5 Ways Arginine Can Improve Your Health

Have you ever heard of l-arginine? If not, you’ve likely heard of amino acids — and l-arginine just happens to be an amino acid you can get through either your diet or supplements.

There’s solid scientific evidence showing it could help your health in many different ways.

Here’s some information on how this amino acid works, and why you need more of it in your body.

How it Works

First, your body converts l-arginine into nitric oxide, which helps the blood vessels relax. This, in turn, makes it easier for blood to circulate throughout the body.1

You can get l-arginine from many high-protein foods (such as dairy products and fish) as well as from arginine supplements. And, as long as you can sustain a good supply of l-arginine, your body should continue to have an ample supply of nitric oxide as well.

Health Benefits

Why is this important? Well, as you’ll see, this mighty amino acid is associated with a wide range of health benefits.

Here are just five of the most important.

1. Cardiovascular Health

There is evidence that l-arginine could help people who suffer from angina – a condition that leads to severe chest pain. There is also evidence that taking arginine supplements could help lower blood pressure in healthy people and also in those suffering from a condition known as pulmonary hypertension. This is a form of high blood pressure that affects the right side of the heart as well as lung arteries.2

2. Reducing Inflammation

L-arginine helps reduce inflammation as well as the amount of ammonia in the blood.3 This is very important because ammonia is a contributing factor to not only inflammation but also cell death.4

3. Increasing Exercise Efficiency

L-arginine supplements might also play a key role in the production of human growth hormone, or HGH. If you have an HGH deficiency, you might be susceptible to an increase in body fat as well as a decrease in muscle mass. You may also be at risk for bone weakness.5

According to research, l-arginine supplementation can increase HGH levels by 100 percent, even while your body’s at rest. It can also raise levels by up to 500 percent during exercise. This is important because HGH helps support a healthy body weight and strong muscles.6

Arginine Supplements | Probiotic America

4. Supporting Immune System Health

This powerful amino acid helps boost the strength of T cells, which are key to helping support a strong immune system. T cells help fight harmful viruses and bacteria. According to one study, when the level of l-arginine is increased, it can help re-energize T cells and also help them live longer.7

5. Boosting Reproductive Health in Men and Women

Researchers studied the effect of l-arginine on erectile difficulties. A group of 40 men participated. By the end of the three-month study, more than 90 percent of the participants who received arginine supplements in combination with pine bark extract showed substantial improvement in their conditions.8

According to the results of another study, the combination of l-arginine with several herbs helped to improve pregnancy rates in women who were having trouble conceiving.9

The Bottom Line

So you can see there’s a substantial amount of evidence suggesting that l-arginine may provide major benefits to the body.

However, you should never start taking amino acid supplements without first having a detailed discussion with your doctor. He or she will let you know if it will be safe for you to do so after looking at your medical history, as well as any medications you may be taking.

And, if you do receive permission from your doctor, talk to her about how much of the amino acid you need to get each day.

 

Learn More:
Eat Your Way to 100: 4 Longevity-Boosting Superfoods to Try Now
How Stress is Destroying Your Microbiome (+ 3 stress-busting tips)
Get Better Abs… By Doing Less, More Effectively (4 tips!)


Sources
1.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22112350
2.https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-l-arginine/art-20364681
3.http://www.amjmed.com/article/0002-9343(57)90295-4/abstract
4.https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00353945
5.https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/in-depth/growth-hormone/art-20045735
6.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18090659
7.https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161013125949.htm
8.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12851125
9.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15134155

Can Probiotics Help Reduce Acid Reflux?

The churning, burning feelings associated with acid reflux can be miserable. And getting rid of the problem can be challenging.

Acid reflux can be caused by everything from eating spicy foods to stress to pregnancy. There are many medications designed to soothe the stomach and relieve symptoms, but a lot of people are concerned about their potential side effects. If you are one of them, you might be looking at other options, such as probiotics.

So, are probiotics for acid reflux the answer?

Here’s some information on the symptoms of acid reflux and the connection between probiotics and your digestive system.

