Studies tell us the good bacteria in our guts (called probiotics) play an important role in supporting digestive and immune health throughout life, so doing our part to help them out just seems like common sense. Along with things like adding more living foods to our diet and making sure we eat plenty of fiber, researchers overseas believe they may have found another way to show our good bacteria a little love.
In a report published online last month in the journal Lipid Technology, a team of researchers from the UK and New Zealand revealed that Omega-3 EPA from fish oil may have a positive effect on our friendly gut microbes.
In studying whether or not certain fats may alter the way probiotics work in the body, they discovered that EPA in particular helped support the growth of beneficial Lactobacillus bacteria in the gut. What’s more, they noticed that the EPA also encouraged a positive inflammatory response in the body, which is important for overall immune balance.
Though the research is still in the early stages, lead author Kerry BentleyHewitt from the UK Institute of Food Research believes there may be potential for combining fish oil with probiotics in order to help our beneficial gut microbes thrive and reduce inflammation. That sounds like a pretty good reason to add more oily fish to your diet!