Probiotic Benefits: 21 Experts Reveal Little-Known, Yet Important Health Benefits of Taking/Eating Probiotics

You don’t have to be an expert to know the few simple lifestyle habits that lead to good health such as regular exercise, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and abstaining from over-processed food and preservatives.

But one other beneficial practice that also leads to better health, which isn’t nearly as popular as it should be, is taking probiotics. But what are probiotics and what do they do? Probiotics are “good bacteria” or microorganisms introduced into the body for their beneficial qualities through certain foods like yogurt and fermented foods, and through natural probiotics supplements.

We wanted to know more about the specific health benefits of probiotics, so we asked 21 health professionals the following question:

“What is one important, yet little know reason for taking or eating probiotics that most people aren’t aware of?”

See what our experts said below:

Meet Our Panel of Health Experts:


Kim NetoKim Neto

Kim Neto is a certified holistic health coach, author, and member of the International Association of Health Coaches. She is board certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP) and a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Kim has a private health coaching practice in the San Francisco Bay Area and offers seasonal detoxes and clean eating programs. Her passion is to help busy women find health, happiness, and their own perfect balance. To learn more, visit www.simplewellnesswithkim.com.

One important, yet little know reason for taking probiotics is…

It replaces the good bacteria that are killed off by other things that our bodies do.

Our bodies are made up of trillions of bacteria. These living organisms make up most of who we are. Because we live in a world with chronic stress, eat a heavily acidic diet, and take too many antibiotics, we are killing off our healthy gut bacteria on a regular basis. By taking a daily probiotic along with eating fermented foods, we can replace the good bacteria and restore the balance of our gut. Having a balanced gut has been linked to increased immunity, reduced allergies, brain health and proper detoxification.


Christine MerrittChristine Merritt

Christine Merritt is a board certified Integrative Nutrition Coach and Wellness Advocate with doTERRA Intl., dedicated to empowering women to heal their digestion and their spirit and create a life of financial and time freedom. She teaches her team to empower other women to grow personally while learning how to manifest a rich and abundant life. Christine is a wife and mother living in Austin, Texas. She is an author, speaker, blogger, educator, and loves to travel, read, shop, and get pampered. She is avidly interested in spiritual growth and studies the law of attraction. Learn more about Christine’s work at www.christinemerritt.com.

One of the greatest benefits of taking probiotics is…

It balances the gut.

The human gut is home to over 100 trillion microorganisms. We have so many microorganisms living in us that only 1 out of 10 cells in our bodies is our own. It stands to reason that the delicate balance of this microscopic flora would have huge effects on our health.


Anna DupreeAnna Dupree

Anna Dupree is a Certified Health Coach accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. She specializes in helping people lose weight and relieving their digestive issues naturally. Her passion is educating and empowering her clients to live their healthiest lives through eating clean and making simple changes to their lifestyle that will last a lifetime. Learn more about Anna and her work at www.annadupree.com.

One important, yet little know reason for taking/eating probiotics that most people aren’t aware of is…

It can help reduce stress.

Just by living your normal everyday life you can hinder your gut health without even knowing it. If your diet has seen better days, you drink chlorine water, eat fruits and veggies with pesticides on them, drink alcohol, take antibiotics, eat meat or dairy with hormones or even if you overeat you are not doing your gut a favor. Not to mention stress that most of us experience at some point. Stress can really throw your digestive system for a loop causing nausea, an upset stomach and even diarrhea or constipation.

This is why I take a probiotic daily along with eating whole, unprocessed foods and exercising to reduce stress. Probiotics help to balance your body by giving it the good bacteria it needs to help keep you and your gut healthy. Your gut holds 80% of your immune system so when your gut is healthy you are healthy.


Dr. Mark BrownDr. Mark Brown

Dr. Mark Brown is the Director of Product Development at USANA, a Utah-based multi-level company that produces various nutritional products. Dr. Brown creates the strategies and techniques that help keep USANA’s product development at the forefront of nutritional science. He has completed extensive research in bio-organic chemistry and holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of California and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from California State University, Chico. He has extensive experience researching the digestive system.

One little known use for probiotics is their benefit for…

Oral health.

A recent study (Toiviainen et al. 2014) showed that consumption of a lozenge containing the probiotic bacterial strains Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) and Bifidobacterium anamalis (BB-12) was able to decrease the amount of plaque and was associated with a decrease in gingival inflammation. This was done without affecting the oral microbiota.


