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Home About Live Cultures Live Cultures About Live Cultures Live Cultures What are Probiotics? This week a study published in the British Medical Journal, and reported in the Daily Mail, has reported that a strain of bacteria known as Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 is not effective in helping to reduce symptoms of colic in babies. The Australian study, carried out by the University of Melbourne and the Royal Children’s Hospital in Victoria, involved 167 breastfed or formula-fed infants suffering with colic split into two groups. As we are aware, the media often fails to recognise that the focus should be on strain-specificity; using certain strains for specific conditions, rather than tarring all probiotics with the same brush.
Here at OptiBac Probiotics we focus on different strains of bacteria for the different roles they may have, and understand that certain strains of bacteria possess different qualities. Christian Bates, a highly experienced Osteopath and Naturopath, reports frequent success with using probiotics at his clinic in helping babies with colic.
Christian has also written an invaluably useful book for mothers combining both clinical experience and scientific data called 'Calming Colic: How to help the 10 causes of colic' in which he explains how some colic cases will respond significantly to probiotics, others less so.
Perhaps once again the media have reported on one side of the story, focusing on a strain that most likely possesses other beneficial properties. We have previously written about how gut bacteria may play a role in colic which you can read about here. In a world where everything is processed and lacking enzymes, our guts really need all the help they can get, so this is an easy way to replenish some of that good bacteria! Next post, we’ll continue on with a quickie on the dairy kefir grains – and a recipe for coconut water kefir!  Until then, drink up! A healthy immune system is capable of dealing with the constant barrage of bacteria and viruses that we are exposed to day in and day out.
It carries out “search and destroy” missions to find and eliminate bacteria and viruses that do get into your body. However, as efficient as this internal defense system is, there are a number of things that can weaken our immunity.
Probiotics strengthen the barrier function of the intestinal wall and boost immunity by stimulating the body’s production of natural killer cells and T-cells. Winter Immunity Survival Kit Update your medicine cabinet with these natural cold and flu busters. Hyland’s DEFEND Cold & Cough This classic homeopathic formula spells relief for cold symptoms from sore throat and cough to sneezing and stuffy nose. Kendy Acti-Flora+ This bacteria blend boasts three active probiotic strains plus prebiotic inulin to nourish and promote the growth of good bacteria. Sambucol Black Elderberry Immune System Support Use this syrup to supercharge your immune system and keep colds and flu away. North American Herb & Spice Oreganol Oil of Oregano This liquid has powerful antibiotic and antiviral qualities.
Wakunaga ModucareCF This new cold and flu formula guards against viruses with a potent combination of plant sterol and sterolins, Aged Garlic Extract, immune-boosting herbs, vitamin C, and zinc.
Common ailments such as a cough, cold, or the flu are good candidates for self-treatment with homeopathy.
Kim Erickson is a Las Vegas-based health and beauty writer based and the author of Drop Dead Gorgeous: Protecting Yourself from the Hidden Dangers of Cosmetics. A cup of yogurt each morning is a great way to start the day and reap its health benefits.
People with borderline to moderate-high cholesterol levels, may benefit from eating yogurt with the probiotic Lactobacillus Acidophilus, alongside a combination of the bacterium Enterococcus Faecium and Streptococcus Thermophilus. Teeth whitening treatments are rather expensive, but why spend money when you can prepare a natural remedy with yogurt at home? Yogurt is a fantastic source of zinc, which helps sooth the burning and itchiness of sunburn. Yogurt helps restore bacteria in the intestine, and can be used after taking antibiotics or to treat antibiotic-related diarrhea and acute diarrhea in children.
The consistency of yogurt cheese is similar to cream cheese, but is lower in fat, and contains healthy bacteria. The properties found in yogurt make it an ideal remedy for smoothing the skin, but it's also great for your scalp and hair. Canker sores, white and yellow sores which usually form on your gums, inside your mouth and on your lips can be very painful to bear.
The natural antibacterial and antifungal properties found in yogurt can be used to get rid of pimples. You may be surprised to discover other alternative uses for oats that can be used outside the kitchen. Besides having a wide variety of health properties, you may be surprised to discover that this great spice has all kinds of ingenious uses too!
While garlic is an important ally for natural health, its functions extend beyond the more widely known uses.
Basil is not only great with food, it is thought to have a number of medicinal properties (it can be used as an antibiotic, blood sugar balancer and stress reducer), it has various skin and hair benefits. Black pepper, just like table salt, has an unexpected list of alternative uses that extend beyond seasoning your meals. Small rooms and houses may lack visual space, but here are some useful tips on how you can make them look bigger than they actually are. Do it yourself - an easy to prepare "goo" that is fun for kids and can double as an efficient cleaner. If you want to save yourself some time in the kitchen, follow these fantastic veggie chopping tips from the experts! Adding these words to your everyday vocabulary will surely make a difference in your attitude towards life.
This exercise involves slow breathing and it works wonders for those anxiety-filled situations you just can't control.
