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In your digestive system there is a community of flora, or naturally-occurring bacteria, that it's important to keep in balance. An intestinal mucus layer lines the digestive tract and acts as a barrier and protection to keep bad bacteria out of your body.
Probiotics help stimulate the production of the protective mucus layer and can also line the mucus layer to add an extra level of defense. Immune cells in your intestinal immune system are constantly on guard, testing all the things that enter your body to decide whether they are good (let them in) or bad (keep them out).
The ubiquitous use of prescribed antibiotics, over the counter drugs and our feedlot animals impair beneficial bacteria necessary for a healthy digestive system. Beneficial bacteria, known as friendly bacteria or probiotics (for life), lives in the gut in massive amounts. The Lactobacillus family contains many types of friendly bacteria that help the body’s resiliency to illness and disease.
Bifidobacterium is found mainly in the large intestine and also in the lower part of the small intestine. Due to our lifestyles, the body constantly fights the invasion of bad bacteria and toxins that lead to chronic illness and disease. A study was conducted in Sweden in a company examining the effect of probiotics on their ability to improve work-place health by reducing short term sick-leave caused by respiratory or gastrointestinal infections.
Everyone is exposed to toxins and bacteria on a daily basis so it is not only prudent, but necessary to take probiotics for preventive measures.
Contrary to popular belief, consuming frozen yogurt, fruity dairy yogurts, yogurt covered raisins or nuts, does not provide any protection. You may wish to consult an integrative health professional familiar with the benefits of friendly bacteria.
As always, a wholistic lifestyle that includes a good multi-vitamin, healthy eating, exercise, stress management, rest and moderation of behavior (temperance) are important.
Probiotics or friendly bacteria are able to alter the intestinal microflora balance favorably. If you are - under stress, taking antibiotics, traveling or simply want to promote your health, taking probiotics daily will maintain the health-promoting good bacteria in your intestinal tract.
People with flourishing intestinal colonies of beneficial bacteria are better equipped to fight the growth of disease-causing bacteria. If your normal bacteria become depleted or the balance of bacteria is disturbed, potentially harmful bacteria can overgrow, outnumber helpful bacteria and become established, causing digestive and other health problems. When selecting a probiotic, it is important to select a high quality product that will survive the acidity of the stomach. Probiotics are found largely in fermented foods, and the MVPs usually mentioned are yogurt, kefir and kimchi. This blue-green alga, available in powders and supplements, is super-rich in protein: It contains all necessary amino acids. Although sullied by its association with hot dogs, sauerkraut is fermented cabbage, and it contains natural compounds that have potent cancer-fighting and belly-slimming properties. These little green buggers have come a long way from their days as an unsung bar food: Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus pentosus have been isolated in olives, fed by the brine in which they’re soaked. LOSE UP TO 16 POUNDS IN 14 DAYS with Zero Belly Diet—the New York Times bestselling book from Eat This, Not That! The product may be stored at ambient temperatures (store in the cupboard rather than the refrigerator).
These are manufactured in the UK to GMP standards and labelled to meet all current UK legislation.
The product is supplied in "foil-fresh" packaging to protect the product on its journey to you and to maximise its life once opened. Probiotic organisms include the Lactobacillus species, Bifidobacterium species, Streptococcus thermophilus and Saccharomyces boulardii, which is a type of yeast. The amount of probiotics in traditional yogurts does not contain a high enough dose to treat infectious diarrhea.
Sometimes the balance of bacteria in your digestive system gets thrown off from too much stress, processed carbohydrates in your diet, or after you’ve had some sort of bacterial sickness. Probiotics can help restore your body’s balance of good bacteria by replenishing it with live organisms while also encouraging growth of even more beneficial bacteria.
In 2012, Psychology Today ran an article about the Human Microbiome Project, which conducted research on how the bacteria in our bodies might communicate with our brains. One particular study involving mice found animals that received probiotics seemed to be less stressed than mice in the control group.  More specifically, the probiotic test subjects released less corticosteroid in response to stress. Slightly more recent studies have involved humans instead of lab rats, and the results have been similar. The women in the study were shown images of angry or frightened faces while functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans monitored the participants’ brains for certain responses. Women with probiotics in their diets showed decreased activity in regions of the brain that regulate emotion, cognition and sensory processing when presented with the stress-inducing imagery. For instance, a study from England’s University of Oxford tested 45 people between the ages of 18 and 55. All this mounting evidence certainly suggests there’s something to the gut-brain connection.
He tells a story about one particular young woman who came in suffering from symptoms of OCD and ADHD. Greenblatt states he has treated hundreds of his psychiatric patients for dysbiosis – which is an imbalance of  microbes in and on the body. Those of us promoting natural health centered around good nutrition are not surprised at all by the findings detailed in this article. Still – it is very encouraging to see mainstream medicine leaning towards acceptance of probiotics and improved health.