Verona ChadwickVerona Chadwick

Verona Chadwick is an Accomplished Physiotherapist, Acupuncturist, Nutritionist, and author of “How to Live a Life Without Pain.” Verona Chadwick seamlessly weaves together traditional and contemporary treatment protocols, focusing her attention on elevating the health states of those anchored down with chronic pain and illness through hands-on physiotherapy, acupuncture and dietary awareness. Verona is a successful business woman and healer with over 30 years of private practice experience. She holds Graduate diplomas in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy and Nutrition Medicine, and is a Diplomat of the Anti-Aging Medicine Associations in Australia and America. Learn more about Verona and her work at www.getalifeintegratedhealth.com.

One important, yet little known reason for taking/eating probiotics that most people aren’t aware of is…

It maintains the balance of bowel bacteria in your body and prevents the growth and spread of inflammatory cells that can leave your body sore. Here’s what I mean:

Your muscles could be invaded by inflammatory cells originating from your gut.

There are over 400 different species of bacteria in the bowel, some more desirable than others. When an imbalance of the bowel bacteria persists there is disturbance within. The lining of the intestines is only one cell thick protected by a layer of secretory cells in the healthy individual and immediately beneath the surface lies 75% of our immune system.

When the balance of good bacteria versus undesirables gets out of balance the gut lining can become compromised allowing passage of large food particles through the mucosal membrane to disrupt the underlying immune layer. That’s when the trouble starts.

Inflammatory cells become activated and circulate throughout the body. What most do not realise is that these inflammatory cells can lodge anywhere in the body causing disease. In the lungs they increase mucous and provoke asthma, in the brain inflammation clouds thinking, the joints become arthritic and muscles become painful and weak.

So many of my clients present with soreness to even the lightest touch all over. Under the microscope muscles become taken over by inflammatory cells. To fix the problem, the first place to start is to reduce inflammation in the bowel. The 2 things most important to calm the bowel are firstly to avoid provocative foods and the next most important thing is to take probiotics to win the war against the undesirable gut bacteria.

The most common inflammatory foods that feed disorder in the bowel are the gluten in wheat and rye, and dairy products. Other food allergens include, shell fish, salicylates in citrus fruits, nuts and eggs.


Sharon RichterSharon Richter

Sharon Richter is a well-known dietician as well as the Nutrition Ambassador of KeVita Probiotic Drinks. Each KeVita® Sparkling Probiotic Drink contains four strains of live probiotics, and they are certified organic, non-dairy, non-GMO, gluten free and vegan.

I think most consumers and nutrition professionals embrace the value probiotics play in gut health and immunity. I recently worked with KeVita Sparkling Probiotic Drinks on an national survey with more than 300 registered dietitians and nutritionists via Harris Poll. Couple interesting findings:

73% of Dietitians and Nutritionists agree ingesting probiotics while pregnant can help improve the health and immune system of the baby.

Also, the perceived importance of the probiotics seem to have usurped the multivitamin. A majority of nutritionists agree consuming a daily probiotic is more important than consuming a daily multivitamin. It makes sense. Without good bacteria in the gut, the body is more challenged in absorbing essential vitamins and nutrients.


Carolyn BrinkleyCarolyn Brinkley

Carolyn Brinkley is a personal chef and contributor of Chazz Live, an online destination for live streaming fitness shows, chef quality recipes, and a growing community dedicated to health and fitness.

One important and little known reason for taking probiotics that most people are not aware of is…

It promotes a healthy digestive system and also stimulates your immune system.

Medical researchers are finding that one of the keys to good health could live in our guts – specifically, in the world of microbes that live in our digestive tracts.  It all started with Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Trillions of bacteria naturally reside in our digestive system. The health of the digestive system benefits from the right balance of bacteria which help the body break down and absorb nutrients and may help promote immune and overall health. Because probiotics have many strains and use is individualized, each person should do the research and find out which “good” probiotic bacteria is best for their situation.

Research indicates that regularly consuming foods, beverages and/or supplements containing certain types of probiotics, also known as “good bacteria,” helps maintain good digestive health. Probiotics can be found in a variety of fermented foods, including certain yogurts, cheeses, cabbage, Miso soup, sauerkraut, Kombucha tea, apple cider vinegar, olives and kimchi. Some other beneficial foods that are loaded with probiotics are Kefir, tempeh, soy, and dark chocolate.

