Probiotics found in supplements, yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and miso have shown a positive benefit to the GI tract by improving intestinal function and maintaining integrity of the intestinal lining. Research is showing the GI track plays an important role in proper digestion, nutrient absorption, removing harmful pathogens from the body, and immunity. A wide range of studies support regular consumption of probiotics as treatment for a variety of conditions including chronic constipation, antibiotic associated diarrhea, IBS, IBD, UTI’s, eczema, and modestly reducing blood pressure and cholesterol.
A new study from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden found women who took a daily probiotic supplement to promote healthy bacteria in the GI track also experienced less bone loss compared to women taking a placebo.
A double-blind, randomized study of 90 women aged 76 and older consumed a probiotic supplement or a placebo daily over the course of 1 year. Measurements of the women’s bone mass were taken with a CT scan at the start of the study and a year later to compare results. Researchers found in women taking the probiotic supplement, bone loss was halved compared to women taking the placebo.
Previous studies have suggested healthy intestinal bacterial benefit the skeleton in mice, but this is the first study to show probiotics reduce bone loss in humans. Researchers are optimistic probiotics can have a number of health benefits to both men and women while being safe with few side effects.