In this blog: We look at how probiotics work, what they can do for you, and some of the top reasons you should be taking them.  [4-5 Min Read] 

What are Probiotics? 

Probiotics are the good bacteria our bodies require. The most convenient way to introduce these good bacteria to our systems is through the consumption of fermented foods or the use of dietary supplements containing probiotics. Evidence is mounting indicating the balance of good to bad bacteria in the digestive tract plays a major role in one's general health and susceptibility to specific diseases. One of the many reasons probiotics are regarded as beneficial to health is that they help maintain a regular bacterial composition in the digestive tract. Some of the advantages include helping with weight loss, enhancing gut health, and aiding in immunological function. Many people wrongly assume that all microbes, including bacteria, are dangerous "germs," when in fact there are many beneficial microorganisms. There are bacteria that aid digestion, some that kill off disease-causing cells, and others that generate vitamins that are vital to human survival. We have a lot of genetic and evolutionary similarities with the germs that live inside our bodies. 

What are the benefits/side effects probiotics bring in? 

With how much our gut microbiome affects our body, there are a variety of benefits to keeping the gut microbiome regular with good bacteria. Here are some of the benefits that can help you in your daily life: 

1. Taking probiotics can help you keep good bacterium in your intestines. 

Probiotic pills include beneficial "good" microorganisms. These are biologically active microorganisms that may improve health when consumed. Probiotics' reputed ability to restore the gut's natural bacterial balance is posited as the driving force behind these benefits. When there are more harmful bacteria than good ones, the system is out of whack. Many things, including poor diet, illness, and some medications (such as antibiotics), might bring on this problem. The repercussions can include gastrointestinal diseases, allergies, problems with mental health, obesity, and even more. Fermented foods and probiotic supplements are the most prevalent sources of probiotics. It also appears that, unlike what some people believe, they pose no danger to the vast majority of people who use them. 

2. Probiotics are effective in both preventing and treating diarrhea. 

Diarrhea is a common negative reaction to antibiotics in patients. Antibiotics can have an unfavorable effect on the gut's delicate balance of beneficial and harmful microbes, which can result in this condition. Both antibiotic-associated diarrhea in general and diarrhea caused by a specific bacterium, Clostridium difficile, have been the focus of research into the use of probiotics. A 2016 meta-analysis included 30 trials (7,260 individuals), 5 of which focused on adults aged 65 or over and found that probiotics may be useful for antibiotic-associated diarrhea in young and middle-aged people, but no benefit has been proven in senior people. Little research has been conducted on persons over the age of 65, thus it is impossible to say whether or not probiotics genuinely have no effect on this population. Evidence of moderate quality suggests that probiotics have a preventive effect against antibiotic-associated diarrhea in children, according to a meta-analysis of 23 studies involving 3,938 participants. No major side effects were found in children who were otherwise healthy, save for the infection for which they were being treated. The results of several research studies show that taking probiotics reduces the likelihood of antibiotic-induced diarrhea. Antibiotic-induced diarrhea was reduced by 42% in a study when probiotics were given to participants.  

Likewise, probiotics are useful for the opposite problem, namely, diarrheal constipation. Probiotics have been shown to help with constipation in adults, according to a 2014 meta-analysis of 14 research (1,182 participants). An analysis of 9 studies with 778 participants published in 2017 found that probiotics for elderly constipation had a small but considerable benefit. In the majority of cases, researchers looked at Bifidobacterium longum. According to the study's authors, probiotics could be an effective adjunct treatment for persistent constipation in the elderly. 7 studies on the use of probiotics to treat children's constipation were summarized in a 2017 review (515 participants). Variations in the types of probiotics used, age ranges of the children investigated, and other factors made it difficult to generalize the results of the trials. Nothing suggested any of the probiotics tried with children were beneficial, according to the reviewers. Another 2017 evaluation, including the same 4 studies and 2 others for a total of 498 individuals throughout the 6 studies reviewed, found that probiotics did, in fact, increase stool frequency, with the impact being more pronounced in children of Asian than European descent. 

3. Treatment of some mental health issues using probiotic supplements has been shown to be effective. 

An increasing body of evidence suggests a link between a balanced microbiome in the stomach and a healthy state of mind. Probiotic supplementation has shown promise in alleviating symptoms of mental health disorders in both human and animal studies. Fifteen human studies found that taking a supplement containing Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus bacteria over a period of one to two months improved symptoms of anxiety, depression, autism, OCD, and memory. 70 workers in the chemical industry were tracked over the course of six weeks. Persons who consumed either 100 grams of probiotic yogurt daily or one capsule of probiotics daily reported increases in general health and fewer symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. Studying the effects of the medication on 40 depressed patients, researchers discovered similar positive results. Lowered levels of C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation) and hormones like insulin were observed in those who took probiotic supplements for eight weeks compared to those who did not. 

4. Helps keep your heart in good shape 

It has been suggested that ingesting probiotics can assist in maintaining heart health by reducing "bad" LDL cholesterol and blood pressure. Cholesterol may be reduced through the degradation of bile by lactic acid bacteria in the stomach. Bile is a digestive fluid produced naturally and consists mainly of cholesterol. Intestinal cholesterol absorption can be reduced by using probiotics because they break down bile before it can be reabsorbed. In addition, probiotic use has been linked to lower blood pressure. After analyzing the results of 9 studies, researchers found that probiotic supplementation was associated with a modest reduction in blood pressure. The recommended dosage for lowering blood pressure is 10 million colony-forming units (CFUs) each day, given for at least eight weeks. 