Researchers are discovering that this “good” bacteria helps not only to stimulate digestive health, but may stimulate a healthy immune system. These probiotic bacteria may even be a key to understanding obesity.  Current research into this microbial world is uncovering many benefits to eating a diet rich in probiotic nutrients.


Debra BaumgartenDebbie Baumgarten

Debbie Baumgarten is a Health and Nutrition Coach, author, and Founder of HealthKick.

One of the top benefits of probiotics that many people aren’t aware of is…

They can help increase energy.

When you have an overgrowth of bad bacteria in your gut, it can be draining your energy levels. This can become even more pronounced mid afternoon, when blood sugar levels are low. Replacing the bad bacteria with good, through regular doses of high quality probiotics, can increase energy and stamina.


Catherine CarriganCatherine Carrigan

Catherine Carrigan is Amazon’s No. 1 Best Selling Author of “Unlimited Energy Now.” Learn more about Catherine and her work at www.catherinecarrigan.com.

One fact a lot of people don’t know about probiotics is…

That having the right balance of probiotics in your body can help keep your weight under control. This can be determined through medical tests and is a major reason to take probiotics daily.


Jo WalkerJo Walker

Jo Walker of Walker AcuHealth is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and massage therapist with an office in downtown Chicago. Besides her practice, Jo also lectures for health & wellness programs in Chicago.

One important, yet little known reason for taking/eating probiotics that most people aren’t aware of is…

It helps maintain a healthy population of friendly bacteria in our gastrointestinal track, which is essential to our health.

The human intestines are home to an estimated 10,000 different kinds of microorganisms, both good and bad, and both have an essential job to perform. Probiotics — the opposite of antibiotics — replenish the good bacteria in the gut. This good bacteria, including lactobacillus acidophilus, allows the body to fight disease causing bacteria, promotes good digestion and absorption, and enhances immune function. Even if you have never taken an antibiotic, you have more than likely ingested them. Thousands of pounds of antibiotics are given to cattle, pigs, and poultry to prevent the spreading of infection due to their unnatural living conditions.

Many European countries have banned antibiotic use in livestock and will not import U.S. beef. Our health care dollars are hard at work in an attempt to correct digestive diseases. Gastrointestinal disorders, including diarrheal infections, colorectal cancer, gallbladder disease, liver disease, etc., amount to more than $100 billion in health care costs. Health care professionals are becoming more  aware of the benefits of probiotics and the positive results of enhancing good bacteria in the gut.


Ann-MusicoAnne Musico

Anne Musico is a holistic health coach who works with women of all ages to empower them to exemplify lives of vibrant health and wholeness – spirit, soul and body – in a way that is simple and effective, in order to be a positive influence in their world. Learn more about Ann and her work at http://www.threedimensionalvitality.com.

One of the most exciting reasons for taking probiotics and/or eating probiotic rich foods that most people are completely unaware of is:

Much of our body’s hormone production occurs in the intestinal tract. In fact, 90 to 95% of mood regulating neurotransmitter, serotonin, is produced inside our intestines. A lack of serotonin leads to depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. I believe that taking a high quality probiotic periodically and regularly eating probiotic-rich, cultured and fermented foods, could be a simple answer to this problem. Too many people are taking dangerous antidepressants when the solution could be in choosing these healthy foods. This connection between gut flora and brain health is a very serious and important one I hope many more people will become aware of.


Chris-CooperChris Cooper

Chris Cooper is the Co-owner of a personal training facility, Active Movement & Performance, or AMP. One of Chris’ core philosophies is that people do not move as well or as often as they should. This is a driving principle behind all aspects of his training programs no matter what a client’s goal may be. As an NSCA-CPT, he has put great effort into maintaining a high level of continuing education so that his clients get the very best out of their training programs. One of the most beneficial aspects of his education that he finds key to his ability to help his clients is the numerous hours spent learning and interning under Physical Therapists.

One important and little known reason for taking probiotics that most people are not aware of is

They can help keep bad bacteria in your GI tract at bay, or they can replace bad bacteria, say after being sick, or just having a poor diet in general.


