The gut performs many of the body’s essential functions. The gastrointestinal system contains 2/3 of immune function and produces 80 percent of serotonin, a chemical neurotransmitter that stimulates the regulation of metabolism, bone health, mood, and more. The gut is able to perform these vital functions due to the presence of bacteria. The bacteria that line the gut wall are called gut flora.
The gut flora can, like any other body part, get unhealthy. Its decline in health may occur due to reasons such as poor diet or lack of exercise. An unhealthy gut may cause minor digestive complications such as diarrhea or constipation. If the gut flora reaches an unhealthy enough state, it may lead to serious medical complications like type 2 diabetes or colorectal cancer.
An easy way to maintain the health of the gut flora is by using probiotics. A probiotic is a food or supplement containing bacteria that can repropagate the gut flora. Foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, or kombucha all contain natural probiotics. However, probiotics are also in supplement form. A probiotic supplement can more effectively prevent digestive complications than its food alternatives.
Learn more about the role of probiotics and how they can improve your health in the infographic below: