How do you know if you have a weak immune system?

Simply put, frequent colds and flu, slow healing wounds or autoimmune conditions like, rheumatoid arthritis indicate compromised immune function. Thankfully, there is a natural way to strengthen immunity by consuming probiotics. 

 

Can probiotics really stop infectious diseases? 

 

The short answer is yes! Dr. Colin Hill, at a Society for General Microbiology meeting, said "in all three animal diseases we observed a positive effect in that the animals were significantly protected against infection".

 

Do all yogurts have probiotics?

 

(The answer may surprise you)

 

I don't want to offend yogurt lovers out there but, most commercially-produced yogurts have been pasteurized (over heated) - which tends to lower (and destroy) the friendly bacteria needed by the digestive system. Not only that, many brands have too much sugar and contain genetically manipulated ingredients. And, as we all know, too much sugar and GMOs only increase the risk of immune-related disorders like, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), allergies and a host of infectious diseases. Conversely, most high quality probiotic-rich foods like raw sauerkraut and miso often contain less than 2 grams of sugar and trillions of healthy microorganisms compared to the probiotic-deficient commercial brands of yogurt. Bottom line, not all probiotic foods are created equal.

 

What does the scientific literature say about probiotics?

 

In 2011, experts at Yale University reviewed the scientific literature and concluded that probiotics can effectively be used to treat many health issues like, preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhea and to prevent eczema associated with cow's milk allergy. In the Journal of Pediatrics, Lactobacillus species have been shown to be a safe and effective form of treatment for children with infectious diarrhea. Published in the prestigious international journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, probiotics have been shown to treat anxiety and depression related disorders. In 2012, at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions, probiotics were shown to reduce blood levels of LDL cholesterol. There are literally thousands of studies showing the health benefits of consuming probiotics like, lower blood pressure, better skin health and the elimination of chronic fatigue.

 

So, daily consumption of probiotic supplements can improve weak immune system.

 


read more...

How do you know if you have a weak immune system?

Simply put, frequent colds and flu, slow healing wounds or autoimmune conditions like, rheumatoid arthritis indicate compromised immune function. Thankfully, there is a natural way to strengthen immunity by consuming probiotics. 

 

Can probiotics really stop infectious diseases? 

 

The short answer is yes! Dr. Colin Hill, at a Society for General Microbiology meeting, said "in all three animal diseases we observed a positive effect in that the animals were significantly protected against infection".

 

Do all yogurts have probiotics?

 

(The answer may surprise you)

 

I don't want to offend yogurt lovers out there but, most commercially-produced yogurts have been pasteurized (over heated) - which tends to lower (and destroy) the friendly bacteria needed by the digestive system. Not only that, many brands have too much sugar and contain genetically manipulated ingredients. And, as we all know, too much sugar and GMOs only increase the risk of immune-related disorders like, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), allergies and a host of infectious diseases. Conversely, most high quality probiotic-rich foods like raw sauerkraut and miso often contain less than 2 grams of sugar and trillions of healthy microorganisms compared to the probiotic-deficient commercial brands of yogurt. Bottom line, not all probiotic foods are created equal.

 

What does the scientific literature say about probiotics?

 

In 2011, experts at Yale University reviewed the scientific literature and concluded that probiotics can effectively be used to treat many health issues like, preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhea and to prevent eczema associated with cow's milk allergy. In the Journal of Pediatrics, Lactobacillus species have been shown to be a safe and effective form of treatment for children with infectious diarrhea. Published in the prestigious international journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, probiotics have been shown to treat anxiety and depression related disorders. In 2012, at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions, probiotics were shown to reduce blood levels of LDL cholesterol. There are literally thousands of studies showing the health benefits of consuming probiotics like, lower blood pressure, better skin health and the elimination of chronic fatigue.

 

So, daily consumption of probiotic supplements can improve weak immune system.

 


read less...

When antibiotics first became widely used in the early half of the 20th century, they were hailed as a miracle cure. Many common infections which used to have a high mortality rate, such as pneumonia or infections from wounds or surgery, suddenly become very treatable, to the point where many people no longer even saw them as extremely serious. However, as time progressed and the market became flooded with antibiotic drugs, overuse of them in both medicine and in the meat production industry led to overexposure. This overexposure, in turn, led to serious problems like the rise of resistant bugs and damage to the gastro-intestinal system. Fortunately, the use of probiotics on a regular basis, and especially during and after a course of antibiotic therapy, can greatly reduce the unwanted side effects that these medications can bring with them and help the patient recover from their infection more quickly. Let's look at the ways in which probiotics can help.

