A few years ago if someone was to mention probiotics, a smattering of bemused glances would be cast in their direction. Today though, the secret is out and probiotics are a subject often discussed over a morning coffee, now that their substantial health benefits are increasingly understood. But what are probiotics?
Probiotics are nothing to be afraid of – they’re our body’s best friend and integral to ensuring the health of the body’s microbiome. The human microbiome is made up of microscopic communities of microorganisms that live within a specific habitat. The microbial habitat probiotics target is inside the human gut.
Probiotics consist of specially selected and grown bacteria, supporting those inside the human intestine, made up of hundreds of species including archaea, fungi and other microbes.
These especially 'good for you' microbes help the human microbiome to develop a state of equilibrium. Equilibrium provides the body with the optimum ability to combat illness and viruses, by improving blood circulation, heart health and even a more positive mental state.
It is no wonder that probiotics are now one of the most widely regarded nutritional supplements amongst today’s health-conscious generation, with everyone from gym-goers to pensioners now understanding their health benefits. Hence the recent surge in the probiotics market, currently estimated to be worth €42.5 billion and by 2020 estimated to surpass $50 billion. That’s a 47% increase since 2015!
This vast expansion of the microbiome knowledge base, underpinned by technological advancement, has enabled leaders within the health sector such as OptiBiotix Health to formulate products of increased value to modulate the human microbiome for health benefits.
With probiotics holding a secure position within the public spotlight, what health benefits have enabled this industry expansion and growth in consumer popularity? Here are four health benefits of probiotics to consider:
The question of digestion
Everyone knows that what happens in the bathroom, stays in the bathroom, but not everyone is aware of how probiotics are scientifically proven to ease digestive disorders. There’s a whole plethora of gastrointestinal illnesses, all backing the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Diarrhoea is the most well-known and a sure sign that a diet requires adjustment. If food doesn’t nourish the body, it’s going to fight back. Diarrhoea comes about when the gut harbours disease and attempts to flush out harmful bacteria. Unhealthy eating and malnourishment allow toxic bacteria to thrive. Probiotics work to prevent this accumulation by reducing the spread of toxic bacteria to fend off disease.
Irritable bowel syndrome is another digestive condition aided by probiotics, causing bloating, stomach cramps, constipation and even incontinence. The condition occurs when food passes through the gut at an irregular pace, either too fast or too slow. Probiotics can reduce these symptoms, so much so that they are now a recommended response by the NHS.
Lactose intolerance is also one to watch. Lactose is a sugar found in dairy and other milk-based products. Lactose intolerance means the body is unable to fully digest lactose, due to a lack in lactase; a chemical that breaks down lactose into the sugars glucose and galactose to be absorbed into the blood. Lactose intolerance stems from a lack of lactase, leaving traces of lactose within the digestive system, where it ferments amongst bacteria. Osteopenia (bones becoming less dense) is often brought about by lactose intolerance and can soon lead to osteoporosis (bones becoming weak and brittle). Probiotics act to prevent this fermentation within the gut reducing the bloating, stomach pains and sickly feeling provoked by lactose intolerance. Digesting the science behind the microbiome has never been easier thanks to OptiBiotix.
What do exercise, protein, a low saturated fat intake, sunlight, meditation, sleep and probiotics all have in common? They all provoke dopamine production - a neurotransmitter that transmits signals between the brain’s nerve cells. The brain produces dopamine neurons upon feeling satisfaction. A dopamine drought decreases motivation and personal persistence.
Thanks to mechanisation, society is far more connected, but far less physically active. Why cook fresh food when fast food comes directly to your door? Why walk into town when you can pre-order the latest trends over your smartphone? Why work a manual job when you can earn more in front of a computer? This lethargic lifestyle makes boosting dopamine levels a challenge.
Scientists only recently discovered the connection between the human brain and the gut. The gut contains multiple strains of bacteria, capable of producing dopamine and multiple neurotransmitter signalling molecules, known to affect the body’s mood directly. Typically probiotics act within the gut to fend off viruses and boost dopamine production within the gut. This process stimulates the brain and provokes a noticeable boost in mood. No wonder the popularity of improving gut health amongst consumers is soaring and scientists are now labelling the gut 'the second brain'.
Goodbye large BMI
Bodyweight is a common insecurity today, with social media making body image a key concern. With sedentary lifestyles and increased ease of access to fast foods, obesity is one of the nation’s most pressing health conditions. It is no surprise obesity is expected to cost the UK Government countless billions each year; a budget estimated to escalate to £9.7 billion by 2050.
Diet plans aren’t always healthy. Unhealthy diets can trade healthcare for large short-term losses, whereas healthy alternatives adopt a more gradual approach, kinder to the body’s organs. While probiotics don’t focus directly on weight loss, a by-product of their actions within the gut can often result in weight loss. For a specific weight loss product, check out the GoFigure®range featuring SlimBiome®.®
Recent studies by the Department of Pharmacology at the Kanak Manjari Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences in India, have uncovered a significant link between gut health and obesity. Their research concludes that obese and overweight individuals have differing levels of bacteroides and firmicute bacterias, when compared to someone of average weight. Various probiotic strains promote the release of the appetite-reduction hormone GLP-1 and the protein ANGTL4, both of which induce the burning of excess calories and fat. With these weight reductive qualities, probiotics can move consumers into a more health-conscious mindset; a progressive development for both health and business.
Maintaining a healthy heart isn’t always a walk in the park. What with the endless world of Netflix and succulent array of fast food available at the tap of a finger, maintaining a healthy heart is complex.
Cholesterol, a waxy fat-like substance known as a lipid, is a considerable threat to heart health. The majority of lipids are produced in the liver and are vital to the body’s everyday function.
Lipids come in two forms. High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) - a protective for the body and Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) – a health risk to the body. LDLs are typically present within foods containing high levels of saturated fats. Selected probiotics help to reduce the gut’s LDL levels to prevent their presence in the bloodstream. Excessive levels of LDL can constrict vein capacity, restrict blood flow and raise blood pressure having the potential to impose pressure on the heart and starve the brain of oxidised blood cells. The consequences can be a heart attack or heart disease. For those with high levels of cholesterol or spiking blood pressure, probiotics are a wise addition to the diet.
With science-based probiotics becoming a substantial area for future growth within the nutritional market and scientific technologies advancing by the day, OptiBiotix proudly present CholBiome®x3 - a next-generation probiotic for cardiovascular wellbeing. The CholBiomex3 secret is Lactobacillus plantarum (LPLDL®); a unique probiotic strain backed by successful clinical trials and scientific evidence.
LPLDL makes CholBiomex3 an attractive natural alternative to statins. The patented formulation is proven to decrease LDL cholesterol by up to 13.9% and raise HDL cholesterol by up to 4.5%. LPLDL is naturally formulated to specifically target individuals experiencing high levels of blood pressure and cholesterol by allowing regulation of the microbiome-liver axis and modulation of bile acids. The result is a non-pharmaceutical solution that reduces overall cholesterol by up to 36.7%, without the side effects of some rival probiotic formulations.
In response to the success of CholBiomex3, OptiBiotix is also pleased to announce growth into a new breed of CholBiome, focusing on maintaining the healthy gut after use of CholBiomex3. Due for release in December, this innovation is predicted to bring a new dimension to the rapidly growing nutraceutical market. With the benefits of CholBiomex3 in mind, have you got the guts to go probiotic?
For a deeper insight into CholBiomex3 and other probiotic solutions, please visit www.optibiotix.com