Good Bacteria Can Decrease Your Number of Sick Days

For a while, I've been telling you about probiotics, preparations of living microbial cells that, when ingested, are thought to positively influence the composition of microbes in the gut and improve the health of the intestine. Seems conventional medicine is indeed catching up on the health benefits probiotics provide.

A new study of Swedish workers has found those who took probiotics (in the form of lactobacillus reuteri, a bacteria found in some yogurts) for 80 days were sick, compared to those who took a placebo.

Additionally, the average number of days missed due to illness was slightly shorter among patients taking probiotics. Even more interesting, none of the shift workers who took probiotics got sick at all.

Some on the conventional medicine side are surprised how probiotics can have such a beneficial effect on the average worker. Truth is, optimizing your health begins in your gut. If your gastrointestinal tract is working properly, your overall health will be compromised.

An easy way to get more probiotics in your diet: Eat fermented foods.

Nature November 4, 2005

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