Probiotics and the Modern Human: A Review of Benefits

Probiotics and the Modern Human: A Review of Benefits

Today’s world is constantly evolving and the stakes are high. Now is the time to tackle our stress levels by first modifying our diet.

 

It’s easy to overlook the importance of our diet when it comes to handling everyday stress. As we learn more about the effects our lifestyles have on our health, it becomes evident that there is no better day than today to start making some changes. Fad diets come and go but basic nutrition never wavers. Read on as we discuss the role probiotics need to have in your daily routine.

 

Today’s Modern Human encounters an incredible amount of stress throughout the day. Whether studying for your next exam or frantically rushing between business meetings, stress leads to suppression of our immune system and an increased susceptibility to infection or illness (especially upper respiratory or gastrointestinal). In my orthopedic practice, I frequently encounter endurance athletes who after having routinely performed high-stress workout regimens present with such complaints as a runny nose or gastrointestinal issue. Certainly, those who constantly expose themselves to intense physical activity may expect their bodies to initially feel more rundown. However, it’s been shown that even “a single session of intense physical exercise is sufficient to produce significant amounts of [reactive oxygen metabolites]”1 responsible for oxidative stress and immunosuppression. Between our weekend warriors and elite athletes, no one athlete is less susceptible to these reactive oxygen metabolites than another. Regardless, many are able to avoid the symptoms associated with immunosuppression through the routine use of probiotics and a healthy diet. Probiotics “maintain GI function and health, preventing the immunosuppressive effects of intense exercise, and reducing susceptibility to illness”3 and can be found in everyday food items such as live-cultured yogurt, kombucha, and even pickles and sauerkraut. According to Dr. Mary Ellen Sanders, Chief Science Executive of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP), “probiotics provide an extra layer of strength…[like] soldiers in your intestinal tract to combat pathogens.”

 

Bolster your immunity and maximize your productivity

 

Based on the profound effects of probiotics seen in our endurance athletes there is reason so much time and energy is being dedicated towards maximizing the benefits one can obtain from adding probiotics to your daily intake. And who is to say these benefits can’t extend to all “individuals exposed to high degrees of physical and environmental stress?”3 From the sleep-deprived student to the working professional struggling to maintain a consistent healthy diet, probiotics can play a role in regulating our overall health. Through promotion of better sleep hygiene, a balanced dietary intake and a sustained active lifestyle we will start noticing more productivity at home and in the workplace. This simple dietary addition can amass to large improvements for the Modern Human and lead to valuable results: higher energy levels, increased fitness, increased overall satisfaction and mood and fewer days spent with runny noses or bowel discomfort.2 So don’t forget to implement probiotics into your daily routine and you, too, may reap its wealth of benefits.

 

References

 

  1. Martarelli D, Verdenelli MC, Scuri S, et al. Effect of a Probiotic Intake on Oxidant and Antioxidant Parameters in Plasma of Athletes During Intense Exercise Training. Curr Microbiol. 2011;62: 1689-1696. doi: 10.1007/s00284-011-9915-3
  2. Talbott S and Talbott J. Effect of BETA 1, 3/1, 6 Glucan on Upper Respiratory Tract Infection Symptoms and Mood State in Marathon Athletes. J Sports Sci Med. Dec 2009; 8(4): 509-515.
  3. West NP, Pyne DB, Peake JM and Cripps AW. Probiotics, immunity and exercise: a review. Exercise Immunology Review. 2009; 15: 107-126.

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