There are still skeptics, but the truth is that probiotics can help our immune system in unbelievable ways.

You May Know…Or Not Know…

Probiotics are live, good bacteria. They live in food and our gut biome, naturally. Antibiotics, stress, poor diet, environmental toxins, antacids, and even aspirin can damage our microbiome. It becomes imbalanced. Replenishing the good bacteria can repair damage and boost our overall immune system. Unbelievably, probiotics are being studied as a form of immunotherapy for cancer.

What’s Good

Probiotics are available online and over-the-counter. They are readily used to combat potential yeast infections derived from taking antibiotics. Harmful gut bacteria can be reduced with the introduction of probiotics via supplements or food. They aid digestion and assist with nutrient absorption into the intestines. Children and adults suffering from diarrhea have avoided malnourishment by ingesting probiotics. These organisms have also been shown to support immune system response.
Probiotics found in foods and drinks are: kombucha, keifer, Greek yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and cultured vegetables. Make sure labels include “contains live active cultures.”

Probiotics found in supplements: Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Basillus, Streptococcus, Saccharomyces, Enterococcus, Pediococcus, and Lactococcus

What’s Bad

Many probiotic supplements do not contain what their label touts. Labdoor, a research firm, tested 32 of the top probiotics on the market for purity, efficacy, label accuracy, and potential contaminants. 21 of the 32 boasted an average of over 50% of viable bacteria on their label than in the product. Chewable and gummy probiotics averaged 92% less beneficial bacteria than other whole tablet or capsule products.

Additionally, many beneficial organisms don’t make is past your stomach. Acids kill them off before they reach your intestines. It’s for these reasons there are nay-sayers and those who suggest we’re wasting our money. High-quality products, however, can be researched before you shop. There is enough evidence to show that supplemental probiotics are beneficial in this day and age if you are not 100% in gut-balance.

What’s Unbelievable

Is it possible we are getting closer to treating cancer in new, perhaps more effective ways? Researchers at the University of Chicago wrote that giving mice Bifidobacterium was effective as an immunotherapy in controlling the growth of skin cancer. Combining current methods with the use of probiotics practically eliminated tumor growth.

According to other cancer research, “Efforts are under way to turn bacteria into regulated pharmaceutical products to treat illnesses of the gut, where the microbes reside.” Daniel Chen, head of cancer immunotherapy at Roche’s Genetech division is also completely on board. He believes bacteria in our gut plays a tremendous role in our systematic immune response.

Probiotic side effects, if any, tend to be mild and digestive (such as gas or bloating). Don’t be afraid to take them—just don’t waste your money on ones that may prove to be ineffective. Pro-health = Probiotics.