By: Lee Phillips
Remember when we were all obsessed with walnut scrubs? Or what about pore strips and at-home extractions? Eating for your skin, chemical peels, gua sha (lifted from Chinese medicine for white profits, usually!): beauty trends with varying degrees of legitimacy have had their 15 minutes of fame in the public eye. Some beauty practices however, are simply too important to be deemed a fleeting trend, and that 200% applies to probiotics. The word literally means “for life”. You can’t get any more fundamental than that! To expand, a probiotic is a cultured, living bacteria that when ingested, balances out the bacteria in your gut. All the living organisms in your gut make up your microbiome. Your microbiome has such a huge impact on your health, scientists literally call it your “second brain.” So how the heck did we arrive at eating bacteria?
Don't Sleep on History
Across cultures, fermented food has been a huge part of health practices. Greek physician Hippocrates, and the guy who said “All disease begins in the gut,” praised the ingestion of fermented milk as a medicine, not just a food. It wasn’t until the study of microbiology started picking up steam, that the connection between fermentation and the presence of bacteria was solidified in scientific discourse. 1857, that guy you learned about in middle school, Louis Pasteur, found that lactic acid fermentation was brought on by microorganisms (bacteria). Then, our guy Henry Tissier discovered Bifidobacterium in the stool of healthy breast fed infants, and began to propose that they be given to other infants with diarrhea. (Back then, infants having diarrhea was a huge deal, because they would dehydrate and die.) In the early 20th century, Ilya Ilyich Metchnikoff, wondered why Bulgarian peasants lived so long, and concluded that it was their heavy consumption of yoghurt that contained large quantities of Lactobacillus. Hint: Look at any probiotic and you will see a long list of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
Combining the knowledge of the bacteria’s role in the fermentation process, with the knowledge that certain bacteria was good for you, meant people could begin to ferment bacteria to grow and isolate individual cultures to be intentionally administered as medicine. Et voila! Probiotics began being manufactured in pretty much the same way that they are today. This might be a “seeing how the sausage is made” kind of deal. But yes, the probiotic supplements you take in pill form are grown in lactose products in a fermentation process, and then healthy bacteria is isolated and dehydrated. Today, non-lactic vehicles for fermentation are being introduced, but that’s still the standard after so many years. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it?
That being said, after reading all the benefits of taking probiotics every day, you won’t even care how it was made. In a pinch, probiotics regulate the microbiome in your gut by suppressing potentially harmful bacteria that cause infections and disease. This means you get sick less, and when you do it’s not as bad. They also help your immune system directly by providing a balanced environment to encourage healthy growth of immune cells.
Quite the balancing act
The continued balance of your microbiome also strengthens your intestinal barrier. Basically, your “gut lining.” This means that toxins are properly disposed of and aren’t reabsorbed into your body through gaps in your lining. Sounds fake, but “leaky gut syndrome'' actually affects a huge number of people, and the symptoms are endless. They include everything from fatigue and agitation to neuropsychiatric conditions, muscles and joint issues, asthma and rashes, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, ACNE, and many others. Improving your gut lining also means better digestion and absorption of nutrients :) Imagine eating all this healthy food, only to not absorb the nutrients?! Taking probiotics every day is essential to reap these insane benefits. Consistency is key!
Probiotics! For! The Skin!
Oh, yeah, let’s touch back on the acne aspect. Probiotics have a HUGE effect on your skin for so many reasons. One we mentioned fortifying the gut lining so that toxins don’t recirculate to your skin), and a couple that we haven’t—let’s get to those now.It’s widely known in skin care that a low PH of skin allows your skin to better fight off bad bacteria that leads to acne. Probiotics help lower the PH levels of your skin by increasing lactic acid production. Studies have also shown that bacterial overgrowth in your small intestine is closely linked to acne. Probiotics balance all of that, so it makes sense to take a probiotic for acne, right? Thing is, there are 100s of different types of probiotic cultures. How do we know which one we should use for our skin?! SKIN DISCIPLINE is a supplement that contains a probiotic blend of 10 BILLION CFUs intentionally chosen to clear your skin, and do all the other amazing things probiotics do. SKIN DISCIPLINE is also packed with zinc, niacin, omega 2, copper, and more, to work alongside those magical probiotics to regulate oil production as your gut heals. Have we sold you on probiotics yet?
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