Search Term: " Lactobacillus "
Reasons why Women need probiotics more than men
October 06, 2017 01:14 PM
Probiotics are good bacteria. They can be found in yogurt and many other foods. They aid digestion and have other benefits. This talks about what they do for women. Men need probiotics too but not as much. Women can benefit a great deal from them so should try to incorporate them into their diet. Wome can't take their health seriously enough. There are many problems which can arise if they don't pay attention to what's going on.
"If you have a low probiotic count, you may consider taking probiotic supplements too which are available in the form of pills, liquids or nutritional supplementary powders."
Read more: https://reportshealthcare.com/reasons-women-need-probiotics-men/
Could a probiotic be the answer to postnatal depression?
October 04, 2017 01:14 PM
A probiotics could be the answer to postnatal depression. A trial has found lower rates of postnatal anxiety and depression with something called lactobacillus. Probiotics in pregnancy can be very useful for preventing postnatal depression and anxiety. A study that was done in New Zealand has suggested this. The findings have come from a randomized and controlled trial of daily supplements that were given to 423 women in Wellington as well as Auckland. The study was very precise.
"When assessed at six and 12 months after birth, mothers in the probiotic treatment group reported significantly lower depression scores"
Read more: https://www.6minutes.com.au/news/could-probiotic-be-answer-postnatal-depression
6 Amazing Health Benefits Of Honey
July 01, 2017 04:14 PM
Honey has many amazing health benefits, including boosting immunity, improving sleep, aiding in weight loss, treating burns and injuries, preventing heart disease, and even making your hair silky. The reason honey is such a miracle food is its rich nutrients and antibiotic properties. In addition to the probiotic Lactobacillus Kunkeii, honey contains vitamins B6 and C, which help in lowering bad cholesterol, as well as anti-oxidants. The health benefits of honey should not be overlooked.
"This easily available golden liquid treats you from both inside as well as outside because of its rich nutrient content and anti-biotic properties."
Read more: http://doctor.ndtv.com/living-healthy/6-amazing-health-benefits-of-honey-1717538
Do You Need a Probiotic? Here's How to Find Out
May 10, 2017 08:44 AM
The idea of taking a probiotic might seem off-putting at first, after all, you are going against your common knowledge of wanting to keep bacteria out of your body by putting it in. However, scientists are continuously finding more reasons why you should take probiotics and symptoms that can be treated by them. Gas and lactose intolerance are just two of the internal problems that probiotics can fix. Probiotics can also be helpful in other arenas: they can be good for your dry skin, be a safeguard against unsanitary drinking water and can help fight the nasty side effects of antibiotics. While the mere thought of putting bacteria in your body might make your skin crawl, keep in mind that it can also be good for it!
"Some studies have suggested possible linkage of lactobacillus supplementation and the treatment and prevention of yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, urinary tract infections."
Read more: http://www.rd.com/health/wellness/do-i-need-a-probiotic/
Probiotics for Oral Health
Bacteria usually makes people think of organisms that cause disease. The truth is that there are countless types of bacteria and while some of them do cause disease, there are millions of bacteria that are beneficial to the body. For optimum health, the body should consist of about 85% healthy bacteria.
These healthy bacteria help with;
Sourcing Healthy Bacteria
The information that the human body is dependent on good bacteria for healthy functionality only recently came out and with it came a plethora of food products designed to promote the growth of healthy bacteria such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG.
Food that are good for the production of healthy bacteria in the body are called probiotics. Fermented foods such as yogurt, miso and sauerkraut are great probiotics however these food have to be unpasteurized as the pasteurization process kills all of the bacteria in food, both good and bad.
While most bacteria is present inside people's guts, there are some that occur both in the intestinal tract and the mouth. Streptococcus salivarius is a major member of the microbes that make up the healthy bacteria inside of a person's mouth.
The Colonization of S. Salivarius in the Mouth
Oral Streptococci are one of the first bacteria to colonize the mouths of newborn humans. For bacteria to colonize the mouth, it must first avoid the body's natural defenses against colonization from foreign microbes and resist the forces of saliva. To resist these forces, streptococci have developed adhesives that interact with the exposed areas of the mouth to keep them securely fastened to the area that they wish to colonize.
There are two main types of surfaces in the mouth. These are the hard and non-shedding surfaces of the teeth, and soft tissues whose surfaces have cells that are constantly being replaced such as the tongue and cheeks. S. mutans and S. Sangunins have tropisms that enable them to stick to the surfaces of the teeth while S. Salivarius has adapted tropisms that enable it to adhere onto the soft tissues.
All of these areas of the mouth are constantly coated with saliva. Saliva provides a variety of molecules that are ideal for streptococcal bacteria to interact with and adhere to. The thin films of saliva within the mouth vary in thickness and chemical composition at different points. Therefore different locations in the mouth consist of saliva that has more or less favorable receptors to the adherance properties of streptococci. For example, streptococci located on chips in teeth exhibit varied properties in their ability to bind to salivary proteins in those locations.
Streptococcus and Healthy Mouths
Streptococci's process of colonization makes it difficult for pathogenic bacteria to stick to the host. With the emergence of the knowledge that bacteria in the mouth promotes health, new strains of S. Salivarius such as K12 and K18 have been developed to help fight oral health problems that people deal with every day. These probiotics are designed as mouth washes that a person gargles for direct application. Once there, these probiotics create bacteriocin-like inhibitory substances called Salivaricin A and Salivaricin B that have the ability to fight infection.
Maladies Treated by S. Salivarius
Tonsil Stones: Tonsil stones are produced by the unchecked accumulation of bacteria that produce sulfur. The debris created by this bacteria then accumulates in the tonsils. Oral probiotics break down these unwanted globs.
Bad Breath: When the body sleeps the brain sends signals to the mouth to reduce its production of saliva. The reduction of saliva turns the mouth into an environment that is more favorable to the growth of bacteria that thrives in dry and anaerobic conditions. The proteins produced by S. Salivarius K12 inhibit the growth of this bad-breathe causing bacteria.
Ear infections: The misinformed believe that ear infections start from outside the ear. The truth is that they are caused by bacteria that originates inside the throat and then travels up to the ear canal through the Eustachian tube. Beneficial bacteria such as that found in probiotics prevent this from happening by forming a protective bio-film in the throat that prevents harmful bacteria from progressing.
When it was discovered that bacteria is essential for healthy gut activity, the doctor who made the discovery suggested that if a person is suffering from certain maladies of the stomach or gut or whose healthy gut bacteria has been eviscerated by steroids or antibiotics, said person can get a transplant of bacteria from a healthy donor.
This idea was also applied to a man who came into his doctor complaining of an ear infection. The doctor simply took a sample of ear wax from the person's healthy ear, transferred it into the infected ear and the infection passed.
What Exactly Do Friendly Bacteria Do In The Intestinal Tract?
Contrary to the popular belief that all bacteria are bad for your health, there are friendly bacteria that are very beneficial to your health. The friendly bacteria are mainly found in the colon, which is also known as the large intestine. The small intestine also has friendly bacteria. The first section of the intestine, the esophagus and the stomach are mostly bacteria-free due to the deterrent effect caused by the strong stomach acid as well as the high level of digestive enzymes in this areas.
The friendly bacteria that are found in the intestinal tract are very important to the human digestive system. They are responsible for producing enzymes that digest polysaccharides in plant cell walls. Some of the plant materials that you eat on a daily basis contribute to the fiber in your diet. The fiber is very important for a healthy colon. The enzymes that are released by the friendly bacteria usually make sure that most of the nutritional value of the plant materials that you eat does not go to waste.
Some bacteria in the intestinal tract usually make vitamin K, which is necessary for the formation of new bone and blood clotting. They also make the vitamins from the B group. These types of vitamins are very difficult to get from the food that you eat every day. Attempts of humans to manufacture them have not been fruitful so far. The beneficial bacteria are also very helpful in stimulating the immune system and maintaining optimum pH. They may also help in digesting or breaking down hormones that are not required anymore, drugs, and environmental substances that carry the risk of causing cancer.
Friendly bacteria also prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the intestinal tract. When an ideal pH of the colon is maintained (which should be between 6.7 and 6.9), the growth of harmful bacteria such as shigella which causes diarrhea, salmonella which causes food poisoning, and e.coli which can cause kidney failure and intestinal disease is inhibited. The beneficial bacteria also produce volatile fatty acid which works together with other acids in the intestinal tract to suppress the survival of yeast (candida) and fungus.
Normalizing bowel movements is another function that the friendly bacteria play in the intestinal tract. They do this by decreasing the time that waste products usually take to move through the digestive system. They also aid in correcting diarrhea and stopping constipation. Good bacteria also stimulate the formation of antibodies that protect your body against infectious diseases. They make your immunity strong.
Another important thing that good bacteria do in the digestive system is removing toxic elements. They deactivate various organisms that are in food or produced by other organisms. This is mainly done by a bacterium called Lactobacillus acidophilus. The friendly bacteria are also instruments in reducing cholesterol, improving fat digestion by providing mobile acids, and protecting against cancer.
Gas problems are also eliminated by the good bacteria. They also sweeten your breath, which would be a foul-smelling waste if bad bacteria take over the intestinal tract. Production of lactase enzyme is another thing that good bacteria do. This enzyme is necessary for digesting milk and milk products when they get to the digestive system. Without it, allergies will be a sure thing.
What are the Health Benefits of Spirulina?
November 28, 2013 04:17 PM
Whaty is Spirulina
Spirulina is one of the most nutritious food on the planet. It tastes and smells like seaweed. It's packed with nutritious vitamins and minerals which make it considered as one of the super foods available to humans.Here are some of the health benefits of Spirulina
1. High in antioxidants - Some of the antioxidants found in Spirulina are carotenoids, selenium, vitamin E and phenolic acid.
2. Boosts immune system - Sprirulina helps our body to produce more monocytes and macrophages that kills bad cells and pathogens.
3. Rich in beta carotene - It has ten times richer beta carotene than carrots.
4. Remove toxins in our body - It is rich in phytonutrients like polysaccharides, phycocianin and chlorophyll that cleanse our bodies from the toxic chemicals found in drugs, food, water and air.
5. Allergy treatment - Studies show that it can treat allergic rhinitis and some of its' symptoms like sneezing, nasal discharge, itching and congestion.
6. Cardiovascular Disease - It can reduce the level of bad cholesterol in our body. It prevents hypertension and stroke.
7. Cancer - It removes free radicals and fights cellular degeneration.
8. Diabetes - In a recent study, it was found out that after 12 weeks of taking spirulina, there was a significant drop in blood-fat levels.
9. Aids in digestion - It restrains bad bacteria like candida yeast and e-coli and boosts the healthy level of bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus.
10. Prevents nutritional disease - Such as anemia or iron deficiency. It is rich in iron which is easier to absorb by our body than other iron supplements.
Did you know that Japan is the largest consumer as well as the largest producer of Spirulina? Maybe this is also one of the reasons why Japanese looks 10 years younger than their current age and their life expectancy is 82 which makes them the second country to have the longest life expectancy in the world.
November 10, 2013 09:54 PM
What is Probiotics?
Probiotic are microorganisms that offer health benefits to the host. These types of microorganisms can be found in different foods. Probiotics play important roles in regulating proper digestion and intestinal function by balancing intestinal microflora. They are normally consumed in fermented foods that have live cultures such as yogurt. Probiotics are also available in supplement form such as chewable, liquid and capsules. There’re many different strains of probiotics in the world today. But the common ones are Bifid bacterium and Lactobacillus
These friendly bacteria have a number of important roles as listed below:
Bifidus and acidophilus are important bacteria that live naturally in your intestine. The two bacteria work together in order to balance your digestive system and also increase your immunity. Bifidus and acidophilus supply your body with essential nutrients and vitamins. They produce vitamins B, lactase enzyme, vitamins K. An effective dose should contain 10 billion colony forming units. They work together in order to improve immunity and decrease diarrhea & other digestive problems.Sources of these microorganisms Yougurt
Fresh & unpasteurized yogurt contains bifidus and acidophilus. Pasteurized milk and yogurt will not have these bacteria since the process kill them. Therefore, it is important to opt for those brands that have active and live cultures since they will provide a healthy dose of bacteria.Acidophilus kefir and milk
This is supplemented or fermented milk that have cultures. Kefir is a type of fermented milk drink that is often found flavored or mixed with fruits. These are just a few sources of these microorganisms.
To sum up, taking a probiotic supplements everyday will promote a good health and also help you in preventing diseases. Nevertheless, not all probiotic supplements are made equally. They have different effect in your body.
Acidophilus and Antibiotics
December 20, 2012 07:50 PM
With approximately 70 years ago, the scientist Eli Metchnikoff, Nobel Award,discovered that in specific areas from southern Europe, people are living much longer than elsewhere. His research led to the conclusion that sour milk, in the the preparation of which also contributes a certain bacterium, occupies a very important place in the diet of these people.Metchnikoff named this bacteria "Lactobacillus Bulgaricus".
Further research has shown that there is a bacteria, more important than this, called "acidophilus", who manages to exist in the intestine. This is particularly important because most useful bacteria from the intestine disappear in as little as five days.
Acidophilus reduces cholesterol levels, helps the absorption of amino acids, fat and lactose. It also have a very important role in the synthesis of vitamin B, which is so important for the body. Acidophilus is one of the bacteria that are not harmful, and greatly help the proper functioning of the digestive system. This bacterium acts as a natural antibiotic and can keep us from many diseases of the digestive system and especially of the intestines.Using this supplement is recommended for many ailments, and even if it is called "bacteria" can help a lot.
Throughout history, the discovery of antibiotics has a very important role in the perpetuation of the human race. They help us get rid of many diseases, but it is also important to know that antibiotics have many side effects. Orally administered antibiotics destroy the intestinal flora and cause the growth of candida fungus, generating diarrhea, constipation or other disorders.
It is not recommended to use acidophilus supplements while patients take antibiotics. Antibiotics kill bacteria acidophilus, and thus the effect of this friendly flora will be reduced. For best results, acidophilus supplements are recommended to be taken about two hours after the antibiotics were administered. Acidophilus does not reduce the effectiveness of an antibiotic. In fact, antibiotics will render a acidophilus supplement useless so you are wasting your money when taking the two together.
It is best to finish out a course of antibiotics and follow up with a good strong friendly flora supplement like multidophilus which is an assortment of friendly flora that will re colonize the intestinal tract. If you finish a course of antibiotics, always follow up with friendly flora to prevent candida and other intestinal issues that may arise due to lack of intestinal flora.
Why Is DDS Acidophilus A Better Form Of Friendly Bacteria?
April 03, 2012 10:34 PM
Every day, there is constant battle going on between the healthy bacteria who try to create a healthy environment in the digestive tract and the bad bacteria who try to establish dominance. Along with healthy, beneficial bacteria, your gastro-intestinal tract is susceptible to many harmful bacteria that can enter the body through food and water. And if these bad bacteria keep on multiplying unchecked, they create a bacterial imbalance that can affect your digestive health and lead to problems such as bloating, gas pain, constipation, belching or diarrhea. These harmful bacteria cannot be completely eliminated from the digestive system, but healthy bacteria can be added to the environment of your digestive tract that can counteract the action of bad bacteria. These healthy bacteria also known as probiotics give relief from many types of digestive discomfort, defend your GI tract from free radicals and thus support your immune system function.
Many Bacterial Strains
There are many strains of healthy bacteria such as Lactobacillus DDS, Lactobacillus fermentum, Bifidobacteria bifidum etc. which boost your digestive health. DDS Acdiophilus is by far the most popular strain commonly used due to its multiple benefits in promoting the digestive health. Researched by Metchnikoff and Dr. Shahani's, L. acidophilus DDS is grown and produced under specific conditions and has properties of great significance for digestion and nutrition as well as other physiological conditions like health and prophylaxis. Till now, this strain is well studied to find its beneficial role in achieving optimal digestive health. It works as a prophylactic, nutrient and antibiotic.
Beneficial Properties Of DDS
The beneficial properties of DDS acidophilus, based on proper research and documentation are:
1. Lactobacillus DDS helps in production of enzymes such as proteases and lipases which help in digestion of proteins and fats.
2. It helps in production vitamin B (and folic acid), which plays the role of biocatalyst in digestion of food.
3. DDS acidophilus produces natural antibiotics such as acidophilin that protect digestive gut from harmful bacteria.
4. It helps in maintaining the integrity of intestinal walls so that maximum absorption of nutrients can occur.
5. It aids digestion and helps you prevent digestion related problems. Lacyobacillus DDS inhibits the growth of toxic producing microorganism in the body, such as yeast and hence inhibits recurrent yeast infections.
6. L. acidophilus DDS helps in alleviating the symptoms of lactose
7. Intolerance by producing large quantities of lactase enzyme, which help in digestion of milk based products.
8. Studies have shown that DDS acidophilus contain antitumor and anti-carcinogenic properties.
9. Due to their antibiotic properties, Lactobacillus inhibits several gastrointestinal and uropathogens, thereby preventing many urinary, digestive and vaginal infections.
It helps in metabolism of calcium and reduction of serum cholesterol levels. Hence Lactobacillus supplementation helps in preventing as well as curing osteoporosis.
The benefits of DDS acidophilus are not only limited to digestive system but this exceptionally powerful strain of probiotic bacteria helps in supporting your immune system, energy levels and overall well-being. Lactobacillus is widely researched than any other strain of healthy bacteria that promote optimal digestion.
DDS acidophilus strain is available in supplement form that can be taken to enhance digestive health.
How Fast Does Acidophilus Capsules Work?
October 13, 2011 03:16 PM
Acidophilus And Colon Health
The body contains a normal flora of good microorganisms which is helpful not only in protecting the body from harmful microorganisms but also in the production of several body fluids and enzymes required for its many biological processes. One of the areas of the body which has an abundant number of good bacteria is the digestive tract. As many health experts claim, “Good digestion largely depends on a healthy digestive tract”.