 

Restores gut flora:

 

The human gut is highly and naturally populated with healthy, probiotic bacteria. These bacteria help with digestion, strengthen the immune system and keep unhealthy bacteria and yeast in check. Antibiotics, however, do not discriminate between these healthy bacteria and the unhealthy bacteria it is trying to destroy. The result is that a course of antibiotics can destroy healthy probiotic bacteria and upset this balance. Use of probiotics, however, has been proven to be able to restore this balance and avoid many of the problems associated with antibiotic use.

 

Prevents diarrhea and other digestive problems:

 

One common complaint among patients on antibiotics - especially if the course of antibiotics is a long one or if the dosage is high - is nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and similar digestive problems. Using probiotics, however, can restore healthy flora in the gut (see above) and this in turn supports good digestive health and makes it less likely that diarrhea or other gastric problems will occur. This can seriously improve the comfort levels for patients trying to recover from an infection and prevent other problems like dehydration or electrolyte imbalances that diarrhea can cause.

 

Proves effective against resistant bacteria:

 

Most people are aware that one of the biggest problems with overuse of antibiotics is the rise of drug-resistant strains of bacteria that are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to treat. Curiously, the use of probiotics can even help with this problem. In one study, hospital patients taking probiotics reduced their chances of acquiring resistant bacteria by an astounding 70 percent. In short, for patients who are having to undergo antibiotic therapy, a corresponding round of probiotics is pretty high on the "must do" list. These probiotics will restore the balance of gut in the flora, prevent digestive problems and resistant infections and generally make the recovery process easier for the patient. 

 

Bifidobacterium lactis Bl04 may reduce risk of infection

 

Researchers have discovered that Bifidobacterium lactis Bl-04, may help to reduce the incidence of the common cold in active adults.

 

The randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study observed a group of 465 healthy adults who were split into three test groups, the first received daily probiotic supplementation of Bifidobacterium lactis Bl-04. The second group received a combination of Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM® and Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07, and the third group received placebo. Supplementation occured daily, over a period of 150 days.

 

Results showed that the first group, supplemented with Bifidobacterium lactis Bl-04, were 27% less likely to contract upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), compared to placebo. The probiotic combination of L. acidophilus NCFM® and B. lactis Bi-07 also showed a reduction in risk of 19%, but the researchers were most impressed with the B. lactis Bl-04 strain which had shown previous potential in other studies, as they explained; "The choice of the probiotics was made on the basis of previous data showing effects on immune-related outcomes in adults and in children.

 


read more...

When antibiotics first became widely used in the early half of the 20th century, they were hailed as a miracle cure. Many common infections which used to have a high mortality rate, such as pneumonia or infections from wounds or surgery, suddenly become very treatable, to the point where many people no longer even saw them as extremely serious. However, as time progressed and the market became flooded with antibiotic drugs, overuse of them in both medicine and in the meat production industry led to overexposure. This overexposure, in turn, led to serious problems like the rise of resistant bugs and damage to the gastro-intestinal system. Fortunately, the use of probiotics on a regular basis, and especially during and after a course of antibiotic therapy, can greatly reduce the unwanted side effects that these medications can bring with them and help the patient recover from their infection more quickly. Let's look at the ways in which probiotics can help.

 

Restores gut flora:

 

The human gut is highly and naturally populated with healthy, probiotic bacteria. These bacteria help with digestion, strengthen the immune system and keep unhealthy bacteria and yeast in check. Antibiotics, however, do not discriminate between these healthy bacteria and the unhealthy bacteria it is trying to destroy. The result is that a course of antibiotics can destroy healthy probiotic bacteria and upset this balance. Use of probiotics, however, has been proven to be able to restore this balance and avoid many of the problems associated with antibiotic use.

 

Prevents diarrhea and other digestive problems:

 

One common complaint among patients on antibiotics - especially if the course of antibiotics is a long one or if the dosage is high - is nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and similar digestive problems. Using probiotics, however, can restore healthy flora in the gut (see above) and this in turn supports good digestive health and makes it less likely that diarrhea or other gastric problems will occur. This can seriously improve the comfort levels for patients trying to recover from an infection and prevent other problems like dehydration or electrolyte imbalances that diarrhea can cause.

