Many people are starting to venture farther away from home and take vacations. Chances are there are some new items on your packing list this year – face masks, hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes. But there’s another important item you should add to your packing list – probiotics.
We all know what it’s like to get sick when traveling. Whether it’s a cold or the stomach bug, being sick can really put a damper on your vacation plans. You can try to strengthen your immune system before you leave, but often times we’re exposed to different germs and environments, leaving us defenseless. Probiotics to the rescue! Probiotics are known for their positive impact on the digestive system, but they are also fantastic travel companions. By maintaining healthy colonies of bacteria, your immune system can function at its best, even when you’re away from home.
Immune Strengthening Benefits
Probiotics help keep the gut healthy, to ensure your immune system functions well. Epithelial tissues in the intestines form a barrier against pathogenic microbes and other harmful substances present. Epithelial intestinal tissue is dependent upon gut flora. If our gut flora is not sufficient then the epithelial lining does not regenerate. For epithelial homeostasis, probiotics foster intestinal epithelial cell survival, strengthen cell barrier function, and initiate protective responses from intestinal epithelial cells.
Probiotics can also modulate the immune system, enhancing the body’s innate immunity. This modulating effect helps alleviate excessive inflammation in the gut, thereby boosting immune function. A recent New Zealand study conducted with professional rugby players showed probiotics enhanced the player’s ability to ward off and fight colds.
Healthy Gut = Happy Gut
It’s safe to say that getting struck with an upset stomach when you’re supposed to be relaxing on vacation is the absolute worst. Studies suggest that an estimated 20 million people experience Traveler’s Diarrhea (TD) each year, and it’s miserable for everyone. In the past, people preparing for vacations might just pack some over-the-counter antidiarrheal meds and hope for the best. But recent research suggests packing probiotics may be the key to avoiding TD.
The good bacteria that live in your intestinal tract are necessary for the normal functioning of your gastrointestinal system. They play an important role in protecting your intestines against infection. When your system is overwhelmed by unhealthy bacteria or viruses, you can get diarrhea. Probiotics can help with diarrhea by restoring the balance of bacteria in your gut.