Many people have noticed that there has been an increasing amount of coverage about probiotics and probiotic supplements in magazines, on television and on the Internet via blogs, videos and other online sources. For those who aren’t certain what all the buzz is referring to, here’s a primer. Probiotics are live, natural microbial components of the intestinal tract and the primary function of probiotics is to improve general health, digestive health and manage weight. Unlike many drugs and other treatments, probiotics are relatively low cost and safe, with little or no side effects.
Now, new and extensive worldwide research indicates that the beneficial impact of probiotics on the human body may be greater than first thought – suggesting that probiotics are poised to gain an increasingly important role in preventative health.
For instance, participants at a recent conference held in San Antonio, Texas unveiled the latest research which has shown probiotics to have, according to Mohammed H. Moghadasian, “beneficial properties against cancer, hepatic disease, inflammatory diseases and cardiovascular disease.” Furthermore, according to new research by Min-Tze Liong, “probiotics can be used as an alternative to control and/or prevent hypercholesterolemia, including the reduction of total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol,” which may mean that probiotics could contribute to the prevention not only of diseases affecting the cardiovascular system but obesity as well. In some studies, probiotics have also been shown to increase the levels of HDL-cholesterol or what is often referred to as “good” cholesterol.
And that’s not all. The conference shed light on the possible ability of specific probiotic strains to assist in the prevention of urogenital diseases, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and allergic diseases in infants. In addition, according to Yan Zhang, eating a probiotic-rich diet has been shown to have a “therapeutic effect on patients with chronic liver disease.” Another participant, Abhishek Kandwal, said this diet has also been shown to “halt, retard, or even significantly delay the pathogenesis of periodontal diseases, promoting a healthy lifestyle to fight periodontal infections” which if left untreated can lead to gum disease and other conditions adversely affecting the teeth and oral health in general.
Information shared at the conference went on to indicate that probiotics may be beneficial in treating colon cancer. Scientists are also working to understand the potential role probiotics could play in reducing pre-term births.
Certainly, these and several more recently released findings along with many other ongoing studies by medical and scientific experts seem to confirm that probiotic research is on the precipice of providing exciting new ways to enhance health in many diverse aspects of our lives.
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