What’s most-exciting is that all this research could provide answers to some of the extremely perplexing mental health issues that plague people and their families. But more and more health experts are beginning to agree that taking probiotics could be beneficial to certain mental health patients.
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As a Type 1 diabetic he has many of his own health and nutrition challenges and he believes in helping people finding their own way to improved wellness. Yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, olives, kimchi – these things have a very deep connection with each other and it isn’t just that they’ve been gaining popularity in the last few years. Probiotics are beneficial gut bacteria that can be found naturally in fermented foods or taken as a supplement found in most drug stores. The two most common types of healthy bacteria are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria.
When a food naturally ferments, the different species of Lactobacillus bacteria that live on the surface of the food (like cabbage in sauerkraut and kimchee) multiply.
Historically, people fermented foods as a preservation method due to the lactic and acetic acids and antimicrobials present.
It can also help people who are lactose intolerant with digesting lactose, the sugar found in milk products. Do keep in mind that just because a food is fermented does not mean it contains probiotics.
Barbara Lee is a traveling blogger who loves healthy food, conservation work, and the environment. There are three different ways that the digestive system and probiotics help build your immunity.
They also help out-compete the bad bacteria that may cause harm, and they secrete chemicals that kill off some bad bacteria. Probiotics help stimulate and exercise the immune cells by going through a sampling and screening process that acts just like a fire drill.
The gut is responsible for digesting foods aided by several organs, specific enzymes, good bacteria and nutrients.
Lactobacillus acidophilus is present mainly in the small intestine and works at lowering cholesterol levels, LDL levels and killing candida yeasts. These friendly bacteria prevent toxicity that comes from nitrites in food, helps detoxify bile and assists in the management of some liver conditions and illnesses.
Because friendly bacteria have such powerful ability to rid the body of toxicity and unfriendly organisms, it is necessary to consume them on a regular basis. They inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria as well as promote good digestion and boost immune function and thus increase resistance to inflammation and infection.
These friendly bacteria or probiotics, form a protective barrier to keep bad bacteria out, maintaining a healthy intestinal tract. This is important because the intestines are the largest immune organ in the body and promoting their health strengthens your body's overall natural defenses. Helpful bacteria only provide a protective effect when a proper balance is maintained among all the different bacteria that normally reside in your intestine. These harmful bacteria are known as pathogenic bacteria and they have the ability to cause gastro-intestinal problems such as diarrhea or abdominal pain if not kept in check by the beneficial bacteria. That switches on your fat genes, leading you to gain more weight than someone eating the same amount of food and spending the same amount of time in the gym.
But probiotic sources go way beyond breakfast and Korean BBQ; you can consume them as part of a wide variety of meals and snacks. Chocolate-loving microbes in the gut convert the candy into anti-inflammatory compounds, researchers at the American Chemical Society found.
Unpasteurized sauerkraut is rich in probiotic Lactobacillus bacteria — it even has more than yogurt! You are obviously concerned about your own health so ensure you only buy the highest quality natural health products.
She held research positions at the University of California, Davis, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, and Kaiser Permanente while pursuing her science degree.
Bad bacteria has grown and multiplied, so now your stomach is overpopulated with bad bacteria. These organisms have been researched extensively and are the probiotics most commonly used to treat medical conditions. It seems that a healthy and balanced digestive system may be quite important to your mental health. It could help with conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), constipation, and diarrhea caused by a bacterial or viral infection. For one thing, we’ve known for some time that there is a part of the nervous system called the vagus nerve.
This is important because elevated levels of stress hormone could lead to anxiety and depression as well as other health complications – like heart disease. In 2013, UCLA researchers released findings of a study involving healthy women who consumed probiotics.
The other women remained stable or actually showed an increase in that sort of brain activity. But there is also a growing number of stories about people who’ve overcome mental health issues after straightening out their digestive problems first. Greenblatt ran some tests, which found Mary had high levels of a chemical byproduct that comes from a harmful type of intestinal bacteria. If your digestive tract can play a role in your immune system strength, why not brain function and mental health as well? In addition to easing anxiety and depression, possibilities include hope for more serious things like autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. In fact, taking a probiotic could be a smart idea for just about anyone looking to maintain optimal health.. He's also blogged on small business marketing, personal finances and now health and wellness. This leads to a tangy taste (due to acid production by the bacteria) and millions of beneficial bacteria for your gut.
Fermentation also helped to bring a diversity of flavors, aromas, and textures to food, and increase the nutritive value with proteins, amino acids, vitamins, and fatty acids. Studies have shown that a healthy variety of good bacteria in your gut can help with digestion, intestinal inflammation, weight loss, mood, immune system functioning, and more.