However, these floras of good bacteria in the stomach and intestine can be easily depleted under certain circumstances which include excessive stress and antibiotic therapy. In antibiotic therapy, it is not only the bad bacteria that are destroyed but also the good ones. Antibiotics will greatly lower the population of good bacteria in the stomach and intestine. Under stressful conditions, the good bacteria may be gradually destroyed by the bad bacteria inside the digestive system and since the body is under stress, it cannot produce enough number of good bacteria which can outnumber the bad bacteria. Good thing, there are supplements which can increase the number of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. These are called probiotics. One of the most common probiotics is Lactobacillus acidophilus. This is effective in adding more good microorganisms in the digestive tract thus helping in the maintenance of a healthy and reliable intestinal flora.
Lactobacillus acidophilus consists of billions of live good bacteria which can greatly help in promoting healthy digestive system and good digestion. Most studies revealed that the improvement of digestion would be apparent about a week or two. Probiotics supplements can be used everyday and can be taken together with prebiotic supplements. Prebiotics, on the other hand, are not live cultures of good bacteria but are supplements to help the existing good bacteria inside the digestive tract to produce more good bacteria. The two can effectively work hand in hand to improve digestion.
Lactobacillus acidophilus can help defend the body against harmful microorganisms. When it is used by the body, its by–product called hydrogen peroxide can make an unfriendly environment for bad bacteria. This toxic environment helps kill and eliminate bad bacteria thus maintaining the health of the digestive system. Lactobacillus acidophilus can also produce certain enzymes which can be helpful in the breakdown and absorption of food nutrients which are essential to the human body. The best widely – known source of Lactobacillus acidophilus is yogurt. It is easily discernible because of its sour taste due to its lactic acid content produced by the billions of Lactobacillus acidophilus. Other food products which are considered as good source of Lactobacillus acidophilus are sauerkraut, kefir, aged cheese and many other fermented products. Lactobacillus acidophilus is also available in the form of pill supplements. One pill approximately has an amount of three billion live cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus depending on the brand you purchase for internal use.
If you have ever been on antibiotics, you should be taking acidophilus daily!
Where And What Sources Can I Get Probiotics From?
October 11, 2011 12:37 PM
Where Can I Get Probiotics From?
Probiotics are not uncommon to the ear ordinary individuals. You may have heard this term on TV and radio or have read this on a newspaper or internet article. Probiotics are considered to be live microorganisms which pose many benefits to human health especially to the digestive system. According to the World Health Organization, Probiotics: "live microorganisms which when consummed in adequate amounts have a health benefit to the host." Probiotics is a general term. The widely used types of Probiotics include Lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria and their different species and strains.
Another good Probiotic is not a bacteria but yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii. Though it may be a different microorganism, but still it offers positive health effects. These beneficial microorganisms are commonly supplied to the body by eating fermented food items such as yogurt and soy yogurt. There are also some fermented products which are specially added with live active good bacteria to improve the health of the gastric environment.
Probiotics are found to be beneficial to the body because of its ability to significantly improve the intestinal microbial balance. It acts by inhibiting harmful microorganisms and toxin - producing bacteria inside the gastrointestinal system from causing harm to the body. These microorganisms also aid the good bacteria which are naturally found inside the gastrointestinal system of the human body.
Probiotics can be acquired from food or dietary supplements. The food items which are considered to be great sources of Probiotics are yogurt, fermented milk, miso, tempeh, soy and soy products as well as certain juices. Other great sources of Probiotics include Aged cheese, Cottage cheese, beer, kefir, pickled ginger, brine– cured pickles, Sauerkraut and certain kinds of wine. Dairy products aside from fermented milk which are rich in Probiotics include acidophilus milk and buttermilk. These dairy products are also fermented and cultured with the potent Probiotics Lactobacillus acidophilus and Streptococcus lactis, respectively. Dietary supplements of Probiotics may come in the form of capsules, tablets or powders. The good bacteria may have been naturally present from the raw material used or added during the formulation of such probiotic dietary supplement.
Keep in mind that Probiotics are different from Prebiotics (Inulin). The latter are indigestible food ingredients which can relatively stimulate the growth and activity of the normal bacterial flora of the intestines. When these two are combined, they form a symbiotic effect by working hand in hand with each other.
Good bacteria are normally present inside our gut system. However, with the effect of certain health conditions and poor lifestyle, these friendly and beneficial microorganisms may be depleted and not reinforced with new healthy ones immediately. This normal bacterial flora of the digestive system is important for maintaining the health of the digestive system thereby improving the general health of the person. These good bacteria are also helpful in inhibiting and regulating the growth of harmful microorganisms found in the digestive system. Instances which can significantly decrease the number of good bacteria in the gut include antibiotic therapy, food poisoning, alcohol intake, stress and poor diet.
What Is The Effect Antibiotics Have On Babies And How Does Acidophilus Help?
October 11, 2011 12:21 PM
Normally, the human body has its own collection of microorganisms which help protect the body from harm microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and the like. The “friendly” or “good” bacteria in the body may be situated on the skin, mucous membranes, digestive tract, reproductive tract and other parts of the body which need a normal flora of good bacteria for protection and enzyme production.
However, these normal floras of microorganisms may become depleted under certain condition such as extreme exposure to stress, poor diet and antibiotic therapy. When babies are infected with harmful microorganisms, antibiotics may be of great help to destroy the invading microorganisms. However, when a person is under antibiotic therapy, it is not only the bad bacteria that are killed but also the good bacteria naturally inhabiting in the human body. The normal floras of the intestines, mouth, and vaginal tract and even on the skin are destroyed as well.
The intention of antibiotic therapy is good. However, it is inevitable that the good microorganisms which are normally residing in the body will be destroyed as well. Among babies, when antibiotics are given and the good bacteria of the body are destroyed, the body has an increased susceptibility to allow the overgrowth of yeast which can lead the baby to suffer from diarrhea and anal or oral thrushes.
Indeed, the normal flora of microorganism may be depleted due to antibiotic therapy. Good thing is that there are available supplements formulated to increase the population of these good bacteria inside the body. These are called probiotics. One most common and useful probiotic is Lactobacillus acidophilus. This is a good strain of bacteria which helps in improving intestinal health by enhancing the growth of intestinal flora. Babies are usually given with Lactobacillus acidophilus supplement to help the baby’s body repopulate the normal flora of good microorganisms, thus helping in the prevention of yeast overgrowth and infections.
Lactobacillus acidophilus can be acquired from fermented products such as milk, cheese, yogurt and kefir. And with its great benefit to human health, Lactobacillus acidophilus is now made available in the form of supplements. You can purchase Lactobacillus acidophilus supplements in powder form for infants. The powder may be applied on the nipples of breastfeeding mothers before every nursing session. The baby will then consume the Lactobacillus acidophilus together with the breast milk. For working mothers who just leave breast milk at home or use formula milk for feeding, Lactobacillus acidophilus may be mixed with the expressed breast milk or formula milk making the probiotic available for the baby. Usually, one teaspoon of Lactobacillus acidophilus powder is mixed into an 8 ounce of milk. For babies who can already eat solid foods, they may consume unflavored and unsweetened yogurt which is rich in live and active Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Doctors and many health experts highly recommend that it is practical to administer antibiotic medications one to two hours before giving the baby probiotic food or supplements. This is to avoid killing of the probiotics given and allowing the body to get the maximum benefit of the probiotic.
When Should Probiotics Be Taken?
October 04, 2011 02:00 PM
Probiotics are digestive bacteria which are naturally present in the gastric environment. This type of bacteria is necessary for the proper digestion of food as well as absorption of nutrients. Clinical studies have shown that the digestive tract must contain at least 10 to 15 % good bacteria to have a healthy digestion. In addition, trace amount of bad bacteria is also present inside the digestive tract. This is also important for digestion because these bacteria produce essential enzymes that aid digestion and absorption.
The most popular probiotics is called Lactobacillus acidophilus. This kind of bacteria produces lactic acid inside the stomach when they reproduce. Lactic acid increases the acidity of the gastric environment thus enhancing digestion. The acidity of the digestive tract also helps protect the stomach and intestines from overgrowth of harmful microorganisms such as yeasts, spores, molds and bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella.
The population of good bacteria in the digestive tract is depleted when the individual is on antibiotic therapy or under prolonged stress. Antibiotics are non – selective. This means that they do not only kill the harmful microorganisms but also the good ones. Good thing probiotics can be obtained from the diet such as yogurt, buttermilk, kefir and other fermented products. In addition, probiotics can also be provided by supplements. Therefore, when the person is to have an antibiotic therapy, the physician usually prescribes probiotic supplement to replenish the digestive tract with the killed good bacteria.
Moreover, if probiotics are prescribed, another form of supplement may also be recommended to aid the activity of probiotic supplements. These are called prebiotics which are considered to be fibers, either soluble or insoluble. These prebiotics does not increase the number of good bacteria in the digestive tract. Prebiotics serve as food for good bacteria thus making them healthy and strong against bad bacteria. Sources of prebiotics include fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains.
Other health benefits of probiotics are that it can enhance the health of the immune system and boost the intestinal barrier function. Probiotics also lessen the development of allergies to food and drugs. For lactose – intolerant individuals, yogurts with live and active cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus are recommended to relieve its disturbing symptoms. In addition, probiotics also has an anti – diarrheal property and at the same time helps in the regulation of normal bowel movement.
A good probiotic supplement must have at least ten million live bacteria. Experts also stressed that the good bacteria contained in a supplement must be that of the Lactobacillus strains. This family of bacteria is the only considered group of good bacteria which is strong enough to reach the intestines, bypassing the acidic environment of the stomach. Another helpful tip on what a good probiotic supplement must be is that the product must be guaranteed organic. Organic probiotics ensure that the bacteria are in its natural and live state and have not been destroyed with heat and strong chemicals during processes. Experts also suggest that you must choose those probiotic supplements in which the source is from organic vegetables.
What Makes a Good Probiotic Supplement?
August 09, 2011 01:27 PM
Probiotics refer to a group of microorganisms that help maintain homeostasis in the digestive tract and even produce vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Nutrition experts have long recommended the consumptions of friendly bacteria as they curb the populations of harmful pathogens in the gut. More importantly, studies have shown that they contribute to the prevention of gastrointestinal disorders.
Scientists have identified a diverse variety of bacteria and yeasts that work as microbes. Bacteria that manufacture lactic acid are the most commonly used probiotics in the food and drug industries. They comprise a large number of Gram positive and acid tolerant bacteria that are generally recognized as safe. Most of the species are utilized in the production of yogurt in addition to nutritional supplements.
Multi-strain probiotic supplements are deemed better, though most products contain only one strain of bacteria. Nonetheless, they all work on the same principle. Apart from the fact that they produce lactic acid, almost all strains available in the market possess the enzymes responsible for the synthesis of lactase. Hence, probiotics give special benefits to individuals suffering from lactose intolerance.
Lactobacillus is the genus of bacteria best known as probiotics. They are the most extensively studied of all microorganisms identified to be beneficial for human beings. It is an established fact that they provide a steady supply of nutrients. Their fermentation activity in the gut enables them to synthesize vitamin K and other organic compounds that promote healthy metabolism and lower blood lipid levels.
Some strains prevent constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and many other disorders of the digestive tract. For one, probiotics are capable of digesting complex carbohydrates that usually pass the small intestines largely unchanged. These compounds are beneficial for blood sugar. The by-products add bulk to stool, speed up the passage of fecal matter in the colon, and promote regular bowel movement.
There are strains that release natural antibiotics called bacteriocin. These compounds either directly kill pathogenic microbes present in the gut or suppress protein synthesis necessary for their survival. By so doing, probiotics curtail population growth of harmful bacteria that are often incriminated in the disease activity of ulcerations in the alimentary canal and complications of inflammatory illnesses.
Due to the fact that each strain provides unique benefits to health, it is best to choose a probiotic supplement that contains several strains of friendly bacteria. It is also important to read on the total bacterial count the product promises to deliver. Medical professionals caution the supplementation of probiotics with very high amounts of bacteria as they may disrupt the natural pH in the digestive tract.
Probiotic supplements that require refrigeration are usually not shelf-stable, and thus its quality is likely to get compromised during shipment. There are products that use sustained release technology and formulated to withstand the acidic environment of the stomach. Experts believe that releasing probiotics in the intestines helps as friendly bacteria take up residence in the gut.
Does Aloe Vera Juice Help with Digestive Problems?
March 28, 2011 02:01 PM
Aloe vera and your Colon
Aloe vera juice is one of the oldest herbal remedy for digestive problems that up to now remains in common use. It is extracted from the succulent plant aloe vera, which is known for its medicinal properties all over the world. Cultivation of this medicinal aloe predates written history, and its place of origin has eluded scholars for centuries. The fact that it is widely distributed across the globe today makes it a ready source of medicine in treatment of common digestive ailments. Also, large-scale production has contributed to its growing popularity worldwide.
You may have heard of aloe vera juice as a health tonic. Folk medicine practices in just every continent highly value this medicinal aloe for its cleansing properties, but the first recorded use for illnesses of the gastrointestinal tract is in an Egyptian medical papyrus. In Greek and Roman antiquity aloe vera extracts in the form of juice were prescribed by physicians who practiced humorism to patients afflicted with constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and stomach cramps. Both De Materia Medica by Greek botanist and pharmacologist Pedanius Dioscorides and Naturalis Historia by the Roman natural philosopher Gaius Plinius Secundus made mentions of its medicinal powers known to cleanse not only the alimentary canal but also the blood.
Heals Ulcerations of the Gastrointestinal Tract
It is common knowledge that aloe vera promotes the healing of wounds and other skin lesions. Aloe vera juice works on the same principle when ingested. This medicinal plant contains phytochemicals that increases the rate of healing of skin lesions and damaged epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal tract. There is a growing body of literature devoted to the effects of this medicinal aloe on inflammatory intermediaries present in the processes that are implicated in lesion of body surfaces, including the inner walls of the alimentary canal.
Inhibits Growth of Harmful Strains of Bacteria
Aloe vera juice has long been postulated to have antibacterial properties, and scientific evidence in support of this claim has surfaced in the past few years. One of the reasons why aloe vera speeds up the recovery of wounds is the fact that it is both bacteriostatic and bactericidal in nature, which means it inhibits the growth of bacteria and actively eliminates them at the same time. In addition, aloe vera contains polysaccharides that benefit probiotics, or friendly bacteria. By raising the number of helpful strains of bacteria such as Lactobacillus, populations of harmful bacteria are curbed.
Induces Peristaltic Movement of the Intestines
There is strong scientific evidence that aloe vera juice is particularly beneficial for individuals afflicted with constipation. For one, anthroquinone glycosides found in aloe vera have been noted to accelerate defecation by adding bulk to the impacted feces and attracting water to soften the stool. Furthermore, aloe vera stimulates the muscle cells within the intestinal walls, which consequently produce contractions. The resulting peristaltic movement moves the ball of food, leading to the evacuation of the bowels.
Aloe vera is an excellent remedy to take daily to maintain good intestinal health as well as skin health. Take your aloe daily!
Best Probiotic Supplements For A Healthy Intestinal Tract
December 09, 2010 05:27 PM
Best Protiotic Supplements
It is very important to find the best probiotic supplements, but before you know how to choose the best probiotics, it is important to know what probiotics actually are. Probiotics are bacteria molecules that are beneficial and can also be in the form of yeast. These molecules are live and have been said to act beneficially by some one who uses them in moderation. The word “probiotics” comes from the word pro (for) and bios (life) so this gives the impression that they are increasingly important supplements that can be used in everyday life, which is true.
Probiotic supplements have been known to help with lactose intolerance, the prevention of colon cancer, lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, improving the immune system and preventing harmful bacteria growth under stress, among other beneficial factors.
You may associate yourself with one of the above conditions and are therefore wondering what the best probiotic supplements are for you to use. Everybody’s needs are different so doses vary from person to person. In persons affected with lactose intolerance, the lactic acid bacteria can be digested to convert lactose into acid and then it is easier to digest. This is just a small example of the hundreds of probiotics out there that deal with many conditions.
When it comes to choosing a probiotic there are a few guidelines to follow. Keep in mind that it varies for different conditions and the best probiotic supplements may not be suitable for every person.
Before you turn to probiotics, it is important to know that you are getting enough bacteria. If you are getting less than 10 million live bacteria then you probably want to increase your bacteria intake so that it meets this standard.
It is also important, when looking for the best probiotic supplement, that you look at the ingredients. Generally, it is good if a probiotic contains bacteria from the Lactobacillus family, otherwise there are obviously different bacteria’s that help with different conditions. Before you purchase a probiotic, be sure to do research on what you are specifically looking for or ask your doctor to recommend a good probiotic.
In addition to the probiotic supplement having bacteria, it should also house FOS, the preferred food for friendly bacteria. This ensures that the probiotic will operate on an optimum level, as FOS nutrition helps probiotics grow stronger and function better. This is especially important with probiotics that are taken for irritable bowel syndrome and chronic diarrhea.
Those who have been on antibiotics need probiotic friendly bacteria. Antibiotics destroy friendly bacteria. Probiotics can be used by people and children who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle and want to have a strong immune system and healthy well balanced intestinal tract.
Have you had your Probiotics Today?
August 23, 2008 11:59 AM
Acidophilus is correctly named Lactobacillus acidophilus, and is one species of Lacobacillus used commercially in the preparation of certain types of yoghurt. The name refers to the fact it is found in milk (lacto), is rod-like in shape like many bacteria (bacillus) and it likes acidic conditions (acidophilus). It not only likes them, but creates them.
In fact, acidophilus thrives at a pH of 4-5 or less, and occurs naturally in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals, and also the mouth and vagina. It ferments milk to lactic acid, and dies in the presence of sunlight, excessive moisture and at high temperatures. Some, but not all, strains are probiotic, or ‘friendly’ bacteria that aid digestion and help to protect against harmful bacteria and their toxic emissions.
The fermentation of nutrients by friendly bacteria produce acids, such as the lactic acid previously referred to, hydrogen peroxide and other substances hostile to harmful organisms, and also reduces the population of harmful bacteria by competing for their food. There are additional health benefits that shall be discussed later, but first some comments about the stability of acidophilus to heat.
The growth rate of acidophilus reaches an optimum at around 36-37F (2.2C), and it tends to die off at temperatures much above this over a period of time. It also tends to be sensitive to oxygen and moisture, and if exposed to heat, moisture and oxygen, a supplement will lose its potency over time. This is true of all such supplements, and after purchase must be quickly refrigerated. It is possible, however, to purchase stabilized forms of acidophilus that die off slower than normal. This extra resistance is built in during the manufacturing process, and many forms of acidophilus claim to be stable. Although there will never be a truly stable form of the probiotic, these stabilized versions do last longer than those not claimed to be so.
During manufacture, the bacteria are first concentrated by removing the excess liquid by means of sedimentation, ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis and centrifuging. A substance is then added to protect the bacteria from the shock of freezing and the acidophilus freeze dried. A stabilizer is then added to maintain its properties between freezing and consumption.
It has also been found that bacteria grown at higher pH levels last longer than those at lower pH. The packaging is also important, and since the bacteria are sensitive to oxygen, nitrogen flushing the bottles will improve the stability of the product. Glass bottles are less porous than plastic, and so is the preferred packaging material for maximum stability and life. Another factor is refrigeration. If you keep the bottle in the fridge it was last a lot longer than at room temperature, but take care not to freeze it since acidophilus does not freeze well. If it is not refrigerated then it will quickly lose its potency.
The form in which you take the supplement is immaterial regarding the potency: at least initially. However, through time the powder will become less potent quicker, because it will adsorb oxygen and moisture. Otherwise the form in which it used is immaterial. So, yes, acidophilus can be stabilized, but only for a while, and if allowed to warm up to room temperature in the presence of oxygen will quickly degrade, although this takes more than just a day or two.
Many health benefits are claimed for Lactobacillus acidophilus, although your daily consumption to achieve these should be at least 2 billion CFU, and preferably 5 billion. You can also fortify the bacteria with a prebiotic of fructooligosaccharides (FOS). These provide nutrition for the acidophilus and accelerate its growth.
One thing to be careful of is assuming that yoghurt contains acidophilus. It does not contain sufficient to be of benefit to you. Commercial yoghurt acidifies over time and kills off the bacteria, so commercial yoghurt sitting on a supermarket shelf has very little beneficial bacterial content. Natural yoghurt is better, and certainly contains beneficial bacteria, but not enough to make a significant difference. A supplement is therefore needed if you are to keep your intestinal tract sufficiently healthy. If you cannot take dairy products, acidophilus is available in non-dairy form. The major health benefits they impart are:
1. Digestive Problems.
Acidophilus can control many types of digestive disorder, particularly traveler’s diarrhea. In fact if you are traveling to countries where drinking water might be a problem, also take some acidophilus and this will tend to prevent you from becoming ill. Even if you drink bottled water, there are still washed salads, beverages made with local water and showers and the like whereby you could ingest some dodgy water.
Acidophilus, especially when supported by FOS, helps both to hydrate the feces, and improve their transport through the colon, an also to improve the general health and well-being of your entire intestinal system.
3. Yeast Infections (Candidiasis)
Acidophilus possess antifungal properties that kill off yeasts, particularly Candida albicans found in the vagina. This is due to the lactic acid produced by the bacteria, and there is evidence that gastrointestinal yeasts are affected in the same way by the oral probiotic. Furthermore, when bacteria and yeasts are killed off by medication, including friendly bacteria, the sites they occupied on the intestinal walls become free and acidophilus should be present to take these up and prevent any more yeast or bacterial infections. That is one reason why probiotics should be taken immediately after a course of antibiotic treatment.
4. Immune System Support
Lactobacillus acidophilus is believed to modify the balance of microbes in the intestine so as to lead to an enhanced production of antibodies, and white blood cells with increased phagocytic activity. The bacteria also appear to have some reducing properties, which can also give support to the immune system through the resultant antioxidant properties.
However, by far the most important property of probiotics are their properties in acidifying the intestinal tract, and so rendering them less attractive to harmful pathogens, and in producing hydrogen peroxide which has a similar effect. They also produce natural antibiotics, and there is now doubt that a supplement of acidophilus will provide you with several health benefits and also make you feel fitter and more alert.
August 07, 2008 06:03 PM
Probiotics are dietary supplements containing potentially beneficial bacteria for the small and large intestines. Probiotics, which means "for life", have been used for centuries as natural components in health-promoting foods. This beneficial bacterium is important in recolonizing the intestinal tract with good bacteria during and after antibiotic use as well as supporting overall health and wellness.
Probiotics are not the same thing as prebiotics which are non-digestible food ingredients that selectively stimulate the growth and/or activity of beneficial microorganisms already in the human colon. Probiotics are live microorganisms (in most cases, bacteria) that are similar to beneficial microorganisms found in the human gut. The use of good probiotics is important in healing many chronic gastrointestinal problems that are so often associated in those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and IBS.
One study performed in a 4-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 60 individuals with IBS, probiotics treatment with lactobacilli showed markedly beneficial to slowing down the bowels and reversing IBS. Two Scientific studies over the last 50 years show that probiotic organisms can improve the nutritional quality of foods, produce antibiotics, anti-carcinogens, and substances that break down and recycle toxins for their human host.
Historically, people used fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut both as food preservatives to limit spoilage, and to support their intestinal and overall health. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut also contain probiotics. Today probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are added by food manufacturers to fermented foodstuffs to improve their nutritional value.
There are, however, other foods that may contain added probiotics, such as sour cream, fruit juices and buttermilk. Food ingredient suppliers are now making it easier to add probiotics and prebiotics to foods and beverages by offering blends of synbiotics with the right proportion of pro- and prebiotics to obtain the desired beneficial health effects, as well as improved survival of the live bacterium strains.
Beneficial bacteria thrive and work with your digestive tract and immune system, along with Essential Fatty Acids, to protect you against illness and disease. It is also important to have a healthy balance of beneficial microbes to avoid sickness and disease and to keep your body stay nutritionally sound. Probiotic beneficial bacteria are involved in every aspect of your health. Along with beneficial bacteria, we show how supplements such as Essential Fatty Acids and Green foods provide the foundation for good health and provide a nutritional base for probiotics to grow and flourish in the body.
The most common form for probiotics are dairy products and fortified foods. Probiotics are products aimed at delivering living bacterial cells to the gut ecosystem of humans and other animals, whereas prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates delivered in food to the large bowel to provide fermentable substrates for the friendly bacteria to grow and thrive.
Probiotics are available to consumers mainly in the form of dietary supplements and foods. Because candida infection is very common due to overuse of antibiotics, several studies suggest that probiotics may be effective at preventing candida overgrowth as well as reversing it; candida is a good target pathogen for future probiotic research.
Although they are thought to be essential for health, because they can sustain themselves in the body under normal circumstances, there is no recommended daily intake of probiotics. By consuming foods with probiotics, you can increase the number of healthy bacteria, boost your immunity, and promote a healthy digestive system.
If you can not eat the foods that contain friendly bacteria, there are always probiotic supplements available from your local health food store. As always, it is best to check with your doctor or health care provider before starting any new supplements with medications. Probiotic formulas are a safe and effective means to deliver friendly bacteria to where it is needed, the colon.
Boost the immune system and digestion with Probiotics
March 29, 2008 09:17 AM
Boost digestion with Bifidus Longum and Acidophilus Probiotics
March 21, 2008 12:19 PM
Prior to discussing how you can boost digestion with bifidus longum probiotics, let's first have a look at probiotics in general and why they are so beneficial to us.
Probiotics are also known as microflora, and are beneficial organisms that live in your digestive tract. Not all microorganisms are bad news, and many are essential for good health. Included in these organisms are various types of bacteria and yeasts, each of which has a specific part to play in the proper functioning of your body. Because of this they are found in foods all over the world, including yoghurt and fermented vegetables such as German sauerkraut and Korean kimchi.
Among their major benefits to health are that they help to support your immune system, they aid the digestion and absorption of food, they provide increased energy by improving the metabolic conversion of blood glucose to energy, and they can also help to delay aging. However, you should be aware that not all probiotics are the same, and when used properly some can have the same effect as antibiotics.
They are used to cure many digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea, and can also help to relieve heartburn and acid reflux. In fact your lower intestine should contain a minimum of 85% friendly bacteria, and 15% at most of unfriendly bacteria that can cause disease if they over-colonize your colon. It might surprise you to learn that you have around twenty times more bacteria in your body than body cells.
One of the best known of the probiotics are members of the Lactobacillus family that are contained in yoghurt and curds and whey, so Little Miss Muffet had the right idea. However, you might not have the right idea in eating commercial yoghurt because, while raw yoghurt does contain these helpful bacteria, the type that you buy in pots in the supermarkets has likely been pasteurized - a process that kills off the bacteria. Unless the product has been seeded with live bacteria after pasteurization, then there will likely be none in your yoghurt! Make your own!
So what are the probiotics that do you most good, and in what form should you consume them? The common friendly bacteria are the already mentioned lactobaccilus, and then lactococcus, streptococcus thermophilus, enterococcus, bifidobacterium and others. Bacteria are easily killed off by the acidic conditions in your stomach, and since they must be taken live they should be consumed in a form that can resist the stomach acid.
There are many ways in which they benefit you, the main ones that are currently understood being:
Lactic acid production: the presence of lactic acid in the gut prevents stops or slows the growth of harmful bacteria by increasing the acidity. Some probiotics, known as lactic acid bacteria (LAB) can do this. Most bacteria do not like acidic conditions.
Supporting the immune system: LAB bacteria have been shown to increase the production of cytokines that stimulate the activity of the macrophages that attack foreign viruses and pathogenic bacteria. The LAB also promotes the formation of NK-cells (natural killer cells) that destroy cells that have been infected by viruses.
Adhesion site blockage: bacteria attach themselves to your intestinal walls at specific adhesion sites. Friendly bacteria can colonize these sites and so prevent the pathogens from adhering.
Effect on the Intestinal wall: the intestinal wall has a natural mucous barrier that helps to prevent the passage of allergens and pathogens into the bloodstream through the intestine. Probiotics can strengthen this barrier, and also alter the nature of the mucous to render it less liable to penetration by these unwelcome visitors.
So where does bifidobacteria come into this? There is a number of strains of this bacterium living in the human body, but Bifidus longum is the most common or most abundant of these. Although it is the most common bacterium found in commercially available probiotic products, high numbers have to be consumed for the proper health benefits. However, commercial yoghurts contain very little of this bacterium, or even none at all. This is largely due to the pasteurization previously discussed, that kills the bacteria at high temperatures. Unfortunately this process is not selective, and in ridding the products of bacteria that could make you seriously ill, the beneficial bacteria are also destroyed.
This is a shame because Bifidus longum has been shown to inhibit E.Coli that can cause serious conditions of the digestive system. Among these are severe diarrhea and an inflammatory condition in the colon as the immune system tries to expel these nasty bacteria. This bacterium is particularly dangerous to the weak, such as the aged, children and people already weakened by illness.
It also helps to counteract yeast and other vaginal infections and when taken with other probiotics is believed to help in colon cancer cases. Among its other benefits are its part in the biosynthesis of thiamine, riboflavin and other vitamin B forms in your intestine, and also the absorption and assimilation of these vitamins by your body. It is also believed that it might help to reduce the cholesterol level in your body through its uptake of bile salts from the colon.
The major destructive elements of Bifidus longus are antibiotics of any kind, whether they be penicillin variants or tetracycline, and although the latter is used mainly for infections of the respiratory tract, it is ingested by the gut and effectively reduces the population of the bacteria that are needed for optimum health. That is one of the reasons why antibiotic use should be restricted to only what is necessary, and not use indiscriminately for all infections. Unless administered intravenously or site targeted, antibiotics kill off the good with the bad!
The other activities of Bifidus longus, such as removing the by-products of our metabolism that could be toxic if left to roam our bodies, render this bacterium as useful to your body as any vitamin or mineral supplement you could take. It is a supplement that many either overlook or are not even aware of, yet one that can make a significant difference, not only to your digestive and intestinal health, but also to you general overall wellbeing.
Join The Age Specific Probiotic Revolution For Better Health
January 18, 2008 10:54 AM
Probiotics are good or friendly bacteria that may just be the most important supplement of all. Probiotics may help boost your immunity, heal disease, and according to recent research, help prevents cancer. All of the above especially applies to both babies and vulnerable older adults. Along with helping people to maintain healthy populations of beneficial bacteria, probiotics have many other health benefits. One that has recently become known is the ability to protect against colon cancer.
A recent study in Ireland found that probiotics, which are live bacteria that can benefit health, may also be just as important as vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and regular exercise in our strategies to lower the risk of cancer. This study was performed on eighty patients who had had either colon cancer tumors or polyps recently removed. Each patient received either a probiotic or a placebo. Included in the probiotic was Lactobacillus rhamnosus and a Bifidobacteria that was combined with other probiotics. These formulas which contain live probiotics and prebiotics are known as synbiotics. After three months of use, the balance of colon bacteria in those receiving the symbiotic formula had changed to having more lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria and less of the bacteria that is linked with increasing cancer risk, as compared to those patients who received placebos.
Additionally, those patients who received synbiotics showed a decrease in DNA damage in the lining of the colon along with a decreased growth and reproduction of colon cells. Also, neither of the groups reported any adverse effects of the synbiotics. These findings were also consistent with those of earlier studies, concluding that “bad” bacteria can produce substances that promote the development of colon cancer. Probiotics have also been shown to decrease abnormal colon cell development and DNA damage in animals.
However, these findings are not yet enough for the FDA to allow the claims that probiotics work against colon cancer, but rather simply state that they support colon health. These studies certainly suggest that the right beneficial strains in the right amounts of probiotics in your gut are a great amount better for you than too much of the bad bacteria.
Many people take a lifetime approach to probiotics, believing that they are appropriate for people of all ages, from babies to children to adults. Probiotics have an immunomodulatory effect at any age by stimulating and boosting the immune system. Even for infants, probiotics are critical. It has been shown that mothers who take a probiotic blend during pregnancy have babies who are less prone to eczema and other allergic conditions.
Additionally, the advent of new methods has made it possible to characterize the gut microbiota changes as we age, and in health and disease. Because of this, products that target specific issues and ages have been produced which can work with each individual’s needs. The two key bacteria helping advanced adults are Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacteria, as they provide the additional bacterial strains that are associated with the older adult’s needs. Additionally, newborns and babies do not need the same composition as adults. Instead, products for babies include B. infantis, B. bifidum, and B. breve. The greatest thing about probiotics is that you can’t overdose. Probiotics are always quite safe and very effective.
When buying a probiotic supplement, look to your local health food store to find the freshest name brand probiotic because not all probiotics are made the same.
Selecting the Right Probiotic is the Key to proper digestion
May 05, 2007 01:16 PM
Selecting the Right Probiotic is the Key
Do you ever think about what goes into your body each day? You should. One of the key to feeling good and being healthy s eating nutritious food and making sure our gastrointestinal (GI) tract has the tools it needs to optimally digest and absorb nutrients. The GI tract includes the stomach and intestines, which work to digest foods and eliminate waste.
A variety of “good” intestinal bacteria helps to keep the digestive system running. These “good” bacteria are called probiotic bacteria, or probiotics. Probiotics digest food, process waste, and keep the “bad” bacteria – which have the potential to cause disease and illness – in check.
This issue of Ask the Doctor will look at the probiotic bacteria that play an important role in maintaining our health and wellness: we need them, what they can do for us, and how to make sure we are getting enough. Also, we will talk about an exciting process that truly delivers probiotic bacteria taken in nutritional supplements. Encapsulated in a pearl-like sphere, they survive transport to the intestines, set up house, and exert their beneficial effects. As we will see, probiotic supplementation can help prevent and treat many different illnesses, unless the beneficial bacteria reach the intestines alive and active, the supplement is worthless.
Q. I thought bacteria were bad. How can bacteria be good for us?
A. Some kinds of bacteria do cause illnesses and disease in humans. “Strep” throat is an example of an illness caused by bacteria.
However, the majority of bacteria do not cause disease. In fact, there are types of bacteria that are actually beneficial. “Good” bacteria, known as probiotic bacteria, are used in the manufacturing of food and beverages. Some examples of foods that have probiotic food ingredients are buttermilk, yogurt, cheese, sausage, and acidophilus milk.
These same kinds of probiotic bacteria are present in our intestines and help to keep the digestive system running by digesting food and processing waste.
Q. What are probiotics?
A. Probiotics are live bacteria that are non-toxic and do not cause disease (non-pathogenic).
Some of the best-understood probiotic bacteria include members of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium groups. Because of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium’s ability to break down lactose, these probiotic bacteria are also known as lactic acid bacteria. Both of these types of probiotic bacteria are well studied and are available in both food and dietary supplements.
Q. Is there a difference between the probiotic bacteria that is found in yogurt, and in nutritional supplements?
A. Actually, the bacteria that are in yogurt, our intestine, and most natural supplements are the same types of probiotic bacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria longum. Because of this, these bacteria are referred in a generic sense as probiotics. So, the term probiotics may refer to the “good” bacteria that are present in food or that live in our intestine, or that are part of a natural supplement.
Q. Where do these probiotic bacteria come from?
A. As recently as the middle of the last century, bacteria found naturally in food ingredients were used to make a fermented food product. For example, the example, the lactic acid bacteria found naturally in milk were used to make cheese. This was known as wild fermentation.
Wild fermentations are no longer used. Today, the probiotic bacteria used in food and natural supplements are harvested via a highly controlled fermentation process. This process results in high numbers of bacteria and ensures quality and purity of the bacteria.