 

Proves effective against resistant bacteria:

 

Most people are aware that one of the biggest problems with overuse of antibiotics is the rise of drug-resistant strains of bacteria that are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to treat. Curiously, the use of probiotics can even help with this problem. In one study, hospital patients taking probiotics reduced their chances of acquiring resistant bacteria by an astounding 70 percent. In short, for patients who are having to undergo antibiotic therapy, a corresponding round of probiotics is pretty high on the "must do" list. These probiotics will restore the balance of gut in the flora, prevent digestive problems and resistant infections and generally make the recovery process easier for the patient. 

 

Bifidobacterium lactis Bl04 may reduce risk of infection

 

Researchers have discovered that Bifidobacterium lactis Bl-04, may help to reduce the incidence of the common cold in active adults.

 

The randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study observed a group of 465 healthy adults who were split into three test groups, the first received daily probiotic supplementation of Bifidobacterium lactis Bl-04. The second group received a combination of Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM® and Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07, and the third group received placebo. Supplementation occured daily, over a period of 150 days.

 

Results showed that the first group, supplemented with Bifidobacterium lactis Bl-04, were 27% less likely to contract upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), compared to placebo. The probiotic combination of L. acidophilus NCFM® and B. lactis Bi-07 also showed a reduction in risk of 19%, but the researchers were most impressed with the B. lactis Bl-04 strain which had shown previous potential in other studies, as they explained; "The choice of the probiotics was made on the basis of previous data showing effects on immune-related outcomes in adults and in children.

 


read less...

Introduction:

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for our health, especially our digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But our body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called "good" or "helpful" bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy.

Probiotics are naturally found in our body commonly as intestinal micro flora and vaginal micro flora. You can also find them in form of foods and supplements.

Examples of probiotic foods are yogurt/curd,kefir ,kombucha,sauerkraut,miso soup,kimchi out of which curd is the only probiotic food widely available in India.

Eating everyday yogurt/curd alone does not fulfill one’s daily probiotic requirement as it contains only two strains that is Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus where as body need to be supplemented with other probiotic strains too. Again curd is prepared out of fermentation process of the milk where the above two strains already completed their activity .So the benefits will be less. The maximum brands of yogurt/curd available hardly have any probiotic colonies left in it as they undergo pasteurization process before coming to market.

Therefore, it is recommended to supplement the body with a balance lyophilized synbiotic (Probiotic +Prebiotic) formulation available in market preferably in capsule form.

The intestinal micro flora of every individual consists of various microorganisms that live in the intestinal tract. This micro flora has a symbiotic relationship with the host organism and protects the body against infections, assists digestion, produces nutrients, and plays an important role in the immune system. A good micro flora balance in the intestine is essential for these functions and for the health of the host. When the intestinal flora is in balance, both beneficial and other microorganisms are present. This balance can be disturbed by factors such as the use of antibiotics, stress or an unbalanced diet. Disturbing the balance creates a risk that the beneficial intestinal bacteria will be suppressed and that the pathogenic bacteria will become dominant.

The vaginalmicro flora is the microorganism that colonizes in the vagina. The amount and type of bacteria present have significant implications for a woman's overall health. The primary colonizing bacteria of a healthy individual are of the genus Lactobacillus, and the lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, bacteriocin they produce protect against infection by pathogenic species. They help to maintain the ideal vaginal pH that is 3.5 to 4.The population of vaginal micro flora gets disturbed when excess amount of antibiotic is used as well as every month during the menstrual cycle the pH of vagina changed to alkaline as blood is  alkaline in nature and this condition invites pathogenic bacteria to grow.

So, supplementing body with probiotics on regular basis is much more important for women .

It's only been since about the mid-1990s that people have wanted to know more about probiotics and their health benefits. Doctors often suggest them to help with digestive problems. And because of their newfound fame, one can find them in everything from yogurt to chocolate.

The World Health Organization defines probiotics as “live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host”. These microorganisms include both bacteria and yeast-based cells, which interact with the body differently.

 

Types of Probiotics:

Probiotics otherwise known as lactic acid bacteria which are gram positive in nature basically classified as Facultative Anaerobes and Obligate Anaerobes.

