Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
When disease-causing bacteria get a home in your gut, they can induce inflammation; damage the intestinal wall and set the stage for IBS. Research has revealed that probiotics can play a major role in resolving IBS and inflammatory bowel disease.
Acidophilus can also help to generate the milk sugar enzyme lactase. It is popular that 75% of adults (except those of northwest European descent) have a deficiency of this enzyme, which suggests their digestive systems cannot break down milk sugar products effectively. This can lead to lactose intolerance, shown by symptoms that include diarrhea, gas, bloating, and bad breath. Some types of intestinal bacteria, for example Lactobacillus, play a fundamental role in the immune system, defending us against infections and cancer. Researchers at the University of Cologne Germany, found out that eliminating the intestinal bacteria of laboratory animals brought their immune system activity to a screeching halt and with probiotics, immune function was restored. The scientists also discovered that these bacteria produced protein like compounds called peptides that kept the immune system running at a low idle, prepared to respond to disease causing infections. More research has discovered that probiotics trigger a wide range of immune compound that battle harmful bacteria and viruses.
Although oral antibiotics are sometimes necessary, they’re like medical cluster bombs. They wipe out disease-causing bacteria and destroy beneficial bacteria at the same time. Opportunistic bacteria, for example Clostridium difficile, can rapidly multiply, usually causing a secondary infection and diarrhea. It is critical to use probiotics while taking antibiotics and for at least a month after you quit taking antibiotics. For the prevention of Clostridium, the most well-studied probiotics are Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus rhamnosus. These should really be taken preventatively if one, hospitalized since infection is more common for those in hospitals.
Colon And Breast Cancer
The research has been with laboratory animals, not people, so they really are preliminary-but they’ve been positive, indicating that Lactobacillus probiotics stimulated the activity of immune cells to battle these two types of cancer. The probiotics might also suppress bacteria that create cancer-causing substances in the colon, and they may alter the inflammatory reaction so it doesn’t stimulate breast cancer cells as well. Probiotics also assist break down potentially harmful estrogens as they go through the digestive tract.
Probiotics are named after the types of good bacteria they’re part of, plus the subspecies (for example, Lactobacillus ruteri) and are commonly abbreviated (L. ruteri).
With regards to probiotic foods, most people think only of yogurt. However, many societies throughout the world have recognized the health benefits of other cultured foods that are rich in probiotics. Many interesting and tasty options abound. Kefir is a drink produced from fermented milk and grains and can be found in health-food stores and some grocery stores. Japanese consume miso and tempeh, both of which include fermented soybeans and are easily available in North America. Other examples include a food ingested by the Koreans generally known as kimchi (a spicy vegetable dish), German sauerkraut, and Southeast Asian fermented fish sauces and pastes, common in Thai foods. Pretty much every cuisine includes, some kind of probiotic-rich food.
Your digestive system is home to greater than 500 types of bacteria. In fact, each of us has within us about 10 times more bacteria than we have human cells, with the bacteria comprising several pounds of our weight. Our relationship with them is symbiotic: They feed on some of the nutrients we consume, and consequently, they help keep us healthy-as long as we give them some TLC.
The majority of the bacteria in our digestive system are living in harmony with each other, despite the fact that their “neighborhood” is crowded and diverse. But our own poor eating habits, drinking chlorinated water, exposure to mercury from dental fillings and fish, stress, and some medications (particularly antibiotics) can disrupt this bacterial neighborhood, causing a microbial imbalance called dysbiosis. Consequences might include flatulence, diarrhea, reduced immunity, hormone imbalances, eczema, vaginal infections, allergies and perhaps an increased cancer risk.
Ingesting just one or two types of probiotics can improve your gut’s entire bacterial environment, and taking even more can yield even better health benefits. Different probiotics increase the body’s manufacture of various immune compounds (such as immunoglobulin A and M) and release small quantities of chemicals (like lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide) that will not hurt you but will make life uncomfortable for disease-causing germs.
