Your body is full of bugs. And that’s a good thing.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re smart enough to know that taking care of your gut is important to your overall health. But how do probiotics fit in? Don’t our guts already produce a bunch of “good bugs”? Why do we need more of them? We’re here to spell it all out — and there are no dumb questions.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are living microorganisms that can provide a bunch of health benefits when ingested. These little guys line your digestive tract and support your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, fight illness, and generally address certain health conditions. In fact, there are 10 times the number of bacteria in your body than there are cells — and most of those bacteria live in your gut. Making sure you have the right ones and in the right balance is increasingly recognized as a key to good health — and this is where probiotics come in. This isn’t a new discovery. Over a century ago, Ilya Ilyich Metchnikoff theorized that health could be enhanced (and also that senility could be delayed) by manipulating the intestinal microbiome with host-friendly bacteria found in yogurt. Oh, and he won a Nobel prize. So there’s that.
Can’t I just make like Metchnikoff and eat a ton of yogurt to stay healthy?
Not unless dumping tablespoons full of processed sugar, rich dairy and a bunch of other bad stuff into your gut is your way of “staying healthy.” More on that here.
What’s a ‘microbiome,’ and why does it sound a little scary that I have one?
All these little bugs in your gut, and the interactions they have with one another, make up your microbiota. They have to live somewhere, so we call that the microbiome. Most of these critters live in your large intestine, and they truly are amazing. In fact, as science has progressed, many researchers and doctors are calling the gut biome “the forgotten organ.”
How do I keep my microbiome healthy?
Easy. Maintain a healthy ratio of good bugs to keep the bad ones in check. Thing is, unless you eat like an herbivorous angel, you’re going to want to complement your diet with supplemental good bugs, like Jetson’s seasonal probiotics. Taking probiotics every day (and a variety of strains throughout the year) is the best way to ensure that your body is stocked up with good bugs to keep your immune system running smoothly.
By ‘running smoothly,’ do you mean pooping?
Yes — but there’s a lot more to probiotics than pooping. By taking probiotics, you’re supporting a healthy microbiome — which makes vitamins you need to, you know, live. It strengthens your gut wall and immune system, making it harder for bad guys to get into your body. An unhealthy microbiome is commonly linked to bad stuff like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and even depression. An increasing body of research shows your gut has explicit connections to other parts of your body — like your brain. In fact, your gut is often called your “second brain,” in that it can actually operate separately from your central nervous system. You can feel the linkage between your brain and gut in real ways, such as when you feel nervous in your head and your stomach! See? Probiotics go way beyond good poops. They could be the link to better health, period.