Most of us have heard about probiotic supplements and some of you may even be taking them, but do you know what they actually do? Probiotics have been a staple of the human diet for over 10,000 years. Despite all that history, there remains a ton of misconceptions and mistruths surrounding this powerful dietary component.
So what are probiotics, how do they work and what are the most common side effects? It’s about time we take a look!
What Are Probiotics?
The word probiotic means “for life” in Latin. Though they’ve played an essential role in the dietary composition of humans across all cultures, their significance is still relatively misunderstood.
When you hear the word probiotic, think “good bacteria”. Not to be confused with the infection-causing kind. Probiotic bacteria fuels the essential bacteria that lives in your gut. Why is that important? Well, the bacteria in your gut plays an essential role in your digestion and your immune system.
Poor gut health, or unbalanced gut microbiota, is linked to a fast-growing list of health complications including digestive problems and infections. New evidence suggests that even mood disorders like anxiety and depression are tied to gut bacteria.