5. Aid for allergy symptoms 

There is some evidence that the anti-inflammatory effects of probiotics extend to those who are allergic to milk and other dairy products. There is also preliminary evidence that probiotics may be useful for alleviating symptoms and enhancing quality of life in people with allergic rhinitis, according to a meta-analysis of 23 trials (1,919 individuals). No conclusive recommendations could be made on the usage of probiotics, however, because the research examined a wide variety of probiotics and used varying methods of measurement. Few adverse effects were recorded after taking probiotics. It has been hypothesized that the rise in allergic reactions is related to the fact that fewer people are exposed to microbes in early childhood as a result of changes in people's diets and living habits. Although factors unrelated to hygiene, such as decreased family size and the usage of antibiotics, may also play a role, this is commonly called the "hygiene hypothesis." Pregnant women and/or infants have been administered probiotics in research aimed at preventing the onset of allergies. Infants exposed to probiotics during pregnancy or early infancy had a decreased risk of developing atopic dermatitis, according to a review of 17 research (4,755 participants) published in 2015. Asthma, wheezing, and hay fever were not affected by probiotics (allergic rhinitis). 

6. Symptom relief for a variety of gastrointestinal illnesses 

More than a million people in the United States suffer from an inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn's Disease or ulcerative colitis. Patients with moderate ulcerative colitis have seen a decrease in symptom severity after using Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains of probiotics. Probiotics have shown promise in alleviating a number of gastrointestinal disorders. The results of preliminary research suggest that they may be useful in reducing irritable bowel syndrome symptoms (IBS). In addition, they have been shown to halve the incidence of life-threatening necrotizing enterocolitis. Premature infants are particularly vulnerable to this possibly fatal colon condition. According to a 2014 meta-analysis of 21 studies involving 1,700 ulcerative colitis patients, the addition of probiotics, prebiotics, or synbiotics to conventional treatment may help induce or maintain remission of the condition. Similar research into 14 studies with a total of 746 people found no indication of benefit from probiotics, prebiotics, or synbiotics for Crohn's Disease. A 2018 meta-analysis of 53 studies with 5,545 participants found that probiotics may help with global IBS symptoms and abdominal pain, but that it was impossible to draw firm conclusions about their efficacy or to identify which species, strains, or combinations of probiotics are most likely to be helpful. 

7. Boosts the immune system 

Probiotics have the potential to improve your immune system and inhibit the formation of harmful bacteria in the digestive tract. Further, research has shown that some probiotics can actually boost production of the immune system's own antibodies. They may also boost natural killer cells, T lymphocytes, and IgA-producing B cells in the immune system. Supplementation with Lactobacillus GG reduced the frequency and severity of respiratory infections by 17%, according to the results of a separate experiment including more than 570 children. Research also shows that women who take the probiotic Lactobacillus crispatus have a 50% lower chance of developing urinary tract infections (UTIs). 

8. Weight loss 

Taking probiotics regularly can help with weight loss. Some probiotic strains reduce the amount of fat that is absorbed in the intestines. After that point, instead of being stored, the excess fat is excreted out of the body through the bowels. Rising hormone levels, particularly GLP-1, may be responsible for this trend. Indirectly, these features could potentially assist in weight loss. Three-month dieters who took Lactobacillus rhamnosus saw weight loss that was almost 50% more than dieters who did not take the probiotic. The results of a second trial involving 210 people showed that even low doses of Lactobacillus gasseri administered over a period of 12 weeks resulted in a rise of 8.5%. 

9. Increased energy  

The digestive system plays a crucial role in the absorption of nutrients and micronutrients from the food you eat, providing your body with the fuel it needs to function. An imbalance in the gut microbiome can lead to inflammation of the gut lining. The risk of being deficient in vital nutrients that provide energy rises when inflammation prevents adequate nutrition absorption. Therefore, reducing inflammation and repairing damaged tissue in the digestive tract can be aided by taking a high-quality probiotic pill.  

10. Better mood 

Various neurotransmitters and other messenger signals are constantly relayed between the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system. The intestinal bacteria we carry along with us may influence how our bodies process certain brain chemicals. Serotonin, commonly called the "happy hormone," is produced in the digestive system in addition to the brain. Decreased serotonin production can have a bad influence on your mood, and both an imbalance in the bacteria in your gut and inflammation in your stomach can contribute to this. These organisms also create chemicals with a track record of lowering anxiety and depression. 

11. Fewer sugar cravings 

Candida albicans is only one example of a potentially harmful fungus that can fool the body into thinking it needs sugar. This is helpful for sugar because it is a food supply for viruses. More sugar in your diet means more rapid growth and dissemination. Taking a high-quality probiotic pill that includes different species and strains will increase the diversity of the bacteria in your stomach. Therefore, there will be fewer favorable conditions for the development of hazardous illnesses. Evidence suggests that some probiotic strains can inhibit the growth of Candida albicans and other pathogens. 


Brown, Mary Jane. “8 Health Benefits of Probiotics.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 21 Nov. 2022,

“Clinical Practice Guidelines.” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,