Over thousands of years, our bodies have evolved to not only live in harmony with the bacteria, fungi, and viruses in and on our bodies, but also to depend on them for certain essential metabolic functions—especially gut bacteria.
As you would expect, our intestinal microflora performs specific functions that improve our ability to digest, absorb, and eliminate the foods we eat; however, the benefits of these bacteria extend well beyond digestion. We’ve yet to understand just how extensive this connection is between gut flora and health, but here are some of the known relationships:
- Improves immune health
- Improves mood and mental health
- Boosts energy levels
- Improves cholesterol levels
- Regulates hormone levels
- Reduces yeast infection occurrences
- Supports a healthy weight
- Improves oral health
- Contributes to longer life
How Gut Bacteria Improves Immune Health
One of the most well-known non-digestive benefits of good gut bacteria is a stronger immune system. This happens in a number of ways, but generally is the result of our microflora’s ability to prevent pathogenic organisms from taking hold in our bodies.