Eat one probiotic food source at least every other day. Fortified beverages and yogurts are becoming popular, but many contain added sugars, and lactose intolerance and dairy sensitivity is common. I often recommend that patients take probiotic supplements, that are at least 5 times as potent, as yogurt. For probiotic supplements, a variety of choice exists. Search for products that use strains with benefit tested through human studies, such as Lactobacillus, acidophilus, rhamnosus, and plantarum; Bifidobacterium bijidus; and Saccharomyces boulardii. For preventative purposes, take 1 to 5 billion organisms daily. For acute illness like diarrhea take 10 billion or higher. Follow directions on the label. Purchase the freshest product possible, shown by the farthest-off expiration date on the bottle. In addition, I recommend taking probiotics after a meal or between meals, so food will buffer your stomach acid, which otherwise may destroy the probiotics.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS?
Side-effects occasionally includes minor digestive upset, for example gas and bloating. This is often a positive sign that harmful bacteria are being destroyed. These symptoms usually reduce or disappear in a few days. If not, you can take a lower dose the probiotic supplement or try a nondairy food containing probiotics.
From time to time the evidence for the health benefits of certain nutritional therapies accumulates to such an overwhelming that mainstream medicine cannot overlook it. Such is the case with probiotics, generally known as “friendly bacteria” or “good bacteria”. The term probiotic actually means “for life”, as these healthy live bacteria or yeasts are essential to the functioning of the human body. The World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations define probiotics as “live microorganisms, which, when applied in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” Probiotics are widely available in foods and supplements.
It was Dr. Eli Metchnikoff, a colleague of Louis Pasteur’s, who did the first, innovative work in study regarding Lactobacilli and also other “good” bacteria. Dr. Metchnikoff was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1908 for discovering that these bacteria played a significant role in immunity. Most disease, he surmised, begins in the digestive tract. When the “good” bacteria were not successfully controlling the “bad” ones, Dr. Metchnikoff labeled the condition dysbiosis, which simply means that the bacteria were not living in mutual harmony. His study led to the understanding we have today of the numerous benefits of the good bacteria and the importance of their role in balancing the “bugs”.
It is impressive to realize that Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium, as well as the other friendly flora, are part of the 100 trillion bacteria that live together in the human digestion system. All told, these bacteria comprise up to 4 lbs of our body weight!
This fertile colonization of the human body begins well before birth. A baby enters the world with a measure of both good and potentially harmful bacteria. With the very first breath, an infant inhales bacteria from the environment, bringing those “bugs” into the mouth and mucous membranes. After that the bacteria go on to colonize the rest of the body.
There after, the balance of bacteria is in a continuous state of change. Breastmilk provides beneficial bacteria, so as long as a child is nursing, he or she has the benefit of an added boost. Aided by the friendly flora in mother’s milk, Acidophilus and other beneficial bacteria established their very own territories where they act to avoid, the potentially harmful accumulation of bugs which might attack the body.
Recently, researchers have come to understand most of the chemical and biological reactions that characterize Acidophilus and other beneficial bacteria. Acidophilus produces an acidic environment, which inhibits the reproduction of many harmful bacteria. Acidophilus also produces, substances called bacteriocins, which function as natural antibiotics to eliminate harmful microorganisms. Together with other friendly flora, Acidophilus also stimulates the immune system by increasing antibody response in the mucous tissues.
Also, friendly bacteria help generate what are known as short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential as they assist the regeneration of colon cells. They also have anticancer effects.
Acidophiltts and also the friendly flora of the digestive tract help digest foods in the colon, particularly undigested fiber from fruits and vegetables. They assist to digest milk sugar and encourage regular bowel movements. Acidophilus also functions prevent the growth of H. pylori, a bacteria implicated in many cases of stomach ulcers.
Many medical doctors have some understanding about the benefits of friendly flora, other rewards are less well recognized. For example, many physicians are unaware that Acidophilus and the other good flora help produce vitamins in the human body. These include vitamins B2, B3, B5, Bl2, biotin, and vitamin K. Probiotics are also important for proper absorption of minerals in the small intestine.