Gas is uncomfortable. It forms in our gut and give us a bloated feeling. Since expelling this gas is often accompanied by unfortunate odors, we’re often reluctant to do so, especially in company. Probiotics have gotten a lot of attention in recent years for their gut health benefits, so you might wonder if they can also help you with any flatulence you may be experiencing.
Probiotics can help with gas by revitalizing the gut’s microbiome and helping it to break down food more efficiently. Gas is usually formed because a gut with a weak biome does not absorb food as well as it should. Probiotics have a multitude of benefits with some people claiming that they help with things like yeast infections and eczema, although there is limited research available to confirm these benefits the general consensus is that they can help with gastrointestinal issues like excessive gassiness.
If you want to know more about how probiotics can improve your gut health and prevent excessive gassiness, read on.
How Probiotics Help With Gas
We live in a fast-paced world where we don’t always have time to prepare healthy meals. Don’t feel guilty if you’ve turned to fast food or other highly processed snacks to get through the day – there is nothing wrong with an occasional takeout, but they can affect our gut health.
Evidence suggests that diets high in processed foods have a detrimental effect on the gut microbiome, and can eliminate certain healthy bacteria resulting in digestive issues.
Highly processed foods with their high fat and sugar contents have been linked by studies to conditions like obesity (1). Probiotics can play a pivotal role by reintroducing healthy bacteria to the system if taken consistently.
Stress and The Gut/Brain Axis
If you’re the type of person who makes the extra effort to ensure you avoid highly processed foods, you may be scratching your head at this point if you are still experiencing gassiness.
The truth is, there is more and more evidence that processed food isn’t the only enemy to our delicate microbiomes. There is growing evidence of a subconscious link between the brain and the gut – this is known as the gut/brain axis (2).
High levels of stress affect the entire body through the presence of stress hormones, affecting the body’s ability to fight inflammation. You might find that you are prone to stomach cramps and acid when you are stressed – this is often a result of the body’s weakened ability to combat inflammation, which also influences the gut microbiome. If your body is too busy fighting inflammation, it might not be able to protect you from bacteria as efficiently. This is also why you are more likely to get sick if you are stressed.
If you’re wondering why the body responds so negatively to stress, it can make your gut more permeable to bacteria. This is known as leaky gut. This is because a weak microbiome may enable the development of unwanted bacteria which can enter the bloodstream triggering an immune response and inflammation.
A healthy and diverse gut biome will support a healthy immune response to stress while also helping you to extract more nutrition from your food. Logically it helps to eat food that is more nutritious in the first place.
Eating a wide variety of food including plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and beans is essential to maintaining your overall health. Probiotic supplements will work better when you supplying your body with optimal nutrients. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying a juicy burger now and again, but fried foods and excessive red meat have also been linked to poor gut health (3).
Choosing A Good Probiotic To Support A Healthy Lifestyle
A good probiotic will have a variety of strains (at least 10) and will be manufactured by an FDA-approved laboratory to ensure compliance. Probiotics should not contain any additives or preservatives, and an effective CFU (Colony Forming Unit) of at least 25 billion (4).
Probiotics should also contain a component known as prebiotics. This is essentially food for your gut bacteria, enhancing the effectiveness – the healthy bacteria has to “colonize” in your gut, and the specific carbohydrates that cannot be absorbed by your body help facilitate this replication process.
Gassiness is either uncomfortable and embarrassing or a source of comic relief depending on who you are. Even if you find it funny, you might become concerned if you are passing excessive wind.
Probiotics have been proven to help with gastrointestinal issues, but it’s critical to use a scientifically formulated and approved probiotic and maintain a healthy diet to extract the maximum benefit.