We’re living in a time when you can get a microbiome sequencing kit delivered to your doorstep. So you probably know by now that beneficial bacteria—especially when it comes to the gut microbiome—is important for overall health. And you’re probably consuming a probiotic at least once in a while to keep that good thing going.
But just to back up: Probiotics are live beneficial microorganisms that live in and on the human body, mostly in the digestive tract. They offer a wide range of health benefits that support a healthier immune system, digestive system function, and detoxification. Probiotic supplements are becoming increasingly popular as more people include them in their daily routine.
Of course, probiotic supplements—like any other supplement—are not created equal, and there are some things that make a probiotic supplement more effective than others. For instance, consider one with a wide variety of living bacteria strains, and you ultimately want to make sure it won’t disintegrate before reaching your intestines, where the strains will populate. Solaray® Mycrobiome® Probiotics have a vegan Enteric Shield® surrounding the capsule, protecting the living probiotic strains inside from the stomach’s harsh acids—an often overlooked part of a probiotic’s efficacy.
After a few weeks of taking the right probiotic, you should start noticing the beneficial effects. Here’s how you can tell it’s doing its job.
1. Your mood is up.
The ability to maintain a good mood isn’t just in your head—it’s partly thanks to your gut health, too. Incorporating probiotics as a part of your diet can have deeply positive effects on your headspace. Probiotics may help by increasing levels of serotonin—an important feel-good neurotransmitter which helps your brain regulate happiness, sleep, and appetite. When the gut is balanced with healthy bacteria, it helps evoke positive feelings, relieve stress, cause better sleep, and boost your overall mood.
2. You have more energy.
We all know that low energy levels can take a toll on our bodies, both physically and mentally. Studies have shown a relationship between low energy levels and an imbalanced gut—a.k.a. not having enough beneficial bacteria. Taking a high-quality probiotic regularly can help promote increased energy in your body. So if you’re feeling more alert than usual, chances are your probiotic is working.
3. You might notice a difference in mental clarity.
Ever try to function without a clear mind? Talk about exhausting. A number of studies have linked gut health to mental health. Taking a probiotic may help by synthesizing neurotransmitters, reducing cortisol (your body’s stress hormone), and supporting healthy response to inflammation. If you’re feeling more focused and confident from day to day, that’s a good sign.
4. Your digestion is calmer.
If you tend to experience gas, diarrhea, bloating, constipation, or other gastrointestinal issues, taking a probiotic can be helpful. It repopulates your gut with good bacteria to regulate microbiome balance. In addition, beneficial microorganisms in your intestines help digest food, produce vitamins and nutrients, and help manage gut inflammation so the whole digestive systems works better. Proper digestion, in turn, decreases discomfort and irritation.
5. Your immune system is stronger.
Much of your immune system (about 70-80 percent!) is located within your digestive tract, where the good bacteria team up with immune cells to boost your resistance against harmful bacteria and toxins. So if you’re feeling—and staying—healthy, it could be a good indication your probiotic is working.