Acid Reflux – The Basics

Acid reflux is, in a nutshell, a condition that occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. Also known as gastroesophageal reflux, it can lead to a burning feeling not only in the stomach, but also the chest and even the mouth and throat.1

It’s similar to GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), but the symptoms associated with GERD are usually more severe. They include difficulty swallowing, a significant amount of burning in the chest, and coughing.2

There are powerful drugs available to treat both acid reflux and GERD, both prescription and over-the-counter. However, many of these medications have been linked to potentially serious side effects. These include nutrient deficiencies (specifically vitamin B12, calcium, and magnesium), weight gain, and an increased risk of bone fractures.3

How a Probiotic Supplement May Help

probiotics for acid reflux | Probiotic AmericaIf you’re suffering from acid reflux or GERD, you might be interested in trying more natural methods to find relief. And probiotics, which are available in supplement form as well as through food, could be an option.

Before you try a probiotic to address any digestive issues you are facing, however, it’s important that you know what they are.

Probiotics are “good” microbes, such as bacteria and yeast. Your gastrointestinal tract, also known as your “gut,” is filled with trillions of microbes. Many of them are bad for you, but many others are beneficial. Probiotics provide reinforcements to those beneficial microbes.4

When your digestive system works properly, and your stomach acid is in check, you typically won’t have major stomach issues. One of the reasons why is that there’s a proper balance between good and bad microbes in your gut. But when something throws off that balance, and the “bad guys” outnumber the “good guys,” you might experience stomach issues.5

Many foods naturally contain probiotics, including sourdough bread, fermented milk, and sauerkraut. However, it can be difficult to get an ample supply of probiotics in your digestive system through food alone.

There are many types of supplements available that can help make sure you have enough beneficial probiotics in your stomach, as well as the rest of  your digestive system.probiotics for acid reflux | Probiotic America

What the Research Suggests

There is some evidence that one of the contributing factors to acid reflux may be an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the gut.6 There’s actually a name for this problem – small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Because probiotics are designed to increase the number of beneficial microbes and the gut and inhibit the development of harmful ones, they may play a role in helping to stop the development of SIBO as well.7

Research on how probiotics for acid reflux may help is still in its early stages. However, early results are promising.

probiotics for acid reflux | Probiotic America

People with acid reflux normally experience regurgitation of acid from the stomach to the esophagus. This, in turn, leads to the sour taste that patients often report.8

According to one study, supplementation with a strain of probiotic bacteria known as Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 resulted in a substantial decrease in regurgitation among infants.9

Acid Reflux – When to Get Medical Help

There are some instances where someone with acid reflux will need to get medical help for severe symptoms. Here are a few warning signs that you’ll need to see a doctor ASAP:

Stomach cramping

People with acid reflux will usually experience cramping in the stomach every once in a while. But if the cramps don’t go away, or if you pass black stools, seek medical attention immediately. There’s a chance you’ve developed bleeding in the intestines, or some sort of damage has occurred in your stomach.10

Severe coughing

If you can’t seem to shake your cough, get to a doctor. It can actually be a sign you have a severe case of GERD.11 Your doctor can confirm this, and help you determine the best course of action.

Unexpected weight loss

Acid reflux, and the resulting stomach acid, may make it difficult for your body to absorb the nutrients it needs from the food you eat. Over time, that could lead to not only weight loss, but also a weakening of the immune system.12

Chest pain

Obviously, any sort of chest pain will need to be checked out immediately. You might think it’s normal to have some chest discomfort if you have acid reflux, but always get medical attention to make sure it’s not something more serious.13

Wrapping it Up

Fortunately, acid reflux can typically be controlled. And you might want to see if probiotics for acid reflux can help you to find relief. Whether you plan on getting probiotics from food or supplements, talk to your doctor first about your options. Here’s to you finding relief!

Learn More About the Benefits of Probiotics:
Probiotic Skincare: A New Frontier in the Pursuit of Youthful Skin
9 Gut-Friendly Foods That Supercharge Your Health
12 Awesome Benefits of Lactobacillus Acidophilus (including weight loss!)


Sources
1.https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315066.php
2.https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heartburn/expert-answers/heartburn-gerd/faq-20057894
3.https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/combating-acid-reflux-may-bring-host-of-ills
4.https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-benefits-of-probiotics
5.https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/probiotics/faq-20058065
6.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3752184
7.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12038039
8.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3975977/ 9.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21114493
10.https://www.healthline.com/health/gerd/emergency-symptoms#call-your-doctor
11.https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315888.php
12.https://www.asge.org/home/for-patients/patient-information/understanding-gastroesophageal-reflux-disease
13.https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15851-gerd-non-cardiac-chest-pain

Is Probiotic Yogurt Just A Fad, Or Is It Truly Beneficial?