Stacey KellyStacey Kelly

Stacey Kelly is a Holistic Health & Nutrition Coach and a Private Yoga Instructor.  Her practice focuses on empowering people with knowledge so they can make better nutritional choices for themselves and their families.  She embraces her client’s individual qualities, goals, and needs so that they can find the right way of eating for them. Learn more about Stacey’s work at www.livingyouroptimallife.com.

One important reason for taking probiotics is…

To improve your immune system.

Most people don’t realize that 70%-80% of your immune system cells are in your gut and if your gut is out of whack with more bad bacteria than good you will experience illness, digestive distress, and a host of other problems.  A probiotic will introduce good bacteria into your system which is essential to overall good health and a strong immune system.


Dr.-Julie-SiebenDr. Julie Sieben

Dr. Julie Sieben is a chiropractor, certified yoga instructor, and fitness expert. Dr. Sieben earned her undergraduate degree in Exercise Science/Human Performance and Fitness from the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and her Doctor of Chiropractic degree from New York Chiropractic College. In addition to the above, she is an expert in yoga, meditation, health and wellness, nutrition and running. She travels nationally and internationally presenting workshops on fitness and health. Dr. Sieben’s first book, “Six Weeks to Love Running“, was just recently released by SDPPublishing.

One important and little known reason for taking probiotics that most people are not aware of is that…

 

Consistent probiotic use (a few times a week) greatly improves our immunity and reduces our risk of infection and therefore reduces our risk for the need for antibiotics in the first place!
Another interested plus to taking probiotics is that it may help with food cravings and stop food cravings. This is because having plenty of healthy flora in the gut is hugely important in the absorption of vitamins and minerals. If good bacteria is not abundant in the gut, absorption of nutrients can be hindered. Even if you are eating a diet rich in whole foods, but are deficient in good gut bacteria, you may not be fully absorbing all the nutrients. Nutrient deficiency can lead to food cravings.. and food cravings as we know can lead to unhealthy eating patters and stall weight loss.

Kathy-GruverDr. Kathy Gruver

Dr. Kathy Gruver, PhD, LMT, RM is a Natural Health Speaker and Educator. She is also Author of the Award -Winning books, “The Alternative Medicine Cabinet”, “Conquer your Stress with Mind/Body Techniques” and “Body/Mind Therapies for the Bodyworker”. Learn more about Kathy and her work at www.TheAlternativeMedicineCabinet.com.

One important and little known reason for taking probiotics that most people are not aware of is that…

It balances the bacteria in our gut in a way that certain foods can do alone. Here’s what I mean:

I think what people don’t understand when it comes to the bacteria in our bodies is there are more creatures in our gut than cells in our entire body. It’s a very balanced ecosystem and when that gets thrown off due to stress, medications like antibiotics, etc, it affects our health as a whole. In my opinion (and that of many others) eating yogurt alone, is not going to help.

One needs to supplement with probiotics have at least 50 billion CFUs or colony forming units. The bacteria in our gut, not only helps with the immune system, but also helps us make vitamins. There are so many studies that have recently coming out touting the importance of this body system and there are some hospitals around the world that are actually doing fecal transplants to help people with bowel and digestive problems.


Dr.-T.-K.-StoneDr. T.K. Stone

Dr. T.K. Stone is the Author of the Mind/Body Health e-book titled “The Fertile Ground”, is a contributing health expert on various media publications such as Blog Talk Radio, SuperChangeYourLife, Yahoo Voices, and Associated Content, among others. Learn more about Dr. Stone’s work at www.thefertileground.com.

One important, yet little known reason for taking/eating probiotics that most people aren’t aware of is..

It helps prevent acidosis.

Acidosis is a big problem facing the health of modern cultures. Acidosis is a condition, burdening the body’s biochemistry. Acidosis is the reason why antacids are popular. The brain must constantly maintain the physiological pH of its body’s oceans. These micro-fluid oceans, the blood and the interstitial fluids surrounding cells, need to be kept clean and nourished. These oceans also need a certain pH. A healthy body is alkaline and the micro-fluid oceans are a pH around 7.4. The pH scale is 0-14; numbers below 7 are acidic, above are alkaline. What we breathe, drink and eat affects our micro-fluid oceans and the pH. Exercise, rest, sunshine and mental activity also influence the pH.

