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Probiotics
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I'm not sure if this is the right forum to post this in..but I'm sure it'll get there. I have heard probiotics being mentioned a few times in various posts. Can someone explain to me exactly what they are. And is this something I need to be taking on a regular basis? :huh:

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In your stomach, you have good bacteria and bad bacteria. For some people, there are naturally too many of the bad bacteria, so they supplement with adding more of the good bacteria (probiotics). One gluten-free brand is Culturelle. some people believe that celiacs can be predisposed to having this "bacterial overgrowth" and they therefore, supplement. There is recognized medical literature on this. You can also get more of the good bacteria in some yogurts/yogurt drinks (Stoneyfield Farms).

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A recent study showed that 2/3 of people studied who were still having problems after being gluten-free for months also had bacterial overgrowth. Probiotics takes care of this. Some doctors recommend it for all people who have just been diagnosed -- just in case.

cheers

richard, roanoke, va.

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I've always been slightly confused about this. Are these "probiotics" yogurts and drinks like DanActive Original, that have some ingredients in them that have "probiotic" content, or is a probiotic a vitamin supplement of some kind?

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So....just to make sure I have this right..Acidopholous is a probiotic, right? I used to take that a loooooong time ago when I was first diagnosed with IBS and the doctor told me I didn't have any good bacteria in my system at all. But the Acidopholous didn't make me feel any better, so I stopped taking it.

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Kayleen007,

I don't know if you have found your answer, but I was just doing some research on this myself and found this thread so I'll pass along what I found:

There are many types of intestinal flora, Acidopholous is only a type.

Probiotics (the opposite of antibiotics) can include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus delbreukii, Lactobacillus caseii, Lactobacillus caucasicus, Lactobacillus fermenti, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus leichmannii, Lactobacillus lactis, Bacillus licheniformus, Bacillus subtilis, Bifidobacteria bifidus, and Sacchromyces boulardi.

They restore balance to an autointoxicated gastrointestinal tract in a specific manner.

Here is a link with a lot of info on one brand, Primal Defense and how it was created and what it does: http://www.primaldefense.net/hsoforonespd1.htm

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On another site was this info: The term "Probiotic" means "in favor of life". It was coined in 1910, by a Russian physician named Metchnikoff, who promoted a theory of longevity which associated prolonged life and improved health with decreased gastrointestinal toxicity. He suggested that aging is a process mediated by chronic exposure to putrefactive intoxication caused by imbalances in intestinal bacteria and that this process could be halted by the routine ingestion of lactic acid bacteria and their "fermented" ("cultured") food products. Almost 90 years have passed since he introduced these radical ideas; however, in many respects his ideas have been proven to be true. Consumption of lactic acid bacteria, or food cultured or fermented with these friendly microorganisms does extend life in animal experiments and does dramatically reduce a wide range of intestinal metabolites, such as indoles, polyamines, cresols, nitrates/nitrites, and carcinogens which we now know are counterproductive to good health.

What are the health benefits of consuming friendly bacteria?

Friendly bacteria restore intestinal balance, which results in

the prevention of adherence of unwanted microorganisms

the production of a wide array of antibacterial and antifungal compounds

improved resistance against bacteria like E.coli, Salmonella, and H. pylori

Friendly bacteria enhance immunity by:

promoting improved anti-viral immune system function

increasing NK cell activity

increasing S-IgA

producing nitric oxide

modulating cell mediated immune response

activating the reticuloendothelial system

promoting a more balanced production of cytokines

promoting resistance against some autoimmune processes

evoking anti-Tn antibodies

decreasing IgE-mediated responses

enhancing immune system response to administered vaccines

mediating against radiation-induced depression in white blood cells

In many respects, friendly bacteria can be thought of as having "adaptogenic" effects on your immune system. They appear to modulate the nonspecific immune response differently in healthy and hypersensitive subjects. This is seen as an immuno-stimulatory effect in healthy subjects, and as a down-regulation of immuno-inflammatory responses in hypersensitive subjects.

Friendly Bacteria Promote Detoxification by:

inactivating and eliminating carcinogens

decreasing mutagenic compounds

decreasing activity of nitroreductase and azoreductase

decreasing activity of B-Glucuronidase

decreasing activity of B-Glucosidase

decreasing activity of ornithine decarboxylase

decreasing activity of tryptophanase

decreasing activity of neuraminidase and mucinase

decreasing levels of polyamines, cresols and indoles

decreasing ammonia

decreasing levels of nitrates and nitrites

enhancing liver function and promoting elimination of bile acids

enhancing cholesterol metabolism

Friendly bacteria promote healthy digestion by

normalizing stool volume and regularity

producing digestive enzymes that help digest proteins, carbohydrates, and fibers

decreasing intestinal permeability

decreasing food sensitivities

decreasing lactose intolerance

decreasing intestinal inflammation

Friendly bacteria enhance bioavailability of nutrients by

alleviating symptoms of malabsorption

increasing the absorption of zinc, calcium, iron, copper, manganese, and phosphorous

increasing the production of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, A, K, folic acid, biotin, and tocopherols

Cultured Fruits, Vegetables, Spices, and other food substances contain

vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals which promote good health

high levels of vitamin K, tocopherols and vitamin B12

powerful antioxidant activities

anti-mutagenic properties

excellent growth promoting substrates (e.g. act as prebiotics) for friendly bacteria

Cultured foods also allow for

ease of digestion and improved bioavailability of nutrients

increased bioavailability of compounds like isoflavones and bioflavonoids

improved amino acid and protein efficiency ratios

improved stability and retention of vitamin C levels

augmentation of some of the metabolic benefits of these foods

improvement of alcohol metabolism

promotion of improved cardiovascular health

Why should Probiotics be taken consistently?

Even using strains of friendly bacteria that have a great ability to survive digestion and colonize your digestive tract, there is a tendency for a gradual decline in the quantity of these bacteria over time. This decline is substantially worsened with stress, poor dietary choices, antibiotics and other drugs. In today's world, with all of it's modern pressures, the ability to maintain an optimal intestinal microbial balance is almost always taxed. It has also actually been estimated that we consume 1 million times LESS healthy bacteria in our diet today than are ancient ancestors consumed.

Why do we combine so many strains of good bacteria?

It is simple really, friendly bacteria work better when more of them are combined together. There are actually hundreds of strains of bacteria in your digestive system and the friendly bacteria actually operate as a team, promoting the beneficial effects of each other. The term "Synergism" best describes the interrelationship of friendly bacteria. They mutually support each other by producing bacteriocidins and organic acids that they are resistant to, but which decrease pathogenic bacteria. In fact, these bacteriocidins are up to 1000X more active when combined then when they are isolated. But even more importantly, health effects of one strain of friendly bacteria are often not duplicated by other strains. So a more complex mixture, combining more friendly strains of bacteria, translates into more profound long-term health benefits.

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