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Can probiotics protect us from certain superbugs?

Can probiotics protect us from certain superbugs?

Probiotics are well-known for their role in digestive health, as this good bacteria helps break down food and promotes the strength of our intestine tract. In addition, WebMD notes that probiotics have been linked to improved immune system function by essentially exercising the body's natural line of defense in beneficial ways. Previously on this blog, we also reported on a UCLA study regarding the possible benefits of probiotics for brain health and cognitive responsiveness.

Now, researchers from the California Institute of Technology have discovered yet another possible application for probiotics – as an alternative to antibiotic treatments. NutraIngredients USA covered the new study, which was published by the medical journal Cell Host & Microbe.

"Today there are more and more antibiotic-resistant superbugs out there and we're running out of ways to treat them. Limiting our susceptibility to infection could be a good protective strategy," explained lead author Arya Khosravi.

Khosravi and his colleagues posited that probiotics may help with this endeavor because of their existing association with immune system strength. To determine this, they sought to better understand the relationship between probiotics and immune cells.

"Here in, we reveal that gut bacteria regulate hematopoiesis [the formation of blood cellular components] within primary immune sites, providing a unifying explanation for previous observations," the researchers wrote in a study abstract.

The researchers used an animal model for this study, so further research is needed to see if this effect takes place in the human immune system. Given the other documented benefits of probiotics, though, it may be a good idea to incorporate more of this good bacteria in your diet. Certain foods like yogurt are a good source of probiotics. Click here to read more information about our probiotic supplements.