Ascertainable circumstances influence the growth of microorganisms. People think microorganisms cause disease. If you look carefully, one concedes a cause and effect relationship. When microorganisms increase in numbers, they must have something to grow on. Microorganisms are attracted to certain environments to scavenge garbage. They grow on dead decaying material in the body for various reasons. When we eat an apple, there are millions of microorganisms on the apple’s skin. Chewing the apple breaks up the cells, causing energy and nutrients to spill out. Bits of apple, left in the mouth, between teeth, allow microorganisms to increase in numbers. This growth continues in the gastrointestinal tract. Fecal matter weight is 50% microorganisms.

Acidic lifestyles, smoking, sodas, processed foods, little exercise, minimal rest and being indoors, is not Nature’s lifestyle for a human animal. This lifestyle has consequences, especially with the microorganisms it breeds. Acidosis harms tissues, increasing waste, increases microbes. Counter these pernicious effects eating foods with beneficial microorganisms. Fermented foods are a delicious way to enjoy these microorganisms. Kimchee, sauerkraut, miso, kombucha, and fermented dairy products are sources of probiotic microorganisms, especially after taking antibiotics.


Sally SymondsSally Symonds

Sally Symonds is one of Australia’s highest profile leading health and fitness experts and has been inspiring other Australians to lead a fit and healthy life since 2010.  A published author of three weight loss books, motivational speaker, trainer and corporate consultant, Sally is also the founder of a revolutionary 26 week system utilising unique food, exercise and mindset strategies called Love Your Weight Loss. Learn more about Sally and her work at www.sallysymonds.com.au.

For me, the best reason for taking probiotics is:

The increased energy I have.

When my stomach is healthy, I am not adversely affected by the different foods I eat.  And I do eat a lot!  If I was the slave to my stomach and its troubles that it wishes I was, I would never get anything done.  In fact, I would probably never leave the house!  I would feel tired, lethargic, unmotivated and unwell most of the time.  Taking probiotics gives me amazing energy and the support my body needs to keep up with mind and my to-do list each and every day.


Sharon PalmerSharon Palmer

Sharon Palmer, RDN is a registered dietitian nutritionist, nutrition expert, and food and nutrition writer. She is the author of “The Plant-Powered Diet” and “Plant-Powered for Life”. Learn more about Sharon’s work at sharonpalmer.com.

Probiotics have been found to have many health benefits. While they are primarily known for digestive benefits, such as resolving diarrhea, improving regularity, or resolving IBS symptoms, they have been linked with so much more…You see, those friendly bacteria in our guts have so many health functions. They are involved with immunity, and even converting our nutrients in foods into active compounds the body can use for health. It’s even been found that the type of bacteria you have in your gut can influence obesity. The bottom line is that we should have more robust, diverse populations of bacteria in our guts. The way to do that is to eat a plant-based diet, rich in fiber from whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetable, nuts and seeds. Eat fermented foods, filled with live bacteria, such as yogurt, kefir, fermented pickles and sauerkraut, miso; and consider taking probitoics (look for a brand with clinical proven benefits).

Melanie-AngelisMelanie Angelis

Melanie Angelis, MSCAM, is a board certified nutritionist, and with her husband, Nick, author of “How to Succeed in Anesthesia School”, she owns and operates holistic wellness center, The Grecian Garden.

One important, yet little know reason for taking/eating probiotics that most people aren’t aware of is…

They help balance hormones and mood.

Mood enhancing neurotransmitters such as serotonin are manufactured in the gut, but that’s only part of the story. Thyroid and other hormone systems affecting metabolic and a host of other functions improve because the correct balance of germs in the gut lets you better absorb the trace nutrients (eg zinc for progesterone) needed for these systems to work properly.


Susan SchenckSusan Schenck

Susan Schenck is the Author of “The Live Food Factor” and “Beyond Broccoli”, and also gives raw food classes and health coaching.

One important and little known reason for taking probiotics that most people are not aware of is…

Use of probiotics contributes to not only immunity, but also happiness and slimness!


Becky LongBecky Long

Becky Long is a Certified Health Coach and Nutritionist. Learn more about Becky’s work at www.healthynutritionknowledge.com.

70-80% of our immune system exists in our gut, so taking probiotics, which directly affects your gut…

Guards you against getting a cold or a more serious disease!

If you have ever taken antibiotics, this is necessary because they kill all bacteria and we need to replace the good bacteria with probiotics.

Probiotics even help to get rid of allergies and asthma, so if you or your children have these issues, take probiotics every day. You can even give them to babies or children of any age because they have no side effects!