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These 24 food facts will boggle your mind and may even change your perspective on what you eat. Sometimes people need a bit of advice to move on, and who better to give advice than people with experience? If you like to cook, but find spices and herbs to be somewhat confusing – this is a must-read.
If you love mozzarella cheese, you'll be happy to learn that it's very easy to make at home. This infographic is a superb guide to diminishing those negative thoughts and enjoying your time positively. 15 tips that will turn getting ready, finding clothes and looking fantastic into an easy thing to do.
An amazing infographic that will take you down from space, through the atmopshere, into the ground and below it, sharing fascinating facts about our globe along the way! Having spiders in your home is never pleasant, nor are the chemicals normally used to get rid of them.
This quick and easy meditation can be performed by anyone, anywhere; and will relieve your stress in five minutes or less. If you think that you can't have a snack that is both delicious and healthy, have we got news for you! Sauerkraut boasts a triple threat reputation as an immune booster, cancer fighter and digestive aid. Sauerkraut boasts a triple threat reputation as an immunity booster, cancer fighter and digestive aid. A hot dog diet may not earn you brownie points at your next doctor visit, but loading up on sauerkraut might. In a category dominated by exotic berries and dark leafy vegetables, sauerkraut is making a name for themselves in the fight for the ultimate superfood title.
Similar to yogurt, the fermentation process makes cabbage healthier and more digestible than the plant in its raw form.
Get our monthly digital magazine, weekly running content & exclusive offers delivered to your inbox. Get our monthly digital magazine, weekly running content & exclusive offers delivered to your inbox. The study teams concluded that "probiotics did not reduce crying or fussing in infants with colic, nor was it effective in improving infant sleep, maternal mental health, family or infant functioning, or quality of life", however they did add that "these findings differ from previous smaller trials of selected populations and do not support a general recommendation for the use of probiotics to treat colic in infants". You can read more about strains, and the importance of looking at particular strains of bacteria, here. We don't therefore believe it is all doom and gloom for this strain of Lactobacillus reuteri, as it may well possess different properties that are more useful elsewhere rather than treating babies with colic. Christian has built a strong reputation amongst local midwives and health visitors who often recommend him for babies experiencing digestive discomfort and colic. We're very impressed with the reviews, which include, "I cannot recommend this book highly enough. With his vast clinical experience and fantastic testimonials we are tempted to side with Christian when he says that, "You simply can't say that probiotics are of no help in colic as it is a multi-factorial problem.
Yet no matter how careful you are, the inevitable cold or flu can strike, often without warning.
But scientists at the University of Florida have found that this pungent herb (2.56 grams daily) also reduces the duration of cold or flu by as much as 61 percent. A staple in traditional Chinese medicilate thene, astragalus is rich in polysaccharides, flavonoids, trace minerals, and amino acids. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 60 flu patients found that people taking elderberry got relief from their symptoms four days earlier than their placebo-pumping counterparts. A deficiency impairs immune function—including inflammatory response—and increases susceptibility to infection. The secret to its healing powers lies in the herb’s natural antioxidants, especially oleuropein—a compound with antibacterial and antifungal properties. Studies suggest that the oxygen molecules in carvacrol team up with the water in your body to create heat that kills bacteria.
When joined in the proper ratio of 100:1 with special sugar molecules called sterolins, plant sterols help regulate immune function. New research also shows that some probiotic strains tame intestinal inflammation that can lead to future health problems.
Based on highly diluted non-toxic remedies, homeopathy safely stimulates the body’s own inherent healing capacity. One study found that taking a proprietary over-the-counter homeopathic medicine within 24 hours of the onset of the flu eased or completely resolved symptoms in 63 percent of patients within just 48 hours. She is also the owner of Kim Erickson’s Everyday Organics—a natural skin care company that targets the causes of premature aging. But this versatile dairy product has a number of other uses too, some of which extend beyond eating and drinking it. It increases the production of gamma interferons, which play a key role in fighting allergies and viral infections. To relieve the symptoms, apply a thick layer of plain, cool yogurt directly to your burn and rinse off with cold water after 20 minutes. In fact, a yogurt formula may be given as a replacement for milk formula in infants and young children to relieve persistent diarrhea.
Yogurt cheese can be used as a spread on bagels, toast and crackers and may be used as an alternative to cream cheese in cheesecake recipes.
Apply the yogurt to acne prone areas and let it sit for 30 minutes, then wash off with lukewarm water. As the original probiotic superfood, sauerkraut’s tart-tasting qualities are equivalent to your staple dairy products, as its composed of good bacteria and antioxidants created during the fermentation process.
When not fermented, cabbage contains goitrogens that can block the production of thyroid hormones, which are essential to proper development of our cells. You'll also get access to top running content including training plans and stories on gear, nutrition and recovery. The press for example reported some time ago the headline 'probiotics are not effective in reducing diarrhoea'.