If you’re eating yogurt because you’ve heard it is beneficial for your digestive tract, be careful. While there are brands that contain live probiotic strains of beneficial bacteria, there are a lot of others that don’t. Plus, many brands are very high in sugar, which cancels out the benefits of probiotics.

That means you’ll want to do a little research first, to make sure the brand you buy is worth the money – whether it’s frozen yogurt, or other kinds of yogurt dairy products.

Here’s some information to help you make the best choice possible.

What Are Probiotics?

Before you get that frozen yogurt, it’s important that you have an idea of what probiotics are in the first place — they’re the bacteria that actually turn milk into yogurt… but they’re so much more.

There are trillions of microbes in the gut – and a lot of them are actually good for you. They help ensure your digestive tract works as it should. But there are a lot of bad ones as well. When there’s an imbalance between good and bad bacteria in the gut, you’ll be more susceptible to digestive issues.1

Beneficial Bacterial Strains

Probiotic Yogurt | Probiotic America

When looking for probiotic yogurt to support your digestive tract, you’ll want to make sure whatever brand you choose contains beneficial bacteria cultures. There are several different strains associated with digestive health.

Look closely at the labeling of the products you’re considering, to see if they contain one or more of the following:

Bifidobacterium animalis lactis (B. animalis lactis)

This bacteria strain has been associated with a wide variety of health benefits. For example, research indicates that it can help strengthen the immune system.2 It may also help reduce the risk of respiratory issues in some instances.3

Bifidobacterium lactis (B. lactis)

B. lactis has been shown to help ease digestive issues, such as constipation.4

Lactobacillus casei (L. casei)

Studies show that L. casei may help prevent diarrhea.5 There is also evidence that the strain can help reduce the severity of symptoms in certain serious digestive conditions.6

Lactobacillus casei Shirota (L. casei Shirota)

This form of the L. casei strain has also been shown to reduce constipation.7 It may also play a role in strengthening the immune system in people who suffer from allergies.8

What to Avoid

Try to steer clear of yogurt with added sugar. Many types of low-fat yogurt have added sugar to provide more flavoring. Too much sugar in your diet could lead to certain health problems.9

Also, you might actually be better off buying probiotic yogurt that’s not low fat. The reason is that yogurt, and many other dairy products, contain a type of beneficial fat known as conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA. Research shows that CLA may play a role in reducing your risk for heart problems.10

It’s important to note that many manufacturers are trying to take advantage of the fact that yogurt is considered to be a healthy food. They might sell yogurt, but if it doesn’t contain live cultures, it won’t provide you any probiotic benefits.

Look for products that have a seal that says “Live & Active Cultures”. These products not only contain beneficial bacteria, but they contain significant numbers of them.11

What Other Dairy Products Contain Probiotics?

If you like to expand your food horizons beyond probiotic yogurt, here are some other options that contain beneficial bacterial strains:

Kefir

Probiotic Yogurt | Probiotic America

This fermented dairy product is similar to a probiotic yogurt, but it has a unique, tart flavor. It’s typically higher in probiotics than the yogurt you’ll find on your grocery store shelves.12 You might be able to find it at your local supermarket, but there’s a better chance you’ll find kefir at your nearest health food store.

Cheese

There are several types of cheese that also contain probiotic strains. These include cheddar and mozzarella.1314

Milk

You will probably be able to find probiotic-enriched milk at your local health food store. For example, there are brands of milk fortified with the Lactobacillus acidophilus strain of good bacteria. This strain has been associated with helping to lower cholesterol levels in the blood.15

Wrapping it Up

Eating frozen yogurt, or other types of this popular dairy product, may help support the health of your digestive tract. But you should never introduce a new type of food to your dietary regimen without talking to your doctor first. They will let you know whether it will be safe for you to do so.

 

Learn More About Probiotics:
NEWS: Probiotics May Provide Help with Allergies
Best Probiotic Foods to Improve Your Gut Health
Probiotic Skincare: A New Frontier in the Pursuit of Youthful Skin


Sources
1.https://nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics/introduction.htm
2.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21899798
3.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20863419
4.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19296845
5.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11220983
6.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15932981
7.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14631461
8.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18510694
9.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23493538
10.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22296934
11.http://aboutyogurt.com/index.asp?bid=29
12.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28222814
13.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24905221
14.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22981567
15.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25954637

Can Ginseng Help You To Lose Weight?