They could be rod shaped (Genus-Lactobacillus), Branch shaped (Genus-Bifidobacteria), Round shaped (Genus-Streptococcus,Lactococcus,Enterococcus)

Facultative Anaerobes: A facultative anaerobe is an organism that makes ATP by aerobic respiration if oxygen is present, but is capable of switching to fermentation or anaerobic respiration if oxygen is absent. 

 Example: Lactobacilli, Streptococcus thermophilus, Streptococcus salivarius, Sachharomyces  cerevisiae

Obligate Anaerobes: An obligate aerobe, by contrast, cannot make ATP in the absence of oxygen, and obligate anaerobes die in the presence of oxygen.

Example: Bifidobacteria,Enterococcus,Lactococcus

Also these bacteria can be classified into category Homofermentative and Heterofermentative

Homofermentative are those which produces lactic acid as end product where as heterofermentative produces ethyl alcohol as the end product.

Mode of Action:

Though Probiotics has different mode of actions basing on type of health benefits, they demonstrate the common action that is process of fermentation using the carbohydrates in the temperature 38 degree Celsius +/- 1 at pH 7.2 as a result produce lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, bacteriocin also different types of vitamins.

Benefits:

Probiotics provide multiple benefits for the whole body. By helping to maintain a balanced intestinal environment, they enhance digestion and help prevent occasional irritable bowel, diarrhea, constipation and other digestive issues. They also help to ferment soluble fiber in the gut, which in turn produces a short-chain fatty acid called butyric acid that helps to nourish healthy colon cells and promote bowel regularity.

Vital to a healthy immune system, probiotics produce antibacterial compounds and acids that help support the growth of good bacteria in the gut and inhibit the growth of potentially harmful bacteria. As a result, they help to improve overall immune function.

Probiotics also help your body absorb valuable nutrients from food during the digestive process. In addition, they play a key role in the manufacturing of needed vitamins (including B12 and K) and provide nourishment for healthy intestinal cells.

Probiotics help move food through your gut. Some common conditions they treat are:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Infectious diarrhea (caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites)
  • Antibiotic-related diarrhea
  • H.pylori induced ulcer

There is also some research to show they help with problems in other parts of human body. For example

  • Skin conditions, like eczema
  • Urinary and vaginal health
  • Preventing allergies and colds
  • Oral health
  • Respiratory health
  • Immune health
  • Life style disorders like Diabetes,Hypertension,Hypercholesterolemia

 

Conclusion:

The FDA, Health Canada regulates probiotics like dietary supplements, not like medications.

In general, probiotic foods and supplements are safe for all most all the people of all ages, genders including infants, expecting and lactating mothers. The people with compromised immune disorders like AIDS and Lymphoma or those who are on a long term steroid treatment shouldn’t take probiotics.  In very rare cases, mild side effects might include upset stomach, diarrhea, gas, and bloating for the first couple of days after you start them. They may also trigger allergic reactions. Stop taking them and talk to your doctor if you have problems.

To maintain a healthy life all need to be supplemented with surplus colonies of these wonder bugs on regular basis.

 

 


read more...

Introduction:

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for our health, especially our digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But our body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called "good" or "helpful" bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy.

Probiotics are naturally found in our body commonly as intestinal micro flora and vaginal micro flora. You can also find them in form of foods and supplements.

Examples of probiotic foods are yogurt/curd,kefir ,kombucha,sauerkraut,miso soup,kimchi out of which curd is the only probiotic food widely available in India.

Eating everyday yogurt/curd alone does not fulfill one’s daily probiotic requirement as it contains only two strains that is Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus where as body need to be supplemented with other probiotic strains too. Again curd is prepared out of fermentation process of the milk where the above two strains already completed their activity .So the benefits will be less. The maximum brands of yogurt/curd available hardly have any probiotic colonies left in it as they undergo pasteurization process before coming to market.

Therefore, it is recommended to supplement the body with a balance lyophilized synbiotic (Probiotic +Prebiotic) formulation available in market preferably in capsule form.

The intestinal micro flora of every individual consists of various microorganisms that live in the intestinal tract. This micro flora has a symbiotic relationship with the host organism and protects the body against infections, assists digestion, produces nutrients, and plays an important role in the immune system. A good micro flora balance in the intestine is essential for these functions and for the health of the host. When the intestinal flora is in balance, both beneficial and other microorganisms are present. This balance can be disturbed by factors such as the use of antibiotics, stress or an unbalanced diet. Disturbing the balance creates a risk that the beneficial intestinal bacteria will be suppressed and that the pathogenic bacteria will become dominant.

