Supporting Healthy Digestion & More
Probiotics are friendly bacteria our bodies rely on for metabolizing foods, absorbing nutrients, and preventing colonization of harmful bacteria. Acidophilus and bifidobacteria in particular promote a balanced intestinal tract by producing organic compounds - such as lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and acetic acid - that increase the acidity of the intestine and inhibit the reproduction of many harmful bacteria.
The numbers of friendly bacteria decline as we age, but the use of antibiotics, cortisone, and birth control pills; radiation and chemotherapy treatments; environmental pollutants, food additives, alcohol, tobacco smoke, stress and poor dietary habits continue and can all negatively impact the delicate balance of friendly bacteria. "Friendly bacteria" are especially necessary during outbreaks of harmful viruses and after exposure to food poisoning.
When harmful microbes dominate the intestinal environment, they can cause infections, disease, or produce byproducts from their growth that are associated with causing cancer. When friendly bacteria dominate the intestinal environment, the odds are that your body won't even know that it has ever been under siege by harmful microbes!
Bifidobacteria Support Healthy Small Intestine and Liver
Bifidobacteria were discovered in 1899 by Dr. Tissier of the Pasteur Institute, France, from the feces of healthy, breast-fed infants. Bifidobacteria are concentrated in the lower small intestine and large intestine, and act as guards, preventing harmful microbes from invading the small intestine where most digestion and nutrient absorption takes place.
As for the liver, it carries out many chemical functions in the body, including decomposing and detoxifying poisonous substances absorbed from the intestine. Secretions of harmful microbes can strain the liver, but a healthy population of Bifidobacteria act to suppress harmful microbes, thus lightening the toxin load.
Each of Bifidobacteria strains in our Probiotics 16 has specific function:
- B. breve - beneficial for healthy bowel function and may alleviate digestive inflammation by stimulating an immune response.
- B. bifidum - helps maintain healthy mucosal on the intestinal walls and is reported to have immune strengthening properties.
- B. infantis - less "robust" than other bacteria, but a decline in these bacteria is always accompanied by a rise in dangerous bacteria such as E. coli or Salmonella.
- B. lactis - resists acid digestion and may have antibiotic capabilities.
- B. longum - eliminates nitrates and studies show that maybe able to influence an immune response.
Lactobacilli for Immune Function and Heart Health
Lactobacillus is the body's first line of defense against invading harmful microbes and opportunists such as yeast that can take over a weakened immune system. Because lactobacilli can live in an environment regardless of oxygen, they have the ability to use up all the oxygen in their environment leaving their harmful competitors, who require oxygen, unable to survive.
Research also supports the role of Lactobacilli in lowering cholesterol levels for heart health. Studies in animals and humans have shown that ingestion of Lactobacillus acidophilus lowered blood cholesterol levels. Some researchers believe this is a result of the friendly bacteria's abilities to break down and perhaps even metabolize and absorb cholesterol.
Our Probiotics 16 contains 9 different strains of Lactobacillus:
- L. acidophilus - a superb antibiotic against foreign invaders, particularly yeast and commonly found in yogurt.
- L. brevis - adheres to the gut epithelial cells, decreasing intestinal permeability
- L. bulgaricus - a transient bacterium, commonly found in yogurt. It promotes healthy digestion. It also produces a combination of acid and hydrogen peroxide to defend against foreign bacteria.
- L. casei - a transient bacterium that helps to maintain a healthy mucosal barrier, which assists in preventing the colonization of intrusive bacteria. Studies also indicate that L. casei may inhibit the binding of Listeria bacteria, which is found most commonly after consumption of contaminated dairy products or raw veggies.
- L. gasseri - easily can survive passage through the gastrointestinal tract by adhering to the intestinal tissues. It may help inhibit Helicobacter pylori colonization and support anti-inflammatory response. May also reduce cholesterol levels in humans.
- L. paracasei - attenuates muscle contraction of the bowel promoting regularity.
- L. plantarum - supports restoration of normal post-antibiotic flora in the intestine.
- L. rhamnosus - helps to maintain healthy mucosal barrier on the intestinal wall, therefore promoting regularity and healthy bowel function.
- L. salivarius - studies show that this strain has the ability to inhibit colonization by Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that causes digestive illnesses.
Streptococcus and Lactococcus Strains Too!
To round out our Probiotics 16 formula, we included two additional strains. One is Streptococcus thermophilus. Streptococcus is a normal inhabitant of the human body.S. thermophilus acts as antioxidant scavenging for free radicals and also stimulates an immune response. It also helps to maintain a healthy mucosal barrier to help prevent the colonization of intrusive bacteria.
The second is Lactococcus lactis, commonly responsible for the souring of milk, and it appears to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.
Probiotics for Constipation
The elderly often suffer from chronic constipation, whether because of less than optimum diets and nutrition, lack of physical activities, etc. Many have relied on laxatives for so long that their bodies no longer work on "autopilot." Friendly bacteria in probiotics deliver dramatic improvements in nutritional uptake as well as improved elimination.
Probiotics and the Aging Female
When the normal colonies of "friendly bacteria" in the gut are depleted for any reason, changes occur that cause excessive amounts of estrogen to be eliminated, instead of being recycled by the body. The end result is that very low levels of this important hormone are present in the bloodstream. Another reason to keep friendly bacteria levels high is that they produce lactic acid, which has been shown to improve utilization and absorption of calcium -- so critical to maintaining healthy bone mass!
Shelf-Stability in Formula
Traditionally probiotic products have required refrigeration for any chance of cell survival, but new technology allows for probiotics to maintain high cell counts (greater the 50%) even after 12 months of shelf life (stored in a cool, dry place). So, recommendation: Either buy just what you need for the next few months or else refrigerate when you receive to ensure maximum product effectiveness.
- The use of antibiotics while taking probiotics may decrease effectiveness of probiotics by killing a significant number of the live "friendly" organisms. Administration of antibiotics and probiotics should be separated by at least two hours.
- When beginning a probiotic regimen to combat constipation, it is important to realize that, depending on the level of toxicity, the die-off of toxins may result in side effects, specifically gas, bloating, and possible headaches. It may be best to build up your body's comfort with probiotics gradually
Probiotics are available at the office,be sure to check themout when you come in.
How do Probiotics differ from Pancreatic Enzymes?
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