Research: Probiotics help promote good overall health

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by Mia Gradney / KHOU 11 News

kvue.com

Posted on March 25, 2013 at 8:17 PM

HOUSTON, Texas -- “Are you all ready for school?” Teresa Dunn asked her son Justin, who isn’t exactly eager to catch the school bus. However, he’s happy he can now at least withstand the ride.

“His stomach pain was so bad before, so intense, it was affecting him going to school and riding the school bus,” Dunn said.

The problem was in his intestines. It made his mom sick to her stomach that she could not help.

“The doctors couldn’t tell me what was wrong with him. It was extremely frustrating, because he’s coming to me and asking me, ‘Mom what can I eat that won’t make my stomach hurt,’” Dunn said.

Then she heard about probiotics, live organisms that promote good gut health that can be naturally found or added to some foods.

“Justin did you take your Yakult?” his mother asked.

Justin now downs Yakult, a probiotic milk-like product, once a day.

“We’re also finding them in cereals, bars, and candies, what you want to make sure of it mentions the type of probiotics and the amount of probiotics in the product,” Monica Bearden, a registered dietitian, said.

Whether it’s a probiotic drink, yogurt, or a supplement, make sure that it has at least a billion colony forming units. That is how the good bacteria are measured.

New research finds keeping it in balance could impact your overall health.

“We’re finding it might impact weight loss, as well as brain health,” Bearden said.

Probiotics may also help alleviate stress, anxiety and even depression.

“Now he drinks it and he’s used to it,” Dunn said. And she is no longer stressed over Justin’s chronic stomach pain.

Justin’s doctors have still yet to diagnose him, but his symptoms are all but gone.

Another great source of probiotics is Kefir.

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