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(Natural News) Are you getting your daily dose of probiotics? Many people think probiotics are only necessary after a round of antibiotic medication, but the truth is that you can benefit from probiotic and prebiotic foods on a daily basis. Probiotics have long been known for their ability to support and improve digestive health, but science continues to find the benefits of good gut bacteria extend across the human body.

Some of these “good” bacteria can even help prevent or treat certain diseases and conditions. There are many, many different kinds of good bacteria found in probiotic foods and supplements that offer an array of uses. Healthy people can also benefit from regular probiotic consumption. But if you are looking to target a specific condition with probiotics, it is best to speak with your naturopath (or other preferred care provider) beforehand.

Probiotics for a healthy heart

While probiotics are known for their digestive health benefits, a growing body of research shows that heart health can also be improved through probiotic consumption.

As Johns Hopkins Medicine reports, research currently indicates that consuming probiotic foods can help lower blood pressure.  Jennifer L. Pluznick, Ph.D. and assistant professor of physiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has been studying the relationship between gut bacteria and heart health in animal models.

Pluznick posits that gut bacteria can produce chemicals as part of their normal metabolism which help lower blood pressure. In mouse models, the changes in blood pressure have been substantial.

“We know that there’s a symbiotic type of relationship between gut bacteria and their hosts — that’s us. Certain chemicals that the gut bacteria produce can alter blood pressure. We also know that when mice or rats or people have high blood pressure , the bacteria in their guts are different. Those things each reveal a piece of the puzzle. But we don’t have enough pieces to put the entire puzzle together yet,” Pluznick said.

Research has also linked probiotics to reductions in cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, as well as decreases in inflammation. Across the board, it appears probiotics can help improve heart health. However, experts caution that probiotics are not a replacement for a healthy diet and exercise. Like other supplements, probiotics are best used to complement healthy lifestyle changes.

Get immune with good bacteria

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