A. Normal microflora (the term commonly used for intestinal bacteria) is associated with good health. An imbalance in this natural microflora (when the beneficial probiotics are outnumbered by the harmful bacteria) is frequently associated with various disease states such as yeast infections and colon cancer.
Eating foods or taking a nutritional supplement containing probiotic bacteria can help support and modify the composition of the large intestine microflora. Microflora of the large intestine assist digestion through fermentation (by making the intestines more inhospitable to invading bacteria species), protection against disease-causing bacteria, and stimulation of the immune system.
The probiotics, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, occupy a central role in the intestinal and provide health benefits.
Q. How do probiotic bacteria help with digestion?
A. Lactose is an important sugar that is converted to lactic acid by lactic acid bacteria. Lactose intolerance results from an inability to digest lactose, due to the failure of small intestine mucosal cells to produce lactase, an enzyme needed to digest lactose. This often results because of genetics, gastrointestinal disease, or because of the decline in the amount of intestinal lactase levels associated with aging. Lactase deficient people accumulate non-absorbed lactose in the gastrointestinal tract, which draws water and electrolytes into the gut and speeds waste through the intestines, leading to bloating, cramping, and diarrhea.
Approximately 50 million people in the
Lactic acid bacteria have been shown to help the breakdown of lactose, specifically by enhancing the activity of lactase (beta galactosidase), which improves lactose digestion and tolerance. Furthermore, in a randomized, controlled clinical trial, Bifidobacteria longum was shown to assist in the breakdown of lactose and relieve the symptoms of lactose intolerance (flatulence) in people with lactose intolerance.
Q. What is the difference between digestive enzymes and probiotics? Can they be taken together?
A. Digestive enzymes, such as protease, amalyse, and lipase, act upon food, breaking it down into simpler components that can be used by the body for energy. Without enzymes, digestion could not take place. Therefore, the food that we eat could not be absorbed and utilized by our bodies.
Probiotics help the enzymes to digest food and process waste. In essence, probiotic bacteria and enzymes work together to ensure that the digestive tract is running smoothly. When taken together, enzymes assure greater levels of digestion absorption of your food, and probiotic bacteria aid the enzymes in digestion and keep problems in check.
Q. Is helping to ensure a healthy digestive system the only use for probiotics?
A. Absolutely not! Probiotic bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, have been found to help prevent vaginal yeast infections in women that suffer from these reoccurring infections.
Approximately 35% of vaginal infections are caused by the yeast. Candida albicans, Candida, is a fungus that is a component of the normal gastrointestinal microflora. However, Candida must not be allowed to increase in numbers. An overgrowth is associated with adverse health effects like vaginal infections, oral thrush, or even serious systematic yeast infections. Probiotics have been shown to keep levels of Candida in check.
Probiotic bacteria have also been demonstrated to have anti-cancer properties. In baa clinical study, colon cancer patients given Lactobacillus acidophilus fermented milk showed a significant increase in numbers of intestinal Lactobacilli and a decrease in risk factors associated with colon cancer.
Patients suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease can benefit from probiotic bacteria supplementation. Studies have shown that probiotic bacteria assist in maintaining remission in ulcerative colitis and preventing reoccurrence of Crohn’s disease. Manipulating the intestinal flora may prove to be more effective and better tolerated than the drugs that are conventionally given to treat these diseases. I one study, Lactobacillus acidophilus was found to improve the intestinal barrier and clinical status in children suffering from Crohn’s disease.
Probiotics supplementation can also improve and prevent skin disease, such as eczema. Studies have shown that probiotic bacteria can actually control inflammation associated with skin conditions. In one study, infants with eczema who were given probiotic-supplemented formulas showed a significant improvement in skin condition.
The chart below summarizes some of the diseases and conditions that probiotic bacteria can help prevent and/or improve.
Q. How often should probiotics be taken to ensure optimal support of the digestion system?
A. Probiotic bacteria do not permanently colonize in the body. They need to be replenished by the consumption of foods containing probiotic bacteria or by taking a probiotic natural supplement. Whatever form you choose to replenish the intestinal probiotics, they need to be ingested daily for their health-promoting effects to continue.
Q. If I take a probiotic nutritional supplement, how many bacteria should a good quality supplement contain?
A. The critical factor is not how many bacteria that a supplement contains, but rather how many bacteria reach the intestines healthy, vigorous, and ready to work.
A good quality supplement will deliver at least 3 billion living, healthy probiotic bacteria per dose to your intestines. The bacteria in the probiotic natural supplement should be a mixture of both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.
Again, the critical key to a good quality probiotic supplement is that the bacteria must be alive to work. Only living probiotic bacteria can colonize in the intestines. A good quality probiotic nutritional supplement will have GUARANTEED levels of live bacteria at the point of consumption. Inferior brands will merely state levels of live bacteria at the point of manufacture.
Recently, a private laboratory tested various probiotic nutritional supplements in the marketplace, including one utilizing a new process that encapsulates the bacteria in a spherical, pearl-like coating. Each of these supplements were best-selling brands, two of them were enteric coated, and all had label guarantees about potency. The lab counted the levels claimed by each manufacturer.
Q. Then how do I know I am getting what I pay for?
A. First, look for a product that has a “use by” date or an “expiration” date clearly stated on the package.
It is also important to look for a probiotic supplement that does not require refrigeration. Probiotic supplements that require refrigeration often have been subjected to warm temperatures during shipment and storage that will inevitably kill off some or all of the bacteria.
It is also important that the product label guarantees live bacteria at the time of purchase, not at the time of shipment or manufacturing. However, from the laboratory test discussed, we see that sometimes these written guarantees are not worth the paper they are written on. There is one scientifically validated process that truly delivers live and vigorous bacteria to the intestine. This process suspends the probiotic bacteria in a moist paste and immediately seals the bacteria in a perfectly seamless, spherical, gelatin ball. This bacterial paste is completely protected from air and dryness so the bacteria are alive until the specialized gelatin dissolves – in the intestines.
Q. Why is it important to dissolve only in the intestine?
A. Lactic acid bacteria are not very resistant to the acids of the stomach. The harsh environment of the stomach destroys the majority of these bacteria.
This pearly-like coating technology protects bacteria from the stomach acid. The sphere is specially developed to only dissolve in the intestines. Enteric coating is not enough as it does nothing to protect the bacteria while they wait for purchase on the shelf.
Q. What does this proprietary coating technology mean to me?
A. This specialized process is an expensive processing step, but it has many advantages to you.
The pearl-shaped spheres actually “seal” the bacteria in the capsule, which protects them from air. Probiotic bacteria are anaerobic, meaning they do not require oxygen to live. In fact, the presence of oxygen can actually injure or kill probiotic bacteria. In addition, the special coating’s ability to seal the bacteria in the capsule stimulates the need for the nutritional supplement to be refrigerated – though they can be kept in the refrigerator, if desired.
By protecting the bacteria on the shelf and in the stomach, the probiotic bacteria successfully reach the intestine. As a result, there will be a greater number of healthy, intact bacteria that can colonize in the intestine.
Many health care practitioners believe all health issues are related in some way to the process of digestion. Probiotics play a crucial role in improving our digestive health, which, in turn, is interconnected to every single function in our bodies.
Taking a probiotic supplement is an excellent way to replenish the good bacteria in your intestinal microflora. A quality probiotic product contains two different types of bacteria from Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species with at least one billion live bacteria per dose.
But how do you know the bacteria re still alive? Look at the package. If there is no fate stamp, put it down. If it says the company guarantees there was a certain number alive at the time of manufacture, put it down. Tat means that the company is not willing to claim the bacteria are alive when delivered to the target site, the intestine. If the product must be constantly refrigerated, put it down. How do you know it didn’t sit in a truck for two days, or was in a warehouse before it was shipped to the health food store?
Find a probiotic that says the bacteria are guaranteed to be alive in the numbers stated on the label until the printed on the package. Find a product using unique, cutting edge science to deliver the probiotic bacteria in a form that uses spherical, sealed, triple coating to protect the bacteria. That company has gone to extra time and expense to make sure you reap the benefits that probiotics can offer.
Fruit and Vegetable Lightning drink mixes from Natures Plus
February 06, 2007 02:41 PM
Enjoy the Rainbow – the Color Wheel of Fruits and Vegetables
We’ve all heard the statistics, and have probably seen the signs in the produce section of our favorite grocery store: eating 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day is important,
Chances are also pretty good that we’ve also seen the newest food pyramid, encouraging Americans to “eat a rainbow of frits and vegetables.” That is, choose from the rich variety of colors for the best all-around health benefits.
In this Ask the Doctor, we’re going to look at the unique health components of different colored fruits and vegetables, and why they’re so important. Plus, we’ll learn about supplemental options, like fruit and vegetable drink mixes, for those days when our diets just aren’t that great.
Q. What’s the big deal about fruits and vegetables?
A. Well, for the main reason that they are whole foods – created by nature (or at least generations of farming) and are rich in a variety of nutrients. Processed foods can’t match the health benefits of strawberries or broccoli – items that have fiber, vitamins, and enzymes built right in.
Q. What does “eating a rainbow” of fruits and vegetables really mean?
A. This is simply an easy way of remembering to get as much color variety in your diet as possible to maximize your intake of a broad range of nutrients. The colors of fruits and vegetables are often a tangible clue to the unique vitamins and other healthy substances they contain. Getting a variety of colors, therefore, means getting a variety of the essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and strong.
Enjoying the Rainbow: Fruit and Vegetable Benefits:
Q. Can you tell me a little more about the healthy components of fruits and vegetables?
Let’s take a look at some of the most well-studied and important nutrients:
Quercetin is found in apples, onions and citrus fruits (also is hawthorn and other berries and apple-related fruits usually used in traditional herbal remedies and modern supplements). It prevents LSL cholesterol oxidation and helps the body cope with allergens and other lung and breathing problems.
Clinical studies show that quercetin’s main points of absorption in the body appear to be in the small intestine – about 50%. The rest – at least 47% is metabolized by the colonic micro flora – the beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum. You may consider adding these beneficial bacteria (found in yogurt) either through the diet or a supplemental form.
Ellagic Acid is a component of ellagitannins – dietary polyphenols with antioxidant (and possibly anticancer) properties. Polyphenols are the basic building blocks of many plant-based antioxidants. More complex phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids are created from these molecules.
Ellagic acid is found in many fruits and foods, namely raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and walnuts. Clinical studies suggest that ellagitannins and ellagic acid act as antioxidants and anticarcinogens in the gastrointestinal tract.
Ellagitannins are durable antioxidants, and happily, they do not appear to be diminished by processing, like freezing. This means the benefits are still strong, even in frozen packs of raspberries or strawberries, or some of the better multi-ingredient supplement drink mixes.
In scientific studies, ellagic acid also showed an anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells, decreasing their ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production. ATP is the molecule that provides the primary energy source for the cells in our bodies. In a sense, ellagic acid seems to deprive cancer cells of their fuel.
Beta-Carotene: Probably the best-known of the carotenoids, beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A. Many vegetables, especially orange and yellow varieties, are rich in this nutrient. Think summer squash, yams and of course, carrots.
Beta-carotene has long been associated with better eyesight, but it has other benefits, too. In a scientific study, beta-carotene decreased cholesterol levels in the liver by 44% and reduces liver triglycerides by 40%.
Lycopene is a carotenoid mostly found in tomatoes, but also in smaller amounts in watermelon and other fruits. Clinical studies have shown that lycopene consumption may decrease the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, high intakes of lycopene are associated with a 30% to 40% reduced risk. And, as good as beta-carotene is, its cousin, lycopene, seems to be an even stronger nutrient, protecting not just against prostate cancer, but heart disease as well.
Lutein is found in many fruits and vegetables, including blueberries and members of the squash family. Lutein is important for healthy eyes, and in fact it is found in high concentrations naturally in the macular region of the retina – where we see fine detail. It is one of the only carotenoids, along with its close sibling zeaxanthin, that is found in the macula and lens of the eye.
Lutein also supports your heart, too. In a scientific study, lutein reduced atherosclerotic lesion size by 43%. In other words, high intakes of lutein may actually help prevent coronary artery disease!
Interestingly, as is the case with lycopene, cooking or processing foods with lutein may actually make it more easily absorbed.
In clinical studies, men with high intakes of lutein (and its close cousin, zeaxanthin, found in broccoli and spinach) had a 19% lower risk of cataract, and women had a 22% decreased risk, compared to those whose lutein intakes were much lower.
Vitamin C: One of the best-known nutrients out there, vitamin C keeps our immune system strong; speeds wound healing, and promote strong muscles and joints. A free-radical fighter, vitamin C prevents oxidative damage to tissues, builds strength in collagen and connective tissue, and even reduces joint pain.
Sources of vitamin C are scattered throughout the spectrum of fruits and vegetables.
Potassium: Most Americans are deficient in potassium. For the most part, it’s hard to get too much of this valuable mineral. Potassium does great things for our hearts. Higher intakes of dietary potassium from fruits and vegetables have been found in clinical research to lower blood pressure in only 4 weeks.
Many researchers believe that the typical American diet has led to a state of chronic, low-grade acidosis – too much acid in the body. Potassium helps change pH balance to a more alkaline environment in the body and increases bone density.
This was proven in the long-running Framingham Heart Study which showed that dietary potassium, (along with magnesium and fruit and vegetable intake) provided greater bone density in older individuals.
Fiber is another food component many just don’t get enough of – especially if they’re eating a “typical American diet.” Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber. However, fiber from a good fruits and vegetable drink mix should be derived from inulin and chicory root. This soluble fiber source not only adds to the overall amount of fiber you need (25 to 38 grams a day), but also provides a nice “nesting ground” for the beneficial bacteria that populate the intestines. And, even though some fiber has a bad rap for inhibiting mineral absorption, inulin and chicory root are “bone building” fibers – they actually help the body absorb calcium.
Flavonoids are an overarching term that encompasses flavonols, anthocyanidins, and flavones, isoflavones, proanthocyanidins, Quercetin and more. They are almost everywhere: in fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, nuts and seeds – even in the coffee, wine and tea we drink. Flavonoids are responsible for the colors in the skins of fruits and the leaves of trees and other plants.
Flavonoids have many health benefits. They can help stop the growth of tumor cells and are potent antioxidants. Additionally, flavonoids have also been studied for their ability to reduce inflammation.
Anthocyanins: High on the list of important “visible” nutrients are anthocyanins. They color fruits and vegetables blue and red.
Anthocyanins are members of this extended family of nutmeats, the flavonoids. Typically found in high amounts in berries, anthocyanins are readily absorbed in the stomach and small intestine.
As antioxidants, anthocyanins dive deep into cell membranes, protecting them from damage. IT may be one reason why the anthocyanins from blueberries are considered such an important component in battling neuronal decline, like Alzheimer’s. Blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are also excellent sources of this flavonoids group.
SDG lignans, (short for secoisolariciresinol diglucoside) are polyphenolic components of flaxseed, pumpkin and other herbal sources. Much of the recent research surrounding lignans has focused on flaxseed. In scientific and clinical studies, lignans from flaxseed support hormonal balance and may have cancer-preventing abilities. In fact, in one study, flaxseed lignans reduced metastatic lung tumor by 82% compared to controls.
The lignans in pumpkin seed, also considered a major source, target 5-alpha reductase activity.
This enzyme catalyzes the conversion of testosterone into the more potent dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT, like testosterone, is a steroid hormone or androgen. Androgens are responsible for the development and maintenance of masculine sex characteristics in both men and women. Excess levels of DHT can cause serious problems with prostate or bladder health. That’s why modulation of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme is so important – it helps maintain healthy testosterone and DHT levels. By balancing the levels of these key hormones, pumpkin seed lignans provide protection for prostate and bladder cells.
In addition, pumpkin seed has been shown to modulate the enzyme aromatase. Aromatase is present in the estrogen-producing cells of the adrenal glands, ovaries, testicles, adipose tissue, and brain. Aromatase converts testosterone, an androgen, into estradiol, and estrogen.
Inhibition of the aromatase conversion can help maintain a balance of healthy testosterone levels in women, which has been shown to strengthen pelvic muscles and reduce incidence of incontinence.
In fact, a clinical study, involving a pumpkin extract in conjunction with soy, resulted in significant support for bladder health. After two weeks of supplementation, 23 of the 39 postmenopausal women enrolled in the study showed great improvement in urinary frequency and sleep. By the end of the six week study, 74.4 percent of participants found pumpkin extract safely and significantly improved “nocturnia,” that is, the need to urinate frequently at night. For individuals with 2 to 4 episodes of nocturnia prior to the stud, and 81.8% improvement was seen – also showing great improvement in sleep quality. After all, if you don’t have to wake up every couple of hours to go to the bathroom you’re bound to get better sleep.
Beta glucan: Mushrooms are intense immune-boosting powerhouses due to their beta-glucan content. Three well-studied power-house mushrooms that contribute beta glucan to the diet include maitake, reishi and shiitake.
The most significant constituents of mushrooms are long chain polysaccharides (molecules formed from many sugar units) known as beta-glucan. These huge molecules act as immunoregualtors in the human body, helping to stabilize and balance the immune system.
This includes specific support of white blood cells, or lymphocytes, the primary cells of the immune system. Lymphocytes fall broadly into three categories: T cells, B cells, and natural killer (NK) cells.
In one clinical study, 165 patients with various types of advanced cancer were given maitake mushroom compounds alone or with chemotherapy. Cancer regression or significant symptom improvement was observed in 58% of liver cancer patients, and 62% of lung cancer patients. Plus, when maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy, the immune cell activities were enhanced 1.2 to 1.4 times, compared with chemotherapy alone.
In another clinical study, researchers determined that Reishi increased the number of cancer killing white blood cells and made them more deadly to cancer cells.