Christian says, "I have thoroughly researched the medical literature on the use of probiotics in helping colic and the evidence certainly points to great benefits.
In my clinical opinion I would say probiotics will benefit most colic cases and I would go so far as to say that they would benefit babies in to their future life too". As we grow older our ability to fight off disease diminishes, possibly because the body is less able to produce immune cells. It does this by increasing the number of immune cells, especially NK cells and gamma-delta T-cells. Studies show that it can stimu immune system by increasing the activity of NK cells, macrophages, and T-cells. Another study tested elderberry against 10 different strains of the influenza virus and found that it stopped all of the flu strains dead in their tracks by significantly boosting cytokine production.
When pitted against a variety of common infectious microbes, oregano oil can kill Salmonella, E. Studies of patients suggest that this dynamic duo selectively increases lymphocytes, which can boost underactive immunity and modulate an overactive immune system.
An excellent source of beta carotene, carrots support the mucus membranes that line the respiratory and intestinal tracts, making it harder for pathogens to enter the bloodstream. Selenium, plentiful in shellfish, helps white blood cells produce cytokines—proteins that help clear viruses out of the body.
This popular leafy green vegetable is loaded with folate and vitamin C, which aid in DNA repair and help the body produce new cells and tissues. They are packed with lycopene and vitamin C, and studies suggest that a diet rich in cooked tomato products can lower free radical damage to immune cells by up to 38 percent. This tangy fermented food provides beneficial probiotics that help protect against harmful bacteria and fosters white blood cell production. Often referred to as “like cures like,” homeopathic medicine is based on the belief that symptoms are a sign that the body is trying to heal itself against illness. As this study suggests, it’s important to begin taking a homeopathic dilution as soon as you notice symptoms.
Erickson has been featured in numerous publications and most recently in the documentary America the Beautiful.
In fact, yogurt can be used as an excellent skin and hair care product, primarily due to its mild astringent qualities and its high quantities of zinc and lactic acid - making it a great, natural, hydration treatment. Studies conducted on yogurt also found that it can help prevent gastrointestinal infections. Massage the blend into your skin gently in a circular motion and rinse off with lukewarm water. The lactic acid found in yogurt helps dissolve dead skin and can be used to prevent wrinkles and fine lines as we age. During fermentation, goitrogens are eliminated and produce an increased level of B vitamins, including vitamin B12 – a key supplement for vegans.
This was covered following the results of a Lancet study analysing two strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum bacteria against a placebo. On top of this and most importantly for me, the colic symptoms of the babies I see lessen and their parents can see the improvements quickly".
These everyday illnesses usually run their course until the body builds up enough immunity to fight off the infection on its own.
Take 5 ml daily for prevention, and 15 ml one to two times daily for acute viral infections. Too much iron is just as harmful as too little since the immune system keeps invading microbes in check by depriving them of this key mineral. Just make sure you opt for lean cuts and enjoy it no more than twice a week to keep saturated fat to a minimum. Salmon and other fatty, cold-water fish are rich in omega-3 fats, which reduce inflammation. Since white blood cells rely on the availability of this key antioxidant to reproduce, enjoying this juicy fruit often can help you maintain adequate glutathione levels.
As such, homeopathy works with your whole body to make you well instead of simply suppressing symptoms. Empty a pint of yogurt into a large, fine-meshed strainer to catch the liquid that drains from the yogurt. The study concluded that these two bacteria strains do not help reduce either antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, or symptoms of the superbug Clostridium difficile, yet the media reporting the study blanketed all bacteria species and strains together as being ineffective in helping reduce diarrhoea symptoms.
Interestingly he believes that using a supplement containing probiotics is of particular benefit in those babies whose mothers have been taking antibiotics, or have undergone a C-section delivery.
Along the way, the immune system learns to identify various microorganisms so it can defend against them in the future. Exposure to chronic stress, a lack of physical activity, and a steady diet of nutritionally bankrupt foods can weaken even the strongest immune system.
Also, iron is necessary for bacteria to reproduce, so if you supplement with iron and develop an infection, take a break from it.
Olive leaf’s bacteria-busting abilities have been shown in several studies to target some extremely harmful microbes including Helicobacter pylori (the ulcer bug) and Staphylococcus aureus.
Since homeopathy stimulates the body’s natural defenses, choose a homeopathic medicine that most closely matches your symptoms. Yogurt will also help soothe an inflamed scalp, reduce hair loss and will help banish split ends. They failed to mention that different strains of the species Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum, of which there are many, may possess different benefits. He says "If the mother or baby has had antibiotics then it is well documented that a high quality probiotic, when taken by the breastfeeding mother has significant benefits to the baby, including the easing of colic type symptoms and decreasing atopic allergies later in life such as eczema and asthma". There are other strains and species altogether that may also be effective in reducing diarrhoea. Saccharomyces boulardii, as just one example, has several clinical trials behind it demonstrating its ability to reduce symptoms of diarrhoea.

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