobe 11 (2005) 247–251
2. Desautels-Marissal, M. (2016). Mille milliards d’amies: comprendre et nourrir son microbiome. Montréal, Éditions Cardinal.
3. Lagacé (2016), p. 175-176.
4. Ohnmacht C, Park JH, Cording S, Wing JB, Atarashi K, Obata Y, Gaboriau-Routhiau V, Marques R, Dulauroy S, Fedoseeva M, Busslinger M, Cerf-Bensussan N, Boneca IG, Voehringer D, Hase K, Honda K, Sakaguchi S, Eberl G. The microbiota regulates type 2 immunity through RORγt+ T cells. Science. 2015 Jul 9. pii: aac4263. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26160380.