Ginseng is an herb that has long been associated with several different health benefits. As a result, it’s one of the most popular and recognizable herbal remedies. But could it be helpful to use ginseng for weight loss? Possibly.

Here’s some information on what exactly ginseng is, and some of the reasons why you might want to use ginseng for weight loss.

What is Ginseng?

There are two main types of ginseng.

  • The Panax quinquefolius plant is referred to as “American ginseng.”
  • The Panax ginseng plant is known as “Korean ginseng”.

Both are similar in chemical structure. Both contain ginsenosides, which give the herb its purported medicinal qualities. Korean ginseng and American ginseng are often referred to as “adaptogens,” because proponents claim it can help people deal with stress.1

Using Ginseng For Weight Loss

A substantial amount of evidence suggests ginseng can help reduce body weight. Here are a few ways that drinking ginseng tea, or taking the herb in supplement form, may help:

Hunger reduction

In one study, obese women who received Korean ginseng for weight loss saw substantial reductions in not only body weight, but also food intake and waist-to-hip ratio (meaning slimmer bodies).2

Reducing blood sugar levels

Ginseng For Weight Loss | Probiotic AmericaA combination of obesity and high levels of blood glucose can lead to major health problems.3 According to the results of one study, ginseng was shown to lower blood glucose in both people with blood sugar disorders, as well as those with no blood sugar issues.4 Ginseng root has been shown to lower glucose levels for as long as two hours after consuming a meal.5

In addition, patients suffering from disorders related to high blood sugar saw a decrease in glucose, as well as overall body weight, after using ginseng for weight loss for two months.6

Increasing insulin sensitivity

The ginsenosides in American and Korean ginseng help to reduce the accumulation of fat by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin.7 When your body is resistant to insulin, that increases the risk that the carbohydrates you consume will be converted to fat – rather than energy.8

Aiding digestion

Drinking ginseng tea could also help your body do a better job of digesting the food you eat. There are trillions of microbes in the “gut,” or gastrointestinal tract. These microbes have a major influence on not only metabolism, but also on weight.9

In one study, women who used Panax ginseng for two months saw a significant amount of weight loss, as well as favorable changes in their gut microbes.10

Increasing stamina

There is also evidence that ginseng could have a positive effect on your ability to exercise for longer periods of time.11

Research shows that ginseng may play a role in helping to improve your body’s stamina during a workout.12

Another study involved participants who took supplements containing ginseng, as well as taurine, soybean peptides, and other ingredients. According to the results, the participants showed an increase in endurance. Researchers found that the participants’ bodies also did a better job of utilizing fats.13

Other Health Benefits

Ginseng shows a great deal of promise in other areas of health, as well. For example, researchers have found it may help address erectile dysfunction. While the research is promising, researchers say more studies are needed before any definitive conclusion can be made.14

There is also research being conducted into whether ginseng could help people suffering from the flu virus.15

How to Make Ginseng Tea

Ginseng For Weight Loss | Probiotic AmericaYou can easily make a healthy, delicious tea at home using either American or Korean ginseng. You can easily purchase some ginseng root at your local health food store.

  1. Cut off about eight thin slices
  2. Coat slices with honey and let sit in a pot for about 15 minutes.
  3. Pour hot water over the slices, and let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Pour the liquid into a cup. Using a strainer to keep any pieces of ginseng from getting into your cup.
  5. Relax, and enjoy.16

The Bottom Line

As you can see, there are several reasons why you should consider making ginseng part of your daily dietary regimen. But don’t head to the store just yet. You should always talk with your doctor first, to make sure it’s completely safe for you to take ginseng. You’ll want to make sure that the herb won’t interact negatively with any medications you might be taking.17

 

Learn More About Weight Loss:
Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight?
12 Benefits of Lactobacillus Acidophilus (including weight loss!)
Why Psyllium Husk is a Powerful Weight Loss Helper


Sources
1.https://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/asian-ginseng
2.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3659576/
3.http://www.obesity.org/content/weight-diabetes
4.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25265315
5.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21619921
6.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8721940
7.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23545455
8.https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/carbohydrates-and-blood-sugar
9.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23478685
10.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3986624/
11.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15744902
12.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25665208
13.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21332400
14.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2561113/
15.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3297520/
16.https://www.thespruce.com/homemade-korean-ginseng-tea-insam-cha-recipe-2118533 17.https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm096386.htm