When it comes to overall wellbeing, we know there’s a close link between gut health and how our body functions. Affecting everything from our physical health and nervous system, to mental health and immunity, it’s clear to see why it’s so important to maintain a healthy gut.
Why is gut health so important?
The human gut microbiome is incredibly diverse, containing thousands of different species of microorganisms. Our digestive system relies on harmony among these microorganisms – including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbes – to play a crucial role in various physiological processes, like digestion, metabolism and immunity, and can have a significant impact on overall health.
Our microbiome contains around 70% of the body’s immune cells, and can be affected by our diet, genetics, and other lifestyle factors – both positively and negatively. Eating a varied and balanced diet can promote diversity in the gut, and many people turn to probiotics to help keep a healthy balance of ‘good’ bacteria.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms, often referred to as ‘good’ or ‘friendly’ bacteria, and can help maintain balance in the gut. The World Health Organization defines probiotics as “live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”.
Probiotics are commonly found in certain fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha. They can also be consumed in the form of dietary supplements. The idea behind consuming probiotics is that they can help maintain or restore a healthy balance of gut bacteria, which in turn supports normal digestion, immune function, and overall well-being.
What is Lactobacillus acidophilus
Lactobacillus acidophilus is a specific strain of probiotic bacteria. This bacteria strain belongs to the Lactobacillus genus and is naturally present in the human gut, as well as in some fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and miso.
It's one of the most well-known and extensively studied probiotic strains, and it offers several potential health benefits:
Lactobacillus acidophilus aids in maintaining a balanced gut, preventing the overgrowth of harmful bacteria. This balance contributes to smoother digestion, reduced instances of constipation, diarrhoea, and other gastrointestinal discomforts.
The probiotic also produces enzymes that assist in breaking down lactose (the sugar found in dairy products), making them easier to digest, which may provide relief for individuals who usually experience problems digesting lactose.
Research suggests that Lactobacillus acidophilus can give the immune system a boost, enhancing the production of immune cells and promoting a healthier gut barrier. A robust gut barrier helps prevent the entry of harmful pathogens and toxins.
Other studies show that L. acidophilus can even help in combatting the common cold, helping to prevent and improve symptoms in otherwise healthy children and adults.
Like with our gut bacteria, there are two main types of cholesterol –‘good’ cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins/HDL) and ‘bad’ (low-density lipoproteins/LDL) cholesterol. For a healthy heart, ideally you want to have a higher HDL level and lower LDL level.
LDL cholesterol is referred to as ‘bad’ cholesterol as if you have too much of it, it can build up and become stuck in artery walls. This build up creates a blockage which can make it harder for blood to flow through, increasing risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Research suggests that Lactobacillus acidophilus might have a positive impact on LDL cholesterol levels, reducing levels to a greater extent than other probiotic strains.
Lactobacillus acidophilus plays a pivotal role in maintaining a balanced vaginal microbiome. It produces compounds such as lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide, creating an acidic environment that prevents the overgrowth of harmful microorganisms and reduces the risk of infections.
A study on the effects of probiotics on vaginal health found L. acidophilus to be the most effective at restoring the natural vaginal flora.
Whether you’re looking for a supplement to support your overall health and immunity, or want to target a more specific health concern, try our Lactobacillus Acidophilus tablets and discover the power of probiotics.