Typically, we think of bacteria as causing illness and infection, not health and vitality. But that isn’t accurate; bacteria are crucial in keeping our bodies healthy and strong, specifically the bacteria in our digestive system. All through our digestive tract, beginning in the mouth and ending at the colon, are different kinds of bacteria, or flora, that assist our body in breaking down, digesting, and absorbing the foods that we eat. But that’s not all they do. Studies show that the bacteria living in our gut may have an impact in many other parts of our bodies. When we drink chlorinated water, eat certain foods, or take antibiotics, the bacteria in our gut are killed off. Here are five major benefits of restoring them by taking a probiotic supplement. Immune Health It is commonly accepted by physicians that probiotic supplementation improves immune health. Be sure to supplement with a probiotic during flu season to prevent falling ill! Weight Loss Studies have shown that probiotic supplementation may prevent those who have lost weight from gaining it back. Digestion Anyone suffering from poor digestion can benefit from taking a probiotic. Diarrhea, constipation, and acid reflux are three symptoms that may be alleviated by taking a probiotic. Brain Health New research suggests that probiotics may be beneficial for brain health, easing stress and depression while boosting memory and mental stamina. Cholesterol According to research performed by McGill University in Montreal, Canada, probiotic bacteria have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels. The subjects of the study who took a probiotic regularly experienced a drop in the “bad” type of cholesterol, LDL.