Antibiotics, means “to destroy life
,” probiotics literally means “life giving.”
Millions of good bacteria live in the intestinal tract, helping keep illness-causing bacteria at bay. Illnesses arise when that balance gets out of whack and bad bacteria (bugs) start to take over but Probiotics can help shift the balance back toward good bacteria. Probiotic bacteria is important to digestive and immune health and plays a very important role to having health.
Think of it this way:
Time, Newsweek, and U.S. World and News have all had recent stories about the importance of probiotics.
Probiotics have been used primarily for diarrhea, vaginitis, yeast infections
and to help normalize digestion
. Probiotics have also been associated with immune function, infections, canker sores and ingestion
Russian scientists have been aware of the health benefits for decades and Eastern Europeans have for centuries taken advantage of the health benefits of probiotics. Probiotics has been said to have cured a 16th century French king's intestinal illness and to explain longevity in rural Bulgaria.
Russian and Ukrainian researchers used special strains of probiotics for high-powered immune-support supplements during the Cold War period up until the mid-1980s. Soviet Scientists found that specific strains of probiotics (lactobacillus bacteria) had a powerful protective action against bio-warfare agents. The researchers discovered the probiotics helped protect cancer patients against the effects of radiation and chemotherapy, were safe, and had no side-effects.
There is emerging evidence that in huge amounts, some kinds of "friendly" bacteria can be helpful. Studies suggest that probiotics might help treat or prevent some types of gastroenteritis, diarrhea and allergic skin reactions, and they are being investigated for many other ailments, including diabetes, ulcers, acid reflux, high cholesterol, vaginal yeast infections, urinary tract infections (UTI), and cystitis (bladder inflammation), respiratory infections such as sinusitis, bronchitis, and pneumonia, irritable bowel syndrome and, possibly, inflammatory bowel disease (such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis) and certain harmful viruses.
Probiotics have been found to improve lactose absorption digestion, lower the risk of allergies including asthma, hay fever, food allergies to milk, and skin reactions such as eczema and also help prevent osteoporosis.
An overgrowth of yeast, which can be brought on by antibiotics
, has been implicated in many common digestive problems
including inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome,
according to some gastrointestinal specialists.
Lactobacillus Acidophilus, a friendly bacteria which helps to replenish the intestinal flora damaged due to use of antibiotics
through environmental exposure, from administered drugs or from antibiotics given to to cattle and chickens which pass through to the meat, eggs, milk, cheese and cottage cheese, sour cream, ice cream, etc
. (Note: There are some dairies, such as Braums Ice Cream and Dairy stores, that do not feed their cattle antibiotics .)
This line of thinking has prompted the medical industry and the food industry "to try to create things to shift the balance back toward that good bacteria," according to Dr. Sri Komanduri, a gastrointestinal specialist at Chicago's Rush University Medical Center
. Komanduri prescribes medical-strength probiotic pills containing 450 billion live lactic acid bacteria for inflammatory bowel disease and bacterial overgrowth in the gut. (Evidence suggests the bugs need to be alive
and ingested in huge amounts, generally between 5 billion and 10 billion daily.)
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has declared the study of gastrointestinal bacteria and probiotics a major research initiative to understand the number of health implications associated with the use of pre- and probiotics.
- Fermented milk containing Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus caseii could help prevent antibiotic-related diarrhea. (Canada)
- An oat drink containing Bifidobacterium lactis bacteria helped bowel function in nursing home residents. (Finland)
- Milk fermented with lactic acid bacteria might reduce amounts of cancer-causing substances in the intestine. (Argentina)
- Researchers are looking at probiotic supplements to treat allergy-induced skin rashes in babies. (Univ of CA at Los Angeles)
- Improving complications in liver disease with probiotic supplements is being studied by Israeli scientists.
Major companies such as as Dannon, Kraft, General Mills, Nestle's, and Beech-Nut are advertising food products that contain probiotics, or "friendly" bacteria, to "regulate digestive health" and to "strengthen your body's defenses" to help the immune system. (Be wary of probiotic-containing products at the supermarket that don't specify how much or what type of bacteria.)
Acidophilius (probiotic) helps to restore good bacteria
Note: Medical strength probiotic pills contain 450
billion viable lactobacillus acidophilus cells. It works to help protect the gastrointestinal tract by colonizing the GI tract with optimal quantities and types of probiotic bacteria. These bacteria adhere to the walls of the GI tract and form a barrier which protects the inner layer of the gut from bad bacteria and other toxic substances that can cause inflammation.
Many who are aware of the side effects of antibiotics are now asking their doctors to prescribe prescription strength probiotics along with the antibiotic prescription.
(I have been surprised at the number of doctors and nurses who have never heard the word probiotic. Yet when asked if one should eat yogurt or other forms of probiotics such as acidiphilus supplements when taking antibiotics they all agree. The disturbing thing was one of the doctors before becoming a doctorhad been a pharmaceutical rep for several years, pushing antibiotics and I had to explain to him what the word pro
Acidophilus supplements at the health food store contain a minimum of only 500 million
viable lactobacillus acidophilus cells. Remember when you buy them they should come from a refrigerated area of the store, unless they say specifically they are formulated not to need refrigeration!
Biocodex is helping to educate pharmacists on the usefulness of probiotics for patients with diarrhea and other gastrointestinal conditions with the recent sponsorship of a two-hour continuing-education lesson on the use of probiotics.
Make sure your probiotic does NOT contain fructooligosaccharides (FOS), a prebiotic found in many probiotic supplements. Contrary to popular belief, FOS feeds ALL bacteria—not just good bacteria. For people with chronic health conditions, FOS can cause further digestive distress.