Probiotics are also doctor recommended for travelers who may be going to areas with different bacteria as a way to prevent diarrhea.


There are different gut bacteria for digesting different types of foods, but complex foods, like an apple, require more variety in gut digestion than a simple food, like a piece of candy. For example, foods that are pasteurized lack the healthy bacteria that aid in digestion, like pickles or other picked vegetables.
With a BS in Psychology and previous work experiences in the legal field and food industry, Barbara enjoys pursuing new experiences and living a simple life on the road. So, probiotics help prepare your immune cells to fight off any bad bacteria that come their way! The digestive process feeds the cells and provides energy for life, however the average American diet assaults the digestive processes with toxins that come from our foods, water and air. Ten out of 94 workers using the probiotic took sick time during the study compared to 23 in the placebo group.
This isn’t a Fear Factor flashback: Probiotics, the helpful good bacteria in your digestive tract, play an essential role in maintaining a healthy weight. In fact, overweight men and women were put on a calorie-restricted diet and given either a placebo or a probiotic supplement for 12 weeks, in a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
When the cocoa reaches your belly’s digestive juices and enzymes, it’s feasted on by your belly’s good gut bugs, which ferment it into anti-inflammatory compounds. Japanese researchers found that green peas contain Leuconostoc mesenteroides, a potent probiotic that stimulates your immune system, in a 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology. A study published in World Journal of Dairy and Food Sciences found spirulina effective in growing cultures of the helpful bug Lactobacillus acidophilus while killing harmful gut bacteria. The foil pack is comprehensively labelled giving instructions for use and a full list of ingredients to meet current UK legislation.
She has written for the "UC AgHealth News" and co-authored articles published in the "Journal of Nutrition" and other scientific publications.
One way to treat your infectious diarrhea and restore your intestines back to good health is through probiotic therapy.
The classes of probiotics used to treat infectious diarrhea from gastroenteritis, or stomach flu, are Lactobacillus species, Bifidobacterium species and Saccharomyces boulardii. She is currently a primary care physician at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and an assistant professor of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University and has been an assistant professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine and the Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University. While they’re great at targeting harmful bacteria, antibiotics also take out the good guys. They’ve also been shown to improve certain skin issues and help maintain urinary tract as well as vaginal health. It runs from the brain to the abdomen and seems to regulate both the heart and digestive tract. James Greenblatt is not an alternative medicine practitioner, but he does believe in integrative medicine. He had her start taking potent probiotics along with antibiotics and claims her OCD and ADHD symptoms began to disappear after six months.
In addition to being a great source of vitamins and minerals, a diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables is beneficial to our gut bacteria. Some of her most memorable life moments include taking care of endangered parrots on a desert island and diving with sea lions while living in the Galapagos. Furthermore, none of the 26 workers using the probiotics lost any time due to illness compared to nine out of 27 in the placebo group.
Separate Japanese research found that it reduced diabetic kidney disease in rats, and a 2015 study printed in the journal Phytomedicine found it protected mice from H1N1 flu infection. But it will also boost your overall health: Mice fed this strain of bacteria isolated from Chinese sauerkraut had reduced cholesterol levels, in a study published in the World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria are good bacteria that protect you against sickness and disease. The amount of the bacterial species in probiotics is measured as colony-forming units, or CFUs. Twelve weeks later, the women kept losing weight, even if they’d stopped taking the supplements! And one cup packs 34% of your daily recommended dose of vitamin C and a solid, satiating 4 grams of fiber. A constant battle goes on between good and bad bacteria to maintain a healthy balance in your intestine and colon.
Symptoms of viral diarrhea from stomach flu closely resemble symptoms of bacterial diarrhea which is caused by bad bacteria — salmonella, E.
The recommended daily dose of Lactobacillus species or Bifidobacterium species is between 100 million and 35 billion CFUs. The ACS researchers said the amount that seems to be beneficial is the equivalent of two tablespoons of cocoa powder a day, or three-quarters of an ounce of a chocolate (one square is about 1 ounce). Make sure to skip soggy, salty canned peas and add fresh ones to your salads and omelets, or snack on them fresh. Sauerkraut on the shelf will have been pasteurized and is, therefore, less effective; look for “live and active cultures” on the label. However, that healthy balance can be disrupted by two major factors — antibiotics and digestive illnesses. She has a passion for sharing medical knowledge and teaching her patients to empower them, and she has won teaching and patient care awards for her work. Afterward, the men who had taken spirulina supplements were able to run 30 percent longer than the men who had taken a placebo and burned 11% more fat during a run!
Antibiotics do not know the difference between good and bad bacteria, so they kills all bacteria. Infectious diarrhea is caused when viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu or other digestive illness causes bad bacteria to multiply and create an imbalance in your gut and colon.



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