ICYMI: Probiotics Have Benefits Beyond Gut Health—Here’s 4 You Should Know About

When you think "probiotics," what's the first thing that comes to mind? If the words "gut health" immediately popped into your brain, you aren't alone in associating the good-for-you bacteria with digestion. But although they might be most famous for their gut-boosting, digestion-supporting properties, probiotics can benefit a whole lot more than just your gut.

“Your microbiome is made up of various types of microbes, and probiotics are a big part of this microbial balance that determines your overall health,” says pharmacist Joseph Kennedy, PharmD. “Probiotics have been shown to play a crucial role in immune function, they ultimately fight off bad bacteria that you have too much of, which allows you to feel healthy mentally and physically while maintaining peak immunity.”

In addition to supporting your overall well-being and immune health, studies have also linked probiotics to supporting mood, skin, vaginal health, and more. To break it all down, we teamed up with Jetson Probiotics to ask the experts for the rundown on the benefits of probiotics beyond gut health.

And once you've done your research? Take the Jetson Probiotics quiz to help you determine exactly which probiotic in the program is best to start with, based on your particular wellness concerns. When you sign up for a subscription, you'll not only get a fresh bottle delivered every month, you'll also get a brand-new formulation every season so your gut gets the variety it needs to stay healthy. Talk about loads of benefits.

Keep reading for intel on the benefits of probiotics beyond gut health.

For vaginal health

If you're prone to yeast infections or just feel like you could use a little support down there, there are certain strains of probiotics that can help. Studies have linked species such as lactobacillus acidophilus to improving vaginal health by eliminating yeast and restoring microflora to prevent future occurrences. According to Dr. Kennedy, lactobacillus is naturally occurring primarily in the intestines and the vagina. However, he notes that antibiotics can cause an imbalance of microflora in these areas (hormone shifts can be another culprit), which leave women prone to experiencing yeast and urinary tract infections.

“Through supplementing lactobacillus strains, you are able to inhibit the overgrowth of vaginal yeast infections caused by antibiotics by secreting antimicrobial peptides that diminish yeast and by restoring the balance of microflora,” says Dr. Kennedy.

Jetson's Womens Probiotics formula contains five probiotic strains—including lactobacillus acidophilus—along with botanicals like passionflower extract and chaste berry extract that have been shown in clinical studies to support vaginal health and reduce mood changes associated with PMS, perimenopause, and menopause.

For your mood

Sometimes you might feel bummed out because you're bloated and uncomfortable. But other times, your mood might actually be chemically linked to your gut.

“Probiotics that contribute to positive moods are mainly classified as 'psychobiotics,' which host mental health benefits through various interactions with harmful gut bacteria,” says Dr. Kennedy. “This positively impacts the gut-brain axis and results in mood, anxiety, and cognitive function improving.”

An estimated 90 percent of serotonin (the happy hormone) is produced in your gut, so it goes to reason that a healthier gut would support healthier production of hormones. Studies have linked certain strains of probiotics to supporting positive mood, specifically lactobacillus plantarum, bacillus coagulans, and lactobacillus paracasei—all of which can be found in Jetson's Mood Probiotics with the addition of vitamins D3, B12, and B6.

For immune support

Research indicates that nearly 70 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive tract, and lactobacillus rhamnosus is one of the probiotic strains that have shown the most promising results in clinical settings at supporting it, according to Dr. Kennedy.

“These complex-probiotic species use a variety of mechanisms to restore or improve innate and adaptive immune responses in both humans and animals,” he says.

Jetson's Immunity Probiotics contain lactobacillus rhamnosus along with four other immune-supporting probiotic strains, plus vitamin C for an extra immune boost.

For healthy skin

The obvious go-to for giving your skin a glow boost is topical products, but taking the inside-out approach can also have a huge effect. Introducing: The gut-skin axis, the latest connection between the digestive system and another key well-being system (remember the gut-brain axis?).

A February 2021 study showed that an imbalance between the skin and gut microbiome is associated with an immune response that can promote the development of skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, acne, dandruff, and more. And though more research needs to be done on exactly how to use probiotics to support each condition, the preliminary findings are promising.

Jetson's Skin Probiotics contain a whopping eight strains of skin-supporting probiotics including lactobacillus plantarum for skin clarity and bifidobacterium longum to help calm sensitive skin. Plus, it contains hyaluronic acid and antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E for help with defending the skin from oxidative stress and free radicals. No matter what your skin concern is, there just might be a strain for that.

Top Photo: Getty Images/Yuricazac

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