The vaginalmicro flora is the microorganism that colonizes in the vagina. The amount and type of bacteria present have significant implications for a woman's overall health. The primary colonizing bacteria of a healthy individual are of the genus Lactobacillus, and the lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, bacteriocin they produce protect against infection by pathogenic species. They help to maintain the ideal vaginal pH that is 3.5 to 4.The population of vaginal micro flora gets disturbed when excess amount of antibiotic is used as well as every month during the menstrual cycle the pH of vagina changed to alkaline as blood is  alkaline in nature and this condition invites pathogenic bacteria to grow.

So, supplementing body with probiotics on regular basis is much more important for women .

It's only been since about the mid-1990s that people have wanted to know more about probiotics and their health benefits. Doctors often suggest them to help with digestive problems. And because of their newfound fame, one can find them in everything from yogurt to chocolate.

The World Health Organization defines probiotics as “live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host”. These microorganisms include both bacteria and yeast-based cells, which interact with the body differently.

 

Types of Probiotics:

Probiotics otherwise known as lactic acid bacteria which are gram positive in nature basically classified as Facultative Anaerobes and Obligate Anaerobes.

They could be rod shaped (Genus-Lactobacillus), Branch shaped (Genus-Bifidobacteria), Round shaped (Genus-Streptococcus,Lactococcus,Enterococcus)

Facultative Anaerobes: A facultative anaerobe is an organism that makes ATP by aerobic respiration if oxygen is present, but is capable of switching to fermentation or anaerobic respiration if oxygen is absent. 

 Example: Lactobacilli, Streptococcus thermophilus, Streptococcus salivarius, Sachharomyces  cerevisiae

Obligate Anaerobes: An obligate aerobe, by contrast, cannot make ATP in the absence of oxygen, and obligate anaerobes die in the presence of oxygen.

Example: Bifidobacteria,Enterococcus,Lactococcus

Also these bacteria can be classified into category Homofermentative and Heterofermentative

Homofermentative are those which produces lactic acid as end product where as heterofermentative produces ethyl alcohol as the end product.

Mode of Action:

Though Probiotics has different mode of actions basing on type of health benefits, they demonstrate the common action that is process of fermentation using the carbohydrates in the temperature 38 degree Celsius +/- 1 at pH 7.2 as a result produce lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, bacteriocin also different types of vitamins.

Benefits:

Probiotics provide multiple benefits for the whole body. By helping to maintain a balanced intestinal environment, they enhance digestion and help prevent occasional irritable bowel, diarrhea, constipation and other digestive issues. They also help to ferment soluble fiber in the gut, which in turn produces a short-chain fatty acid called butyric acid that helps to nourish healthy colon cells and promote bowel regularity.

Vital to a healthy immune system, probiotics produce antibacterial compounds and acids that help support the growth of good bacteria in the gut and inhibit the growth of potentially harmful bacteria. As a result, they help to improve overall immune function.

Probiotics also help your body absorb valuable nutrients from food during the digestive process. In addition, they play a key role in the manufacturing of needed vitamins (including B12 and K) and provide nourishment for healthy intestinal cells.

Probiotics help move food through your gut. Some common conditions they treat are:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Infectious diarrhea (caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites)
  • Antibiotic-related diarrhea
  • H.pylori induced ulcer

There is also some research to show they help with problems in other parts of human body. For example

  • Skin conditions, like eczema
  • Urinary and vaginal health
  • Preventing allergies and colds
  • Oral health
  • Respiratory health
  • Immune health
  • Life style disorders like Diabetes,Hypertension,Hypercholesterolemia

 

Conclusion:

The FDA, Health Canada regulates probiotics like dietary supplements, not like medications.

In general, probiotic foods and supplements are safe for all most all the people of all ages, genders including infants, expecting and lactating mothers. The people with compromised immune disorders like AIDS and Lymphoma or those who are on a long term steroid treatment shouldn’t take probiotics.  In very rare cases, mild side effects might include upset stomach, diarrhea, gas, and bloating for the first couple of days after you start them. They may also trigger allergic reactions. Stop taking them and talk to your doctor if you have problems.

To maintain a healthy life all need to be supplemented with surplus colonies of these wonder bugs on regular basis.

 

 


read less...