Probiotics to the rescue: Bifidobacteria is a crucial component of long-term great health
(NaturalHealth365) The latest research out of the UCLA School of Medicine is verifying the importance of fiber and probiotics to a healthy gut microbiome. The research also underscores the role of gut health in cardiovascular health, mood and the immune system’s ability to fight off disease. That being said, it’s quite obvious that all of these areas are key components to a long, healthy life.
There are literally trillions of microorganisms in the gut that help to regulate numerous bodily functions, including the endocrine system, digestion, metabolism and the immune system. (In addition, it could be argued, the immune system is foundational to all other systems in the body.)
Bifidobacteria – a cornerstone of gut health
The Human Microbiome Project launched by the National Institutes of Health was created to encourage scientific advancements in knowledge regarding the human gut microbiome. They have determined that optimal bifidobacterial balance in particular is crucial to key areas of gut health and overall health.
The bifidobacterial group of gut bacteria are among the most beneficial to the human system. Bifidobacteria perform a range of health functions, including fighting respiratory illnesses, allergies and countering the effects of stress. It is also pivotal in lowering excess cholesterol and preventing anxiety.
Although it’s true: we tend to start off in life with a robust amount of bifidobacterial bacteria – with age, our levels drop. However, the increased consumption of probiotics can assist with restoring these levels and supporting a healthy gut microbiome through all phases of life.
Fiber and probiotics crucial to sustaining bifidobacteria levels and overall gut health
In looking for options to promote restoration of healthy bifidobacteria levels, the UCLA School of Medicine researchers looked at xylooligosaccharide (XOS), a unique prebiotic fiber made from non-GMO corn cobs. XOS is known for providing an ideal environment to assist healthy bacteria in growing and thriving naturally within the gastrointestinal tract.
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The researchers found XOS restored intestinal health through promoting bifidobacterial growth in just 14 days, in some cases. And, even better news, it was able to do so without leading to the growth of any harmful bacteria.
The number one bifidobacterial food source is dietary fiber, something in which the American diet is sorely lacking. Getting enough fiber is crucial to gut microbiome health, but probiotics can also make a big difference.
Probiotics benefits can offset decline in bifidobacteria levels and help to maintain gut microbiome balance, as we age
There’s no doubt that Bifidobacteria organisms in particular are crucial for overall good health. But, we must not forget, infants (on average) start out life with 60 percent bifidobacteria organisms in their digestive tract, and over time – the amount can decrease to as low as 5 to 10 percent in older age. (naturally, this is avoidable.)
Bottom line: taking probiotics can help to offset this decline and foster a healthy gut microbiome throughout your years. In general, the benefits of probiotics include better cardiovascular health, emotional well-being and a stronger immune system. This is why we say, ‘a healthy gut equals a healthy life.’
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Sources for this article include:
Food & Nutrition
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