And, in a scientific study of human breast cancer and myeloma cancer and myeloma cancer cell lines, shiitake compounds provided a 51% antiproliferative effect on the cells – inducing “apoptosis’ – the programmed cell death that should occur naturally.
While beta-glucan are distributed throughout the mushroom body, the beta-glucan concentrations are significantly higher in the mycelium – the interwoven fibers or filaments that make up the “feeding structure” of the mushroom.
Bioflavonoids are commonly found in bright yellow citrus fruits, including lemons, limes and oranges. They are responsible for the bright pigment found in the skin of the fruit, and are considered a “companion” to vitamin C, seeming to extend the value of the nutrient within the body.
Hesperidin is just one of the valuable bioflavonoids found in citrus. Hesperidin appears to lower cholesterol levels, as well as support joint collagen in examples of rheumatoid arthritis.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG):
Polyphenols, most notably EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, are well-studied and powerful components of tea. EGCG has been shown to reduce colon and breast cancer risk. Green tea also boosts the immune system and encourages T-cell formation – part of the front-line defense of our bodies against sickness and disease.
Q. I’ve been seeing articles about fruits, vegetables and supplements touting “high ORAC value.” What does this mean?
ORAC is an acronym for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity, and is simply a measurement of antioxidant activity of nutrients. Oxygen radicals, or free radicals, are unstable molecules. They grab electrons from other cells to use for themselves, and in the process can damage them. It is believed that free radical activity plays a role in the development of many diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and also plays a role in aging.
Antioxidants help prevent this damage by “loaning out” extra electrons to stabilize free radicals/ Consider any fruit or vegetable with a high ORAC rating as having a lot of “antioxidant power.”
I know I should eat more fruits and vegetables, but it just seems so hard to get five servings a day.
The number one excuse I hear for not buying frits and veggies is that “fruits and vegetables are too expensive.” But are they really? Certainly, fresh foods that aren’t in season and have to be shipped a distance can be a bit pricey. If anyone added up how much spend on fast food, or prepackaged or processed snacks, it would probably be shocking.
Luckily, there are many ways to get your “Daily 5”. For instance, frozen fruits and veggies retain much of their nutrient profile. They can be an excellent alternative when certain foods are out of season. So too, are fruit and vegetable drink mixes – excellent supplemental sources of some of the nutrients our bodies need most.
More recently, the American
Of course, for people not accustomed to the fiber in fruits and veggies, there is some reason to think it’ll increase gas. When cell walls break down, and fiber passes through the system, it can create flatulence. Folks who eat fruits and vegetables every day generally don’t have this problem. Their systems are already accustomed to it.
For those just starting out on a better diet, however, start slowly – it helps your body adapt. Cooking vegetables can help, too, because it begins breaking down the cell walls early on.
One thing is certain, however. The “Typical American Diet” and good health are mutually exclusive. The increase in type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension all point to the abuse our bodies suffer by eating diets high in fatty meats, processed sugars, and refined grains.
Q. Can I just drink fruit and vegetables drinks in place of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables?
Green drinks and fruit and vegetable drink mixes aren’t meant to replace whole foods, but they can be an excellent substitute when you’re rushed or traveling or just trying to fill everyday nutritional gaps. Their whole food ingredients absorb very easily and gently in the gut, and many of these drink mixes contain healthy doses of fiber, too.
Green drink mixes and food-based drink mixes combine many colorful fruits and vegetables and sometimes grasses in a healthy, mixable supplement assortment. While there have been many advancements in the field of green drinks, there are only a few that take the primary reason we eat into consideration: taste!
Happily, there are some companies out there with great-tasting drink mixes that also formulate based on the color concept, ensuring you get the broadest assortment of nutrients from a full range of fruit and vegetable colors to promote optimal health.
High-quality fruit and vegetable drink mixes offer the best from nature’s color wheel in a convenient and great-tasting supplement. So, the next tie you feel like taking a coffee break – try a fruit and veggie break instead. Your body and spirit will thank you.
How Does It Work?
July 08, 2006 01:24 PM
Proprietary Probiotic blend
Acidophilus Pearls is a probiotic dietary supplement designed to help support digestion and a healthy intestinal system. Probiotics, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum are live microbial food supplements that are non-toxic and do not cause disease (non-pathogenic). Probiotics do not permanently colonize in the body. Therefore, they need to be ingested regularly for their health-promoting effects to persist. After ingestion, probiotics must adhere to the wall of the intestine. Once attached to the intestinal wall, the bacteria are capable of multiplying and colonizing in the gut, thereby enhancing the immune response. 1-3
Oral probiotics help support the composition and metabolic activities of the large intestine micro flora.1 Micro flora of the large intestines assist digestion through fermentation (making the intestines inhospitable to invading species), protection against pathogenic bacteria, and stimulation of the development of certain components of the immune system.3 Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum occupy a central role in the guy micro flora, thereby enabling them to influence the composition of the micro flora to provide health benefits.4
Breakdown of Lactose
Lactose is an important sugar that is converted to lactic acid by lactic acid producing bacteria (such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum).6 Lactose intolerance results from an inability to digest lactose.7 Lactose intolerance may be due to genetics, age related declines in intestinal lactase (the enzyme that metabolizes lactose), or other reasons.8 Lactase deficient people accumulate non-absorbed lactose in the gastrointestinal tract, which draws water and electrolytes into the gut and accelerates transit time, which can lead to diarrhea.2,8 Lactic acid bacteria can help metabolize the non-absorbed lactose in the gastrointestinal tract.
In a randomized, controlled clinical trial, Bifidobacterium longum was shown to support the breakdown of lactose and reduce the symptoms of lactose intolerance (flatulence) in people with lactose intolerance.5
Immune system support
While a normal micro flora is associated with good health, changes in intestinal health are associated with altered immune function. A well-functioning gastrointestinal immune system mediates immune responsiveness at mucosal sites and throughout the entire body via the control of quality and quantity of foreign substances gaining access to the immune system.9
Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum have shown to possess immunoprotective/immunomodulatory properties. These benefits include modulation of: cytokine and various interleukin production, autoimmunity, natural killer cells cytotoxicity, lymphocyte proliferation, and antibody production.3
In an open, randomized, controlled trial, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum were supportive of colon health in older adults. In addition, B cell (important antibody producing immune cells) levels increased as compared with the untreated group. The probiotics were very well tolerated, with no significant side effects or variations in clinical chemistry or hematologic parameters.
Decrease Occasional Constipation
Constipation is defined as infrequent or difficult defection that can result from decreased motility of the intestines. It is a common problem, particularly in older adults. When the feces remain in the large intestine for prolonged periods, there is excessive water absorption, making the feces dry and hard.7
Insufficient amounts of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum may play a role in delayed bowel movement, which can favor the activity of undesireable putrefactive bacteria (bacteria that break down organic matter into potentially harmful compounds) in the intestines. Lactic acid bacteria contribute to the re-establishemtn of healthy intestinal flora (at the expense of pathogen growth) and stimulation of intestinal peristalsis via lactic acid. 10
Support of putrefactive Processes
When unbalanced conditions are present in the intestines (ie, unbalanced diet, high acidity, and/or low levels of lactic acid bacteria), organic matter may be putrified (decomposed or rotting) by certain bacteria and produce harmful substances such as ammonia.1,11
Micro flora or the large intestines promote homeostasis (balance) in both the intestine and the vagina.1,12,13 these activities are carried out via support of direct production of antibodies, competition with adhesion to intestinal cells, or indirect modulation of the immune system.2
Normal micro flora of the large intestine help support and complete digestion via fermentation.1,11 The risk of diarrhea, for example, increases when the capacity of colonic micro flora to ferment carbohydrates decreases.8 Oral ingestion of probiotics produces a stabilizing effect on the guy flora.2
The benefits of probiotics extend beyond digestion support and immune support. Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum also help support the better utilization and bioavailability of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.14
Candida albicans is a fungus that is a naturally occurring component of normal gastrointestinal micro flora.15 however, C. albicans should be maintained at healthy levels. Probiotics have been shown to help retain healthy levels of C. albicans that are already within normal limits.
True Delivery Technology
Recently, our Enzymatic Therapy laboratory tested four leading probiotics nutritional supplements in the marketplace. These supplements were best selling brands, two of the supplements were enteric coated, and all had label guarantees about potency (guaranteed number of live bacteria). The laboratory scientist counted the levels of living bacteria found in compared these findings to the bacterial levels claimed by each manufacturer. The products were also subjected to a simulation of stomach acid conditions, after which the levels of living bacteria were re-counted.
The laboratory results found the probiotic supplements contained less than 50% of the number of living bacteria that they clamed on their labels. Furthermore, the laboratory results found that only 10% of the liver bacteria clamed on the manufacturer’s label survived the simulated stomach conditions.
Acidophilus pearls used a revolutionary proprietary “pearl” encapsulation process called True Delivery Technology. The True Delivery Technology is a special type of natural coating that protects the probiotic bacteria.
The True Delivery is a seamless “pearl”, which consists of three layers. The inner layer is a paste of probiotic bacteria suspended in a protective oil suspension. The second layer actually “seals” the bacteria in the capsule, which protects them from air, moisture, and the effects of heat. Probiotic bacteria are anaerobic organisms (grow in the absence of oxygen) and the presence of oxygen can actually injure or kill them. Because probiotic bacteria are injured or destroyed by the acids of the stomach, the third, outermost layer of the pearl is specially developed to only dissolve in the alkaline environment of the intestines. This patented gelatin pearl protects the probiotic bacteria from the acid environment of the stomach, so that they can successfully reach the intestine.
The patented seamless pearl capsule of Acidophilus Pearls assures the virtually all the bacteria remain uninjured and healthy to colonize in the intestine. In addition, the special pearl capsule’s ability to seal the bacteria inside it eliminates the need for the nutritional supplement to be refrigerated – though they can be kept in the refrigerator, if desired.
Store at controlled room temperature, 59 degrees F to 86 degrees F (15 – 30C). May refrigerate if desired
This statement has not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Probiotic Sinus Ease from Nature's Life
December 31, 2005 09:41 AM
Inovative, New Product for Sinus Support
Natures Life Probiotic Sinus Ease
Formulated for Immune and Sinus Support
Now there's a natural solution for sinus health. Probiotic Sinus Ease, based on scientific studies, is intended to probide nutritive support for healthy sinuses.
December 29, 2005 12:06 PM
Did you know that poor digestive function is a contributing factor in more than ninety percent of America’s serious health issues?! The waiting rooms of doctors are jam packed, in part because so many people are suffering with gastrointestinal problems. The medical establishment and alternative health and wellness practitioners don’t always agree, but both sides are certain that a healthy digestive system is the cornerstone of good health. Proteins, the building blocks of life; carbohydrates and fats, your body’s source of energy; vitamins and minerals; and water – all are assimilated through digestion. If you’re not properly digesting the foods you eat, your body isn’t obtaining the nutrients it needs to repair, renew and thrive. Without the raw materials it needs to repair the damage we do to ourselves every day, your body begins to break down, leading to poor health and accelerated aging2,3.
While there are a multitude of factors involved in healthy digestive function, one of the most important is the delicate balance of bacteria found in the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract. There are three main types of flora in the human GI tract - Bifidobacteria, Bacteroides and Eubacterium. Of slightly less importance are Lactobacilli, Streptococci and Peptococci and other transitory flora1. Our stomachs and intestines are populated by hundreds of billions of these bacteria, or microflora. Amazingly, there are more probiotic organisms in our gut than there are cells in our bodies! That’s a lot of bacteria, but it’s GOOD bacteria, and each strain has specific functions in the human body. These bacteria aid the digestion of food and have protective qualities that contribute to good colon health. While a good balance of these different microflora is necessary, there are many factors that can, and do, disrupt this balance –certain medications, a poor diet, infection, stress, bad bacteria, aging and even the climate. The good news is a rapidly expanding body of research suggests that supplementing the diet with the right mix of microflora can have a beneficial affect on gastrointestinal function, and therefore overall health.
NOW® Gr8-Dophilus™ exclusively utilizes the finest strains from Rhodia Incorporated, the world’s leading supplier of high quality probiotic ingredients, and is enteric-coated to ensure that the bacteria in this product are not destroyed in stomach acid but reach the small and large intestines where they are most beneficial. Gr8-Dophilus is a vegetarian product that contains virtually no lactose.
Lactobacillus acidophilus is a well-studied microflora species that’s highly resistant to gastric acidity and is able to proliferate in the presence of bile. Like many probiotic organisms, it also adheres well to intestinal cells, helping to prevent the adherence of certain enteropathogens5.
Lactobacillus casei is a microflora strain that is found in the human mouth and intestines as well as in fermented vegetables, milk and meat. Recent research has shown that this bacterium is active in the GI tract and may help to modulate the immune system*. Research is continuing into this very promising probiotic.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus, like Lactobacillus acidophilus, is highly resistant to gastric acidity and proliferates well in bile. It, too, adheres well to intestinal cells. We’ve included this particular strain because it works extremely well with L. acidophilus. Lactobacillus salivarius is a strain that has proven highly effective against Helicobacter pylori, a bacterial species implicated in a number of digestive conditions. Studies have shown that L. salivarius is capable of producing high amounts of lactic acid, which has been shown to inhibit H. pylori growth in live subjects. Compared to other Lactobacillus strains, L. salivarius was proven to have the greatest inhibitory effect on the proliferation of H. pylori,4 which is why this strain is included in Gr8-Dophilus™.
Streptococcus thermophilus bacterium are isolated from yogurt and are recommended for lactose intolerant individuals to help digest lactose in the intestines. This strain is included in this formula to assist in the acidification of the intestinal environment, as well as to create a favorable environment for lactic acid bacteria.
Bifidobacterium bifidum is one of the workhorses of the large intestine. It has a high tolerance to gastric acidity, and, like L. acidophilus and many other probiotic organisms, it adheres well to intestinal cells, helping to prevent the adherence of certain enteropathogens5.
Bifidobacterium longum is a bifidobacterium of human origin that, like Lactobacillus, is extremely resistant to gastric acid and bile salts. Because it’s anaerobic (able to live without oxygen) it’s perfectly suited to colonize the colon. Initial studies have shown that this particular strain of bifidobacteria helps to support the immune system*. It also seems to decrease enzymatic activity in feces. Researchers believe enzymatic activity in feces may contribute to carcinogenesis.
Bifidobacterium lactis is one of the most well-studied strains of probiotic bacteria, with a wealth of peer-reviewed, published research on its benefits. Clinical trials on B. lactis have shown it to be helpful in a number of digestive conditions, including diarrhea and lactose intolerance, as well as immune response modulation.
November 18, 2005 05:45 PM
Not Just Good, WHEY GOOD.
Whey good gives you 23 grams of high quality protein in one serving. Mixes instantly—just stir and enjoy.
We didn’t add any thickeners or gums—whey good protein is simply a healthy blend of different whey proteins, fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and arabinogalactan sweetned with xylitol.
FOS was added for nutritive support as a prebiotic nutrient to bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus.
Arabinogalactan is a natural soluble fiber added for its reputed ability to provide nutritive support for healthy digestion and immune health. Xylitol is a sweetener which doesn’t promote cavities.
The Immune System - with Kyolic Garlic
July 11, 2005 05:23 PM
The immune system is our body's natural defense system that keeps us healthy. Without it, invading organisms, which we come into contact with constantly, would cause illness and disease. There are many components of the immune system, including natural killer cells, T&B cells, macrophages and many others. Collectively, this network mainly functions against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.
It is possible for the immune system to be suppressed. Things like stress, unhealthy habits, lack of nutrition, genetics, and other factors damage the immune system, which leaves us vulnerable to disease.
The immune system can benefit from proper, and constant care. A healthy immune system can mean the difference between getting mildly sick versus something much worse. If you are looking for ways to boost your immune system via nutritional supplements, here are a few that might interest you:
Aged Garlic ExtractTM (AGE): Numerous scientific studies have been conducted on AGE in relation to its effect on the immune system. Studies suggest that Aged Garlic Extract may support various immune factors,1-5 such as the ability of immune cells to engulf foreign organisms, T-lymphocyte activity,3 natural killer cell activity1,2 and antibody generation.6 Anti-fungal (Candida albicans-yeast) properties have been shown, and antiviral (herpes1,7, influenza8,9) properties have also been noted. Aged Garlic Extract has also been shown to modify, directly or indirectly, the function of immune cells, which play a leading role in allergic reactions including inflammation.10 In addition, Aged Garlic Extract has been shown to improve age-related deterioration of the immune response.
For your convenience AGE is available as a liquid, and in a capsule, such as the Reserve, FORMULA 100 (tablet or capsule), or as the One Per Day (caplet).
AGE also comes in combination with other herbs and nutrients that may further enhance the immune system. We have formulated a couple of products containing Aged Garlic Extract, specifically for the immune system due to the additional ingredients added that work as an extra boost in this area. Firstly, FORMULA 103 (brown/orange label) in addition to Aged Garlic Extract contains Astragalus, a potent herb demonstrating immune stimulating properties12-17 and vitamin C as Ester-C® (a unique form of Vitamin C) which may support healthy immune function.18 Another product, FORMULA 105 (pink/purple label), contains Vitamins A, C, E, selenium and green tea extract, which are very potent antioxidants. Antioxidants attack free radicals that cause damage to our body, leading to illness and aging. Please keep in mind that the various antioxidant functions attributed to AGE may also help to boost the immune system.
Kyo-Green® is another one of our superb products. Mixing Kyo-Green in a juice or beverage may help to provide extra nutritional support since it is a source of vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, superoxide dismutase (a very potent anti-oxidant enzyme) and other nutrients. A test tube study by Dr. Lau from Loma Linda University showed that Kyo-Green may provide nutritional support for the immune system by enhancing the activity of macrophages (immune cells that engulf foreign agents).19 Two teaspoons of Kyo-Green also provide the nutrients in a serving of vegetables so this product may function as an easy way to provide extra nutrition for the whole body.
For those who may be interested in a more potent immune boosting formula, please try our Kyo-Green Harvest Blend The Harvest BlendTM contains all of the ingredients in the Kyo-Green, except for the kelp. However, in addition to these ingredients, other active ingredients are added to make forty-four ingredients in total, which may give the immune system a powerful kick. To help support your health there are many different greens, an immune-boosting herbal blend, antioxidant fruits and veggies, immune-enhancing mushrooms, an enzyme active sprout blend, a super energizing blend, special phytonutrients important to immune health, and a nutritious fiber blend. Please read the specifics on each of these constituents, available from the technical information available on this website.
Finally, Kyo-Dophilus® is a probiotic supplement made of a combination of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacteria bifidum, and Bifidobacteria longum, which help to maintain a healthy balance of the intestinal microflora and increase our first line of devense in the guy by enhancing macrophages and other immune factors by releasing immune boosting materials. This potent supplement of beneficial bacteria is also ideal for those taking antibiotics, those who are traveling or for those who just want to insure a plethora of beneficial bacteria in their intestinal tracts. Antibiotics are not selective in the bacteria that they kill off. When our friendly bacteria are wiped out, the bad guys have a window of opportunity to take over, as they grow much quicker than our friendly bacteria, and cause us problems. The lactic acid (friendly) bacteria have been shown to produce vitamins, enzymes and antimicrobial compounds that may improve the environment in the intestinal tract. Studies also suggest that friendly bacteria may help to increase resistance to some microbial infections.20-21 Kyo-Dophilus has demonstrated incredible stability at room temperature maintaining more than one billion live cells per capsule through its three-year shelf life. A minimum of one billion live cells per day is considered to be necessary to obtain desired effectiveness from a probiotic supplement. Kyo-Dophilus also comes in tablet form, in a nine-strain formation known as Kyo-Dophilus® 9, and in a smaller form for children, Kid's Kyo-Dophilus®.
Supplying your immune system with adequate nutrition may promote health and ward of illness. If you give the body the tools it needs to heal it-self, it is amazing what it is capable of.
Probiotics - Our Friendly Bacteria
June 16, 2005 10:51 AM
An estimated 10 quadrillion bacteria make their home in the average digestive system. Fortunately, less than one percent of the 400 different species found in the intestine are potentially harmful. The majority of intestinal flora are friendly bacteria, otherwise known as probiotics. These probiotic bacteria support good health by limiting the growth of harmful bacteria, promoting good digestion and increasing resistance to infection.*1
Probiotic bacteria are completely non-toxic. In fact, friendly bacteria have been used safely and effectively for more than 8,000 years, proving their value to human health.*2 Most often, probiotics have been consumed as part of cultured foods, such as acidophilus milk, yogurt, soy tempeh, and idli (cultured wheat). The friendly bacteria in these foods, specifically Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, and Bifidobacterium bifidum, multiply in the warm, moist environment of the human body by feeding on the carbohydrates and protein in the digestive tract, then establish colonies along the intestinal wall.
Beneficial Roles of Probiotics
Lactobacillus acidophilus and other friendly bacteria play many important roles in maintaining good health.* According to experts, regular consumption of probiotics is the best way to maintain healthy intestinal flora.*3, 4 Lactobacilli species do not survive very long in the colon, so bacteria colonies need to be routinely replenished.*
In addition to producing numerous vitamins, probiotics support healthy digestion.* Part of the reason fermented foods are healthful is that some of the proteins, fats and carbohydrates are partially digested by the bacteria, which increases overall digestibility and nutritional value of the food.*5, 6
Lactose intolerant individuals may gain even more benefits from probiotics. Lactobacilli bacteria ferment as much as half of the lactose in milk—the part of milk that results in the symptoms of bloating, cramps and gas in lactose intolerant individuals—by converting it to lactic acid. Consequently, people with lactose intolerance report fewer digestive problems with cultured dairy foods compared to fresh milk.*5, 7
The nutritional profile of foods is improved after being cultured with probiotics. Levels of several B vitamins, including vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12, niacin, folic acid and pantothenic acid are higher in fermented foods, such as yogurt, cheese, kefir and buttermilk.*5 Fermentation also boosts the digestibility of soy foods.*8
Inhibiting bacterial growth:
Probiotics act as natural antibiotics, slowing the growth of harmful bacteria.*5, 6 These friendly bacteria produce substances, including lactic acid, acetic acid, benzoic acid, hydrogen peroxide and natural antibiotics, which limit the reproduction of certain disease-causing bacteria.*9
Another way that probiotic bacteria maintain a healthy digestive tract is by competing with harmful bacteria in the intestine. When the intestine is full of large colonies of beneficial bacteria, disease-causing bacteria are simply not able to multiply into harmful numbers because there are no available attachment sites on the intestinal wall.* This is one of the ways L. acidophilus inhibits the growth of Candida albicans, coliform (e. coli) bacteria and salmonella.*3, 4, 10, 11
Diarrhea can have many causes, but it always has the same result for the bacteria living in the intestine—it flushes them out, leaving the body vulnerable to the growth of opportunistic bacteria. It is important to replenish the body with probiotics during and after a bout of diarrhea.* Probiotic bacteria can also help keep the colon healthy when traveling.*4
Lactobacilli are one of the primary bacteria found in normal vaginal flora, and their presence is believed to inhibit the overgrowth of harmful bacteria, such as Candida. Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures are a popular folk remedy for vaginal health.*4, 10
Recolonization After Antibiotic Use:
Antibiotics, given to treat bacterial infections, ironically can contribute to unhealthy bacteria growth. Antibiotics destroy bacteria, the good along with the bad, leaving the intestine without its normal, healthful flora. In this compromised state, disease-causing bacteria can multiply unchecked by friendly bacteria.*12 When ingested during and following antibiotic usage, L. acidophilus rapidly restores normal flora, shortening the time that undesirable organisms remain in the gut.*3, 12 Bifidobacterium bifidum can also help normalize the intestinal flora after using antibiotics.*10
Producing the Best Probiotics
Fermenting foods with lactobacilli has been a time-honored method for both preserving and enhancing foods. Before refrigeration, fermentation was a valuable way to preserve food safety, and it remains in common usage today.
Nature’s Life uses the same basic principles developed and perfected by prehistoric nomadic peoples to produce Lactobacillus acidophilus products; with the exception that we use modern, high-volume equipment. These improvements, along with trained personnel, scientific methods and quality assurance practices, ensures that every batch meets our high standards of quality.
Our lactobacilli are cultured on nutrient-dense food concentrates, such as soy protein, green peas or non-fat milk. We add natural apple juice, pasteurized clover honey, strawberries, carrot juice or maltodextrin for flavor and to provide carbohydrates for the micro-organisms, plus we use only pasteurized water.
Our growth medium has a broad range of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, essential fatty acids, organic acids and naturally occurring plant phytonutrients such as flavonoids and carotenoids with beneficial antioxidant properties. The temperature and moisture are carefully controlled during the several days needed for the bacteria to multiply to peak potency.
At the peak of potency, Nature’s Life Liquid Acidophilus culture is poured directly into sanitized 16 oz. glass bottles and immediately refrigerated at 36°F to maintain peak potency. These liquid products are the most bioactive of all forms of acidophilus because they are dormant, rather than frozen.
For our freeze-dried powders and capsules, the warm liquid culture is immediately poured into containers, sealed and refrigerated. After cooling, the liquid is poured into trays and instantly freeze-dried. The frozen Lactobacillus is then processed through a vacuum freezer to lower the moisture level to an absolute minimum. This freeze-dried product is packaged as either powder or capsules. When swallowed, the microorganisms will rehydrate and begin colonizing the gastrointestinal tract with friendly bacteria.
Nature’s Life acidophilus is not filtered, centrifuged or otherwise concentrated or separated from its growth medium to artificially obtain higher concentrations of bacteria per gram or capsule. Centrifuging may damage the Lactobacillus by altering the natural clumping, chaining and branching of bacteria cells.*
Nature’s Life probiotic products retain all the benefits of the nutrient-rich growth medium. All the valuable by-products of the bacteria’s metabolism remain in the final product, including B-vitamins, enzymes, organic acids, antibodies and even naturally occurring antibiotics. The conclusion of experts is that products which are centrifuged or filtered are incomplete.13 14
Quality You Can Trust
Nature’s Life invests significant resources in perfecting the production of high quality Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures. You benefit from our knowledge and experience every time you choose our supplements.
Nature’s Life Lactobacillus cultures are manufactured with rigorous specifications using state-of-the-art equipment. All equipment and containers are sanitized to ensure that no contaminants or unfriendly pathogenic bacteria corrupt the quality of the L. acidophilus. The large capacity fermentation tanks and freeze dryers maintain consistency in each batch.
Nature’s Life Lactobacillus acidophilus meets or exceeds all standards developed by industry associations and government regulations. These standards, established to determine the quality of the finished product, are:
All of Nature’s Life Lactobacillus acidophilus products meet the acid test for effectiveness:
Using Nature’s Life Probiotics
Nature’s Life probiotics, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. bulgaricus and Bifidobacterium bifidum, can survive in the stomach for at least an hour.*15 Nature’s Life recommends taking probiotics either on an empty stomach or with food, however the presence of food can help the organisms stay alive longer.16
Liquid acidophilus should be treated as a perishable product, since it contains live, active organisms. Like yogurt or milk, acidophilus should be refrigerated and used within a short period of time. Contact Nature’s Life for a recipe on how to make your own soy-based, milk-free yogurt.
Menopause: Disease or Condition?
June 13, 2005 03:44 PM
Menopause: Disease or Condition?
by Mary Ann Mayo & Joseph L. Mayo, MD Energy Times, September 4, 1999
It's front-page news. It's politically correct and socially acceptable. Talking about menopause is in. Suddenly it's cool to have hot flashes. Millions of women turning 50 in the next few years have catapulted the subject of menopause into high-definition prominence.
It's about time. Rarely discussed openly by women (what did your mother ever advise you?), meno-pause until recently was dismissed as "a shutting down experience characterized by hot flashes and the end of periods." Disparaging and depressing words like shrivel, atrophy, mood swings and melancholia peppered the scant scientific menopausal literature.
What a difference a few years and a very vocal, informed and assertive group of Baby Boomers make. Staggered by the burgeoning numbers of newly confrontational women who will not accept a scribbled prescription and a pat on the head as adequate treatment, health practitioners and researchers have been challenged to unravel, explain and deal with the challenges of menopause.
Not An Overnight Sensation
Menopause, researchers have discovered, is no simple, clear cut event in a woman's life. The "change of life" does not occur overnight. A woman's body may begin the transition toward menopause in her early 40s, even though her last period typically occurs around age 51. This evolutionary time before the final egg is released is called the perimenopause. Erratic monthly hormone levels produce unexpected and sometimes annoying sensations.
Even as their bodies adjust to lower levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, some women don't experience typical signs of menopause until after the final period. A fortunate one-third have few or no discomforts.
According to What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause (Warner Books) by John R. Lee, MD, Jesse Hanley, MD, and Virginia Hopkins, "The steroid hormones are intimately related to each other, each one being made from another or turned back into another depending on the needs of the body...But the hormones themselves are just part of the picture. It takes very specific combinations of vitamins, minerals and enzymes to cause the transformation of one hormone into another and then help the cell carry out the hormone's message. If you are deficient in one of the important hormone-transforming substances such as vitamin B6 or magnesium, for example, that too can throw your hormones out of balance. Thyroid and insulin problems, toxins, bad food and environmental factors, medication and liver function affect nutrient and hormone balance."
The most important reproductive hormones include:
Estrogen: the female hormone produced by the ovaries from puberty through menopause to regulate the menstrual cycle and prepare the uterus for pregnancy. Manufacture drops significantly during menopause. Estradiol is a chemically active and efficient form of estrogen that binds to many tissues including the uterus, breasts, ovaries, brain and heart through specific estrogen receptors that allow it to enter those cells, stimulating many chemical reactions. Estriol and estrone are additional forms of estrogen.
Progesterone: also produced by the ovaries, it causes tissues to grow and thicken, particularly during pregnancy, when it protects and nurtures the fetus. Secretion ceases during menopause.
Testosterone: Women produce about one-twentieth of what men do, but require it to support sex drive. About half of all women quit secreting testosterone during menopause.
Estrogen's Wide Reach
Since estrogen alone influences more than 400 actions on the body, chiefly stimulating cell growth, the effects of its fluctuations can be far-reaching and extremely varied: hot (and cold) flashes, erratic periods, dry skin (including the vaginal area), unpredictable moods, fuzzy thinking, forgetfulness, fatigue, low libido, insomnia and joint and muscle pain.
Young women may experience premature menopause, which can occur gradually, as a matter of course, or abruptly with hysterectomy (even when the ovaries remain) or as a result of chemotherapy. Under such conditions symptoms can be severe.
In the 1940s doctors reasoned that if most discomforts were caused by diminishing estrogen (its interactive role with progesterone and testosterone were underestimated), replacing it would provide relief. When unchecked estrogen use resulted in high rates of uterine cancer, physicians quickly began adding progesterone to their estrogen regimens and the problem appeared solved.
For the average woman, however, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) became suspect and controversial, especially when a link appeared between extended use of HRT (from five to 10 years) and an increase in breast and endometrial cancers (Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 37, 1997). The result: Women have drawn a line in the sand between themselves and their doctors.
Resolving The Impasse
Since hormone replacement reduces the risk of major maladies like heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's, colon cancer and diabetes that would otherwise significantly rise as reproductive hormone levels decrease, most doctors recommend hormone replacement shortly before or as soon as periods stop. Hormone replacement also alleviates the discomforts of menopause.
But only half of all women fill their HRT prescriptions and, of those who do, half quit within a year. Some are simply indifferent to their heightened medical risks. Some are indeed aware but remain unconvinced of the safety of HRT. Others complain of side effects such as bloating, headaches or drowsiness.
Women's resistance to wholesale HRT has challenged researchers to provide more secure protection from the diseases to which they become vulnerable during menopause, as well as its discomforts. If the conventional medical practitioners do not hear exactly what modern women want, the complementary medicine community does. Turning to centuries-old botanicals, they have validated and compounded them with new technology. Their effectiveness depends on various factors including the synergistic interaction of several herbs, specific preparation, the correct plant part and dosage, harvesting and manufacturing techniques.
Research demonstrates that plant hormones (phytoestrogens) protect against stronger potentially carcinogenic forms of estrogen while safely providing a hormone effect. Other herbs act more like tonics, zipping up the body's overall function.
Help From Herbs
Clinical trials and scientific processing techniques have resulted in plant-based supplements like soy and other botanicals that replicate the form and function of a woman's own estrogen.
The complementary community also can take credit for pushing the conventional medical community to look beyond estrogen to progesterone in postmenopausal health.
Natural soy or Mexican yam derived progesterone is formulated by pharmacologists in creams or gels that prevent estrogen-induced overgrowth of the uterine lining (a factor in uterine cancer), protect against heart disease and osteoporosis and reduce hot flashes (Fertility and Sterility 69, 1998: 96-101).
A quarter of the women who take the popularly prescribed synthetic progesterone report increased tension, fatigue and anxiety; natural versions have fewer side effects.
These "quasi-medicines," as Tori Hudson, a leading naturopathic doctor and professor at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, Oregon, calls them, are considered "stronger than a botanical but weaker than a medicine." (Hudson is author of Gynecology and Naturopathic Medicine: A Treatment Manual.)
According to Hudson, the amount of estrogen and progesterone in these supplements is much less than medical hormone replacement but equally efficacious in relieving menopausal problems and protecting the heart and bones.
According to a study led by Harry K. Genant, PhD, of the University of California, San Francisco, "low-dose" plant estrogen derived from soy and yam, supplemented with calcium, prevents bone loss without such side effects as increased vaginal bleeding and endometrial hypoplasia, abnormal uterine cell growth that could be a precursor to endometrial cancer (Archives of Internal Medicine 157, 1997: 2609-2615).
These herbal products, including natural progesterone and estrogen in the form of the weaker estriol or estrone, may block the effect of the stronger and potentially DNA-damaging estradiol.
Soy in its myriad dietary and supplemental forms provides a rich source of isoflavones and phytosterols, both known to supply a mild estrogenic effect that can stimulate repair of the vaginal walls (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 83, 1991: 541-46).
To enhance vaginal moisture, try the herb cimicifuga racemosa, the extract of black cohosh that, in capsule form, builds up vaginal mucosa (Therapeuticum 1, 1987: 23-31). Traditional Chinese herbal formulas containing roots of rehmannia and dong quai have long been reputed to promote vaginal moisture.
Clinical research in Germany also confirms the usefulness of black cohosh in preventing hot flashes and sweating, as well as relieving nervousness, achiness and depressed moods caused by suppressed hormone levels. It works on the hypothalamus (the body's thermostat, appetite and blood pressure monitor), pituitary gland and estrogen receptors. Green tea is steeped with polyphenols, mainly flavonoids, that exert a massive antioxidant influence against allergens, viruses and carcinogens. The risks of estrogen-related cancers such as breast cancer are particularly lowered by these flavonoids, as these substances head directly to the breast's estrogen receptors. About three cups a day exert an impressive anti-inflammatory, antiallergenic, antiviral and anticarcinogenic effect.
Other phytoestrogen-rich botanicals, according to Susun Weed's Menopausal Years: The Wise Woman Way (Ash Tree Publishing), include motherwort and Lactobacillus acidophilus to combat vaginal dryness; hops and nettles for sleep disturbances; witch hazel and shepherd's purse for heavy bleeding; motherwort and chasteberry for mood swings; dandelion and red clover for hot flashes.
Our Need For Supplements
Adding micronutrients at midlife to correct and counter a lifetime of poor diet and other habits is a step toward preventing the further development of the degenerative diseases to which we become vulnerable. At the very minimum, you should take:
a multivitamin/mineral supplement vitamin E calcium
Your multivitamin/mineral should contain vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc. Look for a wide variety of antioxidants that safeguard you from free radical damage, believed to promote heart disease and cancer, as well as contribute to the aging process.
Also on the list: mixed carotenoids such as lycopene, alpha carotene and vitamin C; and folic acid to help regulate cell division and support the health of gums, red blood cells, the gastrointestinal tract and the immune system.
Studies indicate a deficiency of folic acid (folate) in 30% of coronary heart disease, blood vessel disease and strokes; lack of folate is thought to be a serious risk factor for heart disease (OB.GYN News, July 15, 1997, page 28).
Extra vitamin E is believed to protect against breast cancer and bolster immune strength in people 65 and older (Journal of the American Medical Association 277, 1997: 1380-86). It helps relieve vaginal dryness, breast cysts and thyroid problems and, more recently, hit the headlines as an aid in reducing the effects of Alzheimer's and heart disease. It is suspected to reduce the thickening of the carotid arterial walls and may prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, which contributes to the formation of plaque in arteries.
Selenium also has been identified as an assistant in halting cancer (JAMA 276, 1996: 1957-63).
The Omegas To The Rescue
Essential fatty acids found in cold water fish, flaxseed, primrose and borage oils and many nuts and seeds are essential for the body's production of prostaglandin, biochemicals which regulate hormone synthesis, and numerous physiological responses including muscle contraction, vascular dilation and the shedding of the uterine lining. They influence hormonal balance, reduce dryness and relieve hot flashes.
In addition, the lignans in whole flaxseed behave like estrogen and act aggressively against breast cancer, according to rat and human studies at the University of Toronto (Nutr Cancer 26, 1996: 159-65).
Research has demonstrated that these omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can reverse the cancer-causing effects of radiation and other carcinogens (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 74, 1985: 1145-50). Deficiencies may cause swelling, increased blood clotting, breast pain, hot flashes, uterine and menstrual cramps and constipation. Fatigue, lack of endurance dry skin and hair and frequent colds may signal EFA shortage. Plus, fatty fish oils, along with vitamin D and lactose, help absorption of calcium, so vital for maintaining bone mass.
In addition, studies show that the natural substance Coenzyme A may help menopausal women reduce cholesterol and increase fat utilization (Med Hyp 1995; 44, 403, 405). Some researchers belive Coenzyme A plays a major role in helping women deal with stress while strengthening immunity.
Can't shake those menopausal woes? Menopause imposters may be imposing on you: The risk of thyroid disease, unrelenting stress, PMS, adrenal burnout, poor gastrointestinal health and hypoglycemia all increase at midlife. Menopause is a handy hook on which to hang every misery, ache and pain but it may only mimic the distress of other ailments. For this reason every midlife woman should have a good medical exam with appropriate tests to determine her baseline state of health. Only with proper analysis can you and your health practitioner hit on an accurate diagnosis and satisfying course of therapy.
And if menopause is truly the issue, you have plenty of company. No woman escapes it. No woman dies from it. It is not a disease but a reminder that one-third of life remains to be lived. Menopausal Baby Boomers can anticipate tapping into creative energy apart from procreation. If not new careers, new interests await. An altered internal balance empowers a menopausal woman to direct, perhaps for the first time, her experience of life. She has come of age-yet again. Gone is the confusion, uncertainty, or dictates of a hormone driven life: This time wisdom and experience direct her. There is no need to yearn for youth or cower at the conventional covenant of old age. Menopause is the clarion call to reframe, reevaluate and reclaim.
Mary Ann Mayo and Joseph L. Mayo, MD, are authors of The Menopause Manager (Revell) and executive editors of Health Opportunities for Women (HOW). Telephone number 877-547-5499 for more information.
In the Clear - Skin is always in danger of acne and inflammations
June 12, 2005 02:13 PM
In the Clear by Dianne Drucker Energy Times, August 3, 2003
Your skin needs protection even as it offers itself as your body's first line of defense against the outside world. Skin is always in danger of acne and inflammations during its daily encounters with stray microorganisms, streams of ultraviolet light and a barrage of pollutants.
Tending to your skin, keeping a clear complexion while safeguarding your well-being, requires proper feeding, watering and tender, loving care.
Your skin not only has to protect you, it has to look good while doing it. Unfortunately, much can go wrong with skin. One of the most common skin irregularities is the acne that often arises when pores clog and inflammation creates unsightly blemishes.
While conventional medicine has long insisted that your chances of developing pimples are unrelated to what you feed your body and your skin, recent studies are calling that accepted wisdom into question.
Research in the Archives of Dermatology (12/02) argues that today's pimples are linked to what you ate yesterday. Skin scientists now suspect that the typical American diet, filled with refined foods, sugars and simple starches, causes the exaggerated release of insulin and related secretions that foment pimples and blemishes.
The evidence: When researchers spent two years combing through the rainforests of New Guinea and trekking to remote parts of Paraguay, they took a close look at indigenous people's faces and couldn't find a single pimple. The inhabitants of these isolated areas eat homegrown food and wild game. They've never eaten crackers or cookies from a box or slurped a milkshake through a straw. And they've never had to cope with embarrassing acne.
The researchers concluded that no refined foods meant no blemishes.
Refining the Pimple Process
According to this latest theory, pimples can start when your digestive tract quickly absorbs refined, starchy carbohydrates from white bread or potatoes or sugary soft drinks. These foods are ranked at or near the top of the so-called glycemic index. That means that these foodstuffs cause your blood sugar to climb rapidly, the process that the glycemic index measures.
That rise in blood sugar causes the release of insulin from your pancreas into your bloodstream. Insulin, a hormone-like substance, helps cells soak up the excess sugar circulating in your blood. However, along with insulin, another substance, is also released. These two chemicals boost the production of testosterone, the male hormone that, in turn, can cause the skin to overproduce sebum, an oily goo that plugs up pores and gives birth to acne. (Previous research has already established the causal relationship of testosterone to pimples.)
Lorain Cordain, PhD, a health professor at Colorado State University and lead researcher in this study, points out that more than 80% of the grains we eat are highly refined and cause significant blood sugar increases, a factor that makes skin break out. In addition, he says, teens are especially susceptible to pimples because they are growing rapidly and, as a result, tend to be insulin resistant. Insulin resistance means it takes more insulin to persuade cells to take sugar out of the blood. This condition consequently results in even larger amounts of insulin being released and more skin blemishes being created.
According to Dr. Cordain, eating low-glycemic foods like whole grains, vegetables, fish and lean meat should lower your risk of acne. These foods don't bump up blood sugar as much, to be released and, as a result, are kinder to your skin.
Aside from improving your skin condition by improving the food you eat, taking supplements to help the bacteria in your lower digestive tract may also clear up your undesirable dermatological developments. Eczema, a discomforting and embarrassing skin inflammation, is now believed to depend on the interaction between intestinal bacteria and your immune system.
According to research in Finland (The Lancet 2001; 357:1076), eczema may appear on your skin when your immune system, influenced by the gut's bacteria, misbehaves, using unnecessary inflammation to defend against a non-existent infection that it mistakenly believes threatens the skin.
Atopic eczema, a variety of eczema that often runs in families, has long been known to be linked to allergies and immune overreactions.
In looking into the fact that more and more people have been suffering eczema, scientists came to the disturbing conclusion that this increase may be at least partly attributed to our obsession with cleanliness.
When we are young, our immune systems learn the proper ways to fight off germs by interacting with the bacteria and viruses they encounter. But during the past ten years, so many of us (and our parents) have kept our houses so neurotically spic-and-span, according to the latest theory, that our immune systems are failing to develop the proper responses. So, like a bored, inexperienced security guard who imagines a threat when there is none, our immune defenses are going slightly haywire, causing the defensive inflammation of eczema even in the absence of real bacteriological invasions. The possible solution: Probiotic supplements of harmless bacteria like Lactobacillus GG. This bacteria, similar to the friendly bacteria that live in our large intestines, seems to calm immunity so that it is less likely to panic and start an unnecessary inflammation.
These supplements are so safe, medical researchers are now giving them to pregnant women and newborn babies. In the research in Finland, giving these probiotics to mothers and newborns cut the rate of infant atopic eczema in half. (Similar, live bacteria are also found in yogurt, although yogurt should not be fed to newborns.)
The skin on these children is benefiting for long periods of time. "Our findings show that the preventive effect of Lactobacillus GG on atopic eczema in at-risk children extends to the age of 4 years," notes Marko Kalliomäki, MD, author of the study.
Tea Tree Help
Further natural skin help can be had from Australia in the form of tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia). Long revered by the aborigines of this continent, tea tree oil was allegedly given its English name by British sea captain James Cook, who used the plant to make a tea that improved the flavor of beer.
But Australians have long used tea tree oil as an antiseptic. Its popularity increased during World War II, when, after it was used as a lubricant on heavy machinery, mechanics who got the oil on their hands noticed it fought skin infections. As pointed out in The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook (Three Rivers Press), "The essential oil of tea tree...contains a number of terpenes, of which terpinen-4-ol is believed to be responsible for its beneficial anti-infective activity." Terpenes are special, beneficial types of protein found in essential oils.
Tea tree is especially useful against skin outbreaks caused by fungus infections. Research in Australia shows that it can help quell athlete's foot (Austr Jrnl Derm 1992; 33:145) as effectively as some pharmaceutical preparations. Other research confirms that it can help quiet many different fungi that cause unsightly skin outbreaks (Skin Pharm 1996; 9:388). The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook recommends that "every household should keep some tea tree oil close at hand. It can be applied directly to skin irritations."
Revered by the pharaohs' healers in Egypt during the ancient age of the pyramids, and depended upon for centuries by the Greeks for a variety of medicinal purposes, chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is still employed for a range of skin problems. This botanical helps ease abscesses, bruises or sunburn, and is included in many massage oils. (But never apply chamomile's undiluted essential oil to the skin.)
In addition, creams and sprays with chamomile are used to calm the nerves and nourish the skin. As an element in aromatherapy, chamomile, whose odor has been compared to apples, is well-known for soothing and rejuvenating the spirit. Explaining exactly how chamomile heals and calms has not been easy for scientists. Essential oils like chamomile contain so many different natural chemicals that exploring their holistic effect on the human body requires detailed analysis. As an aromatherapeutic agent, researchers believe chamomile and other essential oils may interact with the brain, activating glands that stimulate healing systems within the body. But that has yet to be proven.
What has been proven is that herbs like chamomile and tea tree, and natural treatments like probiotics, can make a big difference in keeping your skin healthy and clear. With their help, you can present your best face to the world.
June 10, 2005 04:08 PM
Basic Detox by Harriet Epstein , February 4, 2002
Basic Detox By Harriet Epstein Trying to stay healthy and clean in a dirty world can prove a difficult task. The rise of modern industry and agriculture has meant the widespread accumulation of toxins in our environment that can cause health problems.
As Kenneth Bock, MD, and Nellie Sabin point out in their book The Road to Immunity (Pocket), "Fat soluble chemicals are readily absorbed by the body but are difficult to excrete. To be excreted, they must first be enzymatically converted into water-soluble substances. Some of them can't be converted at all."
Bock and Sabin point out that a 1990 survey by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that looked at people's tissues found that everyone the agency examined had styrene (a chemical used to make plastic) and xylene (a paint and gasoline solvent) stored in their bodyfat.
The toxins that you encounter every day are not only present in air and water, but also may be found in food and medicines. If we eat beef that's been exposed to pesticides, those chemicals may be shunted into our bodyfat. Pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables may end up in a similar place.
To cope with chemicals, the human body has evolved methods for detoxifying. When we breathe out we often release inhaled toxins. Other toxins are purged through urine, feces and sweat.
One of the chief organs responsible for cleansing the body is the liver. This organ utilizes a pair of chemical pathways for breaking down and eliminating toxins. In our hectic, industrialized world, this flow of toxins can overwhelm the liver's ability to detoxify. In addition, the dual processes the liver uses to eliminate noxious substances may become unbalanced, allowing toxins produced by one pathway to build up to dangerous proportions.
Once liver function falters, toxic havoc ensues. Toxins may remain in the body, often stored indefinitely in bodyfat. The body's detoxifying systems may be swamped with toxins.
In protecting the liver and enhancing its detox functions, many naturopathic practitioners recommend the herb milk thistle (silybum marianum). According to Steven Bratman, MD, and David Kroll, PhD, authors of the Natural Health Bible (Prima), milk thistle helps the liver cope with its toxic load. Consequently, milk thistle is frequently used in Europe for liver problems like jaundice.
Bratman and Kroll point out that milk thistle "is one of the few herbs that have no real equivalent in the world of conventional medicine." As Lise Alschuler, ND, medical director at the Bastyr Natural Health Clinic, told Natural Digest, "Milk thistle protects the liver against toxic damage (and) helps prevent damage to the rest of the body."
The compounds in milk thistle that help zap toxins, known as silymarin, protect the liver by binding with substances that would otherwise interact with the liver and slow its function. They also help the liver repair itself and regenerate new liver cells.
As an extra bonus, silymarin acts as an antioxidant, protecting liver cell membranes from oxidative damage.
Dandelion has a place as another traditional treatment for toning the liver and boosting the body's filtration system. The leaves are a cornucopia of antioxidants and nutrients including B vitamins, vitamins A, C and D, plus boron, silicon, potassium, magnesium and zinc. They help detoxify by acting as a mild diuretic: they cause the body to eliminate excess fluid.
But herbalists worldwide have found the compounds in dandelion root most useful for helping alleviate liver and gall bladder malfunction. (If you think you suffer these difficulties, consult your health practitioner.) Two unique and helpful natural substances found in dandelion root are chemicals called germacranolide and eudesmanolide. The root, according to the Natural Health Bible, has traditionally been used to speed up a sluggish or congested liver as well as detoxing the body by eliminating constipation. Research indicates dandelion root may stimulate bile flow (Arzneimittel -forschung 9, 1959: 376-378).
Juniper berries (Juniperus communis), may also be taken with dandelion as a diuretic. This botanical, often used to combat urinary tract problems, is also an anti-inflammatory (Phyto Res 1, 1997: 28-31).
Heavy metals rank as dangerous toxins unleashed by modern industry. As Michael Murray, ND, and Joseph Pizzorno, ND, explain in the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), metals like lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, nickel and aluminum can "accumulate within the (body) where they can severely disrupt normal function."
Public health experts estimate at least one in five Americans has been a victim of heavy metal poisoning. Lead may be the most common villain. In your everyday life, you may be ingesting metals from your cookware, from pesticides, cigarette smoke, dental fillings, polluted fish, and chipping house paint.
Signs that you may suffer from toxicity linked to heavy metals: Unusual fatigue, Persistent headaches, Unexplained muscle pains, Anemia, Ringing in the ears or dizziness and Tremors.
Of course, if you think you suffer from heavy metal poisoning, you should see a knowledgeable health practitioner as soon as possible. Murray and Pizzorno recommend an array of precautions to protect yourself against heavy metals in the environment:
Take a daily multivitamin and mineral.
Take extra amounts of vitamin C and B-complex.
Take amino acids that contain sulfur (taurine, cysteine and methionine) and high sulfur foods like onions and garlic (or supplements). (Consult your pharmacist of health practitioner before taking individual amino acids.)
In addition, Leo Galland, MD, in his book The Four Pillars of Healing (Random House) offers these tips for keeping your digestive tract functioning at top capacity:
Take supplements of lactobacil-lus acidophilus and Lactobacillus plantarum, friendly bacteria that in-habit the large intestine. These microorganisms can help break down toxins and eliminate them.
Use aspirin and ibuprofen as little as possible. They increase the permeability of the digestive system, allowing allergens and other problematic substances to enter the body.
Do not use antacids. The stomach's acidic environment is designed to kill ingested bacteria and parasites.
To fight digestive problems or heartburn, cut back on saturated fat; eat smaller meals. Chewing on calcium tablets after meals may help. Foods that can exacerbate heartburn include coffee, alcoholic beverages and very spicy foods.
Dr. Galland also recommends not eating for four hours before bed.
Environmental Free Radicals
Detoxing the body may also require taking antioxidant nutrients to fight off what are called free radicals.
Free radicals are caustic molecues thought to be involved in causing many chronic problems such as cancer and heart disease. Free radicals are created within the body and its cells every time a metabolic activity takes place. While the human body has developed its own mechanisms for defending itself against these byproducts of metabolism, exposure to pollution, radiation and other toxins may overburden the body's free radical burden. Scientists believe that taking extra antioxidant nutrients like vitamins C and E and carotenoids (natural substances found in many vegetarian foods) may help prevent damage by free radicals.
Environmental oxidizing agents include ionizing radiation (from industry, sun, cosmic rays, x-rays) ozone and nitrous oxide (from auto exhaust) heavy metals (mercury, cadmium, lead) and cigarette smoke, along with other chemical and compounds from food, water and air. Free radicals are believed to play a role in more than sixty different health conditions, including the aging process, cancer and arteriosclerosis. (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1993;90:7915-7922).
The good news? Reducing exposure to free radicals and increasing intake of antioxidant nutrients can shrink the risk of these health problems.
"Antioxidants can't get rid of heavy metals and solvents," says Dr. Glidden, "but they do cut down on the damage they do while they're there. As toxins wander through your body, they generate metabolic reactions, resulting in free radicals. And anti-oxidants mop them up." The liver is the last line of defense in handling toxins; supplements help it regenerate itself.
The body itself does produce enzymes like Superoxide dismutase (SOD) catalase, and glutathione peroxidase which can defend against and defuse many types of free radicals.
Supplements of these compounds are also available to augment the body's supply.
These building block nutrients include the minerals manganese, zinc, and copper for SOD and selenium for glutathione peroxidase. Many vitamins and minerals act as antioxidants. Dr. Crinnion recommends a multivitamin with "a lot of B, especially magnesium."
Since chlorinated pesticides like DDT "rob the body" of B1 and Vitamin A, he says, it's a good idea to supplement these as well.
In addition, acidophilus, a beneficial bacteria that grows in the digestive tract (and found in yogurt) may restore immunity hurt by pollutants. A study on women with recurrent vaginal candidiasis found that acidophilus cut their infections by 300% (Annals Int Med 1992; 116:353-357.)
Another immunity enhancer, colostrum, a natural immune enhancer that promotes cellular repair (Food Res Intl. 1995, 28(1):9-16) can also help the immune system battle pollution.
Vitamin C vs Pollution
A study of vitamin's C's antioxidant properties, conducted by University of Buffalo epidemiologists, and presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Epidemiologic Research, revealed that people with higher levels of vitamin C in their blood serum have lower levels of a marker of oxidative stress.
"It is well known that oxidative stress (cell damage caused by free radicals) plays a role in arteriosclerosis, cancer, pulmonary disease and other chronic conditions," said Holger Schunemann, M.D. a research assistant professor of social and preventive medicine at the University of Buffalo and lead author on the study.
"In this population, vitamin C was negatively associated with oxidative stress, suggesting it may play a role in protecting against these diseases." Vitamin C is the "greatest antioxidant," says Dr. Crinnion. "It has even been shown to clear lead from the blood."
A powerful fat-soluble antioxidant, Vitamin E scavenges free radicals protecting cells from oxidative damage. Vitamin E, "reverses toxicity of various toxic chemicals," says Dr. Walter Crinnion, "it is also a stabilizer of membranes." A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition regarding antioxidant vitamin supplementation and lipid peroxidation in smokers even indicates that an antioxidant-supplemented drink can reduce lipid peroxidation and susceptibility of LDL to oxidation in smokers and may ameliorate the oxidative stress of cigarette smoke.
Dr. Glidden recommends E preferably in the form of mixed tocopherols )If you take blood thinners, check with your health practitioner.)
Unfortunately, completely avoiding toxins in today's world is probably impossible. Civilization and toxic chemicals accompany each other hand in rubber-glove-encased hand. Still, with proper attention to nutrition and supplements to keep our bodies detoxifying, we can probably minimize health difficulties linked to these undesirables.
Stevia Sweetleaf with FOS - A Healthy Choice for Balanced Blood Sugar Levels
June 06, 2005 09:08 AM
Since the first sugar cane was brought from exotic South Pacific and Caribbean islands generations ago, Americans have had a love affair with foods that are super sweet but lack true nourishment. This has led to the development of literally thousands of good tasting but nutritionless foods that have contributed to childhood and adult obesity, energy depletion, mood swings, decreased brain function, and countless other negative effects on human health. Nature has also provided help in the form of an amazing herb from Paraguay, Stevia rebaudiana. Now Planetary Formulas brings you this beneficial herb with its introduction of STEVIA SWEETLEAF WITH FOS.
STEVIA SWEETLEAF contains a concentrated extract of stevia leaves and fructooligosaccharides (FOS) derived from the roots of the Chicory plant (Cichorium intiba). Stevia leaves have been used as a staple in the diet of the Gaurani Indians for more than 1500 years. One of stevia’s greatest attributes is that it contains no calories and no fat. Traditionally, it was used in foods and as a digestive tonic. Modern research has shown that stevia can help to balance blood sugar levels through an enhancement of insulin production. Balanced blood sugar levels in turn can help maintain stable energy levels, proper brain function, and emotional stability, while also reducing sugar cravings.
Planetary Formulas STEVIA SWEETLEAF WITH FOS contains a highly potent stevia extract containing 90% steviosides, the primary active components of stevia. Stevia has been used historically to improve digestion and gastrointestinal function. A healthy gastrointestinal tract is important for digestion, assimilation, the efficient burning of calories, the elimination of toxins, and healthy immune functions. The steviosides in stevia pass through the digestive process without chemically breaking down, so the body obtains no calories from it and it does not contribute to swings in blood sugar levels in the way that consumption of simple sugars do. Modern research suggests stevia has a positive effect on the pancreas, the primary sugar regulating organ of the body.
Unlike many stevia extracts, which are made with toxic extracting solvents, Planetary Formulas uses a water extraction process to avoid the presence of potentially toxic compounds. This is also more ecologically sound: a perfect supplement for people and planet.
FOS is a delicious, fiber-rich group of compounds that also serve as an herbal intestinal prebiotic. Prebiotics are substances that promote the body's natural production of friendly flora, most specifically, Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. The magic of FOS is that–like the steviosides–it passes through the stomach and small intestine undigested. Once in the colon, it helps to create a healthy bacterial environment. Part of its action in the colon is its ability to increase the production of short-chain fatty acids, which have beneficial effects on fat metabolism that are similar to fiber. The results are improvements in gastrointestinal function, bowel regularity, fat metabolism, and a cleansed colon--all of which are integral to health overall.
This combination of delicious flavor, fiber, blood sugar-balancing, and prebiotic activity makes STEVIA SWEETLEAF WITH FOS an ideal dietary supplement for healthy blood sugar levels, digestion, and colon health and as part of a healthy weight management program.
PLANETARY FORMULAS—YOUR SOURCE FOR ADVANCED HERBAL NUTRITION
Planetary Formulas is dedicated to bringing you the finest herbal supplement modern research has to offer. And now compelling research shows how the ingredients in STEVIA SWEETLEAF WITH FOS can help maintain normal blood sugar levels and a healthier lifestyle. Available in 2 oz, 4 oz and 8 oz sizes.
LACTOSE INTOLERANCE AND ACIDOPHILUS ...
May 18, 2005 06:21 PM
Lactose intolerance is a common condition. It occurs as the body is not able to digest the milk sugar found in dairy products. Symptoms can include stomach cramps, gas, diarrhea, indigestion and general stomach discomfort. Some individuals have a difficult time digestive and assimilating milk products. Acidophilus has been added to some commercial brands of milk products to aid in digestion. The addition of Lactobacillus acidophilus has been found to help improve lactose absorption and reduce the problems of some people with lactose intolerance. The acidophilus contains an enzyme that may be missing in individuals with lactose intolerance. This enzyme is responsible for changing the lactose to lactic acid. One study found that the addition of acidophilus to low fat milk improved the lactose absorption by four times in lactose sensitive individuals. The results were better over a week period and lasted for a week after the dis- continuation of the acidophilus milk.17
May 18, 2005 06:16 PM
High cholesterol levels have been linked to many serious conditions such as heart disease and cancer. Acidophilus seems promising in helping to lower cholesterol levels. It may work by converting cholesterol to coprostanol which is not absorbed in the body; thus working to lower overall body cholesterol levels.13 Some research has found that Lactobacillus acidophilus may help to lower blood cholesterol levels.14 Blood cholesterol levels of 54 volunteers were monitored. Volunteers were given either milk or yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus. After one week, the individuals given the yogurt had lowered their choles- terol levels by five to ten percent.15
A study involving pigs also found beneficial effects in lowering cholesterol using Lactobacillus acidophilus. Pigs were fed pure crystalline cholesterol. One group received acidophilus in their diet while another was not. The animals receiving the acidophilus showed lower gains in serum cholesterol levels.16
CANDIDA YEAST INFECTIONS
May 18, 2005 06:00 PM
CANDIDA YEAST INFECTIONS
Many women are plagued with a constant battle with yeast infections. It is one of the most common reasons women visit a physician. It can be a very annoying condition often causing pain and discomfort. Candida albicans is commonly found on the skin, mouth, digestive tract and the vagina. Candida is a fungus found in the body all the time. Normally it does
not pose a threat because the numbers are kept under control by the beneficial bacteria (acidophilus). When an imbalance of the bacteria occurs, the candida can flourish sometimes leading to serious conditions. Antibiotic therapy, oral contraceptives, douching, and female hygiene sprays can all destroy the beneficial bacteria needed in the body and allow the candida to proliferate. Antibiotics are often used to treat yeast infections when they may be the initial culprit. Broad spectrum antibiotics can destroy the beneficial bacteria in the vagina allowing the yeast to grown. Using antibiotics to treat the condition can destroy the remaining good bacteria leading to a dependency on antibiotic treatment. Pregnancy can also cause disturbances in the intestinal flora.9 Whenever a disturbance in the bacterial flora occurs, it is important to take measures to reestablish the normal balance of friendly bacteria. One study found that women who consumed one cup daily of yogurt with the live Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures had a reduction in candida infections. The acidophilus does not kill the candida but helps to encourage an environment more suitable for the the beneficial bacteria to live and grow.10 Eileen Hilton M.D., a specialist at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York, followed 11 women with chronic yeast infections. They ate one cup daily of yogurt rich in live Lactobacillus acidophilus. During the last six months of the study, the women averaged only one yeast infection.11
Another study done by Alexander Neri, M.D. a the Beilinson Medical Center in Israel followed 32 women with bacterial vaginosis. They were asked to apply yogurt with Lactobacillus acidophilus twice a day for two weeks. Then they were told to skip a week and start again. After two days of treatment, all the women had recovered. All but four remained free of symptoms for two months.12
Other studies have also confirmed the benefits of Lactobacillus acidophilus in treating Candida albicans. Many beneficial results have been found using this natural form of treatment that enhances the body and encourages the growth of helpful bacteria rather than destroying all bacteria.
Acidophilus: Nature’s Antibiotic
May 18, 2005 05:51 PM
Acidophilus: Nature’s Antibiotic
Lactobacillus acidophilus has been found to contain antibiotic properties. According to Dr. Khem Shahani, a professor of food science at the Un i versity of Nebraska, milk fermented by Lactobacillus acidophilus contains an antibiotic he calls “acidophilin.” It is a powerful antibiotic with similar abilities as penicillin, streptomycin and terramycin. He actually believes that it is more powerful than the antibiotics mentioned.7 Detrimental bacteria invade our bodies on a daily basis. Supplementing with either yogurt containing live cultures or a freeze dried capsule may be necessary to protect the body. Lactobacillus acidophilus can protect the digestive system from microorganisms causing infection and disease. It is a supplement that can help protect the body and work as “nature’s antibiotic.”
Plain yogurt is basically a combination of milk and Lactobacillus acidophilus, the friendly bacteria. This is the bacteria that produces lactase which aids in the process of curdling the milk and giving yogurt its tart flavor. Yogurt containing live cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus have been found effective in treating vaginal yeast infections, infant diarrhea, food poisoning,and in preventing flu infections.8 Yogurt must contain the live, active cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus to be beneficial. The intestinal flora can be disrupted by conditions such as antibiotic therapy, stress, a poor diet, excess sugar consumption, and oral contraceptives. This friendly bacteria is not destroyed by the acidic gastric juices in the stomach and protects the body by adhering to the intestinal wall. Yogurt is a great way to add the beneficial bacteria often needed in the body. Some physicians recommend plain yogurt to patients undergoing antibiotic therapy to counteract the negative effects of the antibiotic. Many of the commercial brands of yogurt found in the neighborhood grocery store do not contain live, active cultures. Check carefully to assure the best quality available. Most health food stores have specialty brands with live cultures.
Acidophilus Probiotic 4 - 250ct
Acidophilus Probiotic 4 - 100ct
Acidophilus Probiotic 5 - 60ct
Multidophilus 180ct ...
May 18, 2005 05:30 PM
There is no doubt that antibiotics have saved numerous lives since their development. But many health care providers in the past have seen them as a panacea for all ailments including viral infections that are not affected by antibiotic therapy. They have been overused and with disastrous results. Antibiotics are used to help the body in fighting infection, but unfortunately, they also may encourage recurrent infections caused by a destruction of the good as well as the bad bacteria lowering the immune function and leading to a dependence on antibiotics. Because of an overuse and misuse of antibiotics, some forms of bacteria are now resistant to them. Diseases which were aided with antibiotic therapy are now resistant to the treatment. Antibiotics are sometimes prescribed by physicians even when they are not appropriate.4
Medical professionals almost felt guilty a few years ago when not prescribing some form of antibiotic when patients visited the office. After all, what good is a doctor if the patient does not leave with a cure. Fortunately, most doctors now know the detrimental affects that can follow excessive and inappropriate use of antibiotics. Most doctors now will be honest and up front with their patients when there is not a cure-all answer to their problem. An investigative reporter a few years ago visited a number of physicians around the country asking for antibiotics. It was interesting to note
that almost all of the physicians agreed to prescribing antibiotics upon the patients request even when it wasn’t warranted. In being confronted after, most replied that they had to do what the patient asked in order to keep their practice flourishing. No wonder antibiotic overuse has resulted in drug-resistant strains of bacteria. The negative affects of antibiotics are well known. Antibiotics interfere with the growth of bacteria, both good and bad. But they are crafty creatures and have the ability of changing their chemistry and genes to avoid destruction by antibiotics. They want to survive and thrive. They grow at a very rapid rate allowing for a whole generation of drug resistant strains to develop in just a relatively short period of time. Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin, warned of the problem that could occur with resistant strains if antibiotics were overused.5 The weaker bacteria may be killed while the stronger endure. This causes the strong, resistant bacteria to invade and take hold in the body. Mitchell L. Cohen, a researcher with the National Center for Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control, issued this warning about antibiotics in 1992: “Unless currently effective antimicro b i a l agents can be successfully preserved and the transmission of drug-resistant organisms curtailed, the postantimicrobial era may be rapidly approaching in which infectious disease ward housing untreatable conditions will again be seen.” Patients, doctors, scientists and Acidophilus
public health officials must all play their part in finding ways to reduce reliance upon antibiotics.6 Lactobacillus acidophilus is one of the most essential bacteria found in the intestinal tract. It helps to keep the disease causing organisms under contro l . Antibiotics can reduce the quantities of good and bad bacteria often allowing negative organisms to flourish. Broad spectrum antibiotics are the worst offenders often making way for an overgrowth of yeast which can affect the entire body. The broad spectrum antibiotics work just as they are called, broadly throughout the body, to kill just about all the bacteria around. If an antibiotic is warranted, the most specific type for the condition should be tried first in order to protect as much of the normal intestinal flora as possible. When taking antibiotics, Lactobacillus acidophilus can be taken by mouth to help restore normal intestinal flora. Acidophilus will not interfere with the effectiveness of the antibiotics but protect and aid in the healing process. Antibiotic use should be minimized; used only when essential to health and survival. The beneficial bacteria are the first to be destroyed from the antibiotic therapy. Lactobacillus acidophilus can also help to fight the bad bacteria and organisms that invade the body.
Natures AntiBiotic - Multidophilus 12 Probiotic Supplement 100ct
Natures AntiBiotic - Multidophilus 12 Probiotic Supplement 50ct
Probiotic Multidophilus 180ct
May 12, 2005 09:33 AM
Keeping the Intestines Healthy"Friendly Bacteria" Therapy Breakthrough
by Richard Conant, L.Ac., C.N.
Ninety percent of the cells found in the human body are not of human origin.
No, this does not mean we are all products of some sinister alien experiment.
The human body is made up of about 10 trillion cells. This huge number is dwarfed by the bacteria we all carry around in our intestinal tracts. The lower bowel is a campground for roughly 100 trillion bacteria, single-celled plant organisms that can be seen only through a microscope.
When we enjoy good intestinal health, the bulk of these bacteria are beneficial. Known as "friendly flora," these tiny guests help digest our food by breaking down undigested proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The friendliest of the friendly bacteria are the "lactobacilli," so named because they produce lactic acid in the bowel, by fermenting carbohydrates. This lactic acid production is profoundly important for keep the intestines healthy. And good intestinal health is the foundation of overall health.
How do we maintain a thriving population of lactic acid-producing bacteria in the gut? First introduced into the human body through mother's milk, lactobacilli are somewhat fragile. Stress, poor diets, and antibiotics can kill them off. They should be replanted fairly regularly throughout life. One way to do this is through consumption of cultured milk products such as sour milk, kefir and yogurt, which contain live lactobacilli. They can also be consumed in dietary supplements, but this may or may not be a reliable route. Bacterial products do not keep very well on the shelf, they require refrigeration, and are largely destroyed on the trip from the mouth to the gut by our own digestive juices.
Introducing Lactobacillus sporogenes- a revolutionary new friendly bacteria supplement.
This article will focus on one particular species of lactobacilli, a relatively unknown member of the family called Lactobacillus sporogenes. This lactic-acid producing bacteria may prove to be one of the most practical forms for use in supplements, thanks to a unique property not shared by the more well-known friendly flora such as acidophillus. L. Sporogenes is a spore-forming bacteria. Safely enclosed within a spore coat that protects it from the environment, L. sporogenes is resistant to heat, oxygen and digestive acids. Once L. sporogenes reaches the intestines, its spore coat dissolves, freeing the bacteria to multiply and churn out the beneficial lactic acid. (The spore coat, made up of a calcium-protein-carbohydrate complex, is harmless).1
The difficulty of keeping friendly bacteria supplements alive is an ongoing problem for manufacturers of these products. Studies have analyzed various commerical products claiming to contain acidophilus and found they often contain few live bacteria.2,3 L. Sporogenes is naturally microencapsulated; this insulates it from the gauntlet through which friendly bacteria in dietary supplements must pass.1 Autointoxication-Poisoning by Bacterial Toxins The intestinal tract may also play host to pathogenic, or disease-causing bacteria. These "unfriendly flora" cause putrefaction and release injurious toxins into the lower bowel. This healthy picture is all too common, and has long been concern of wholistic health practitioners.
The concept of "autointoxication," poisoning of the body by intestinal toxins, was popular among doctors in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. An editorial on the dangers of autointoxication which appeared in the June 3, 1893 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) declared that "most likely a large majority of chronic diseases take their origin from this cause."4 The famous Russian physician Eli Metchnikoff pioneered the use of lactobacteria for preventing autointoxication and restoring bowel health. His landmark work 'Prolongation of Life' sparked interest in lactobacilli as a food supplement.5,6
Naturopathy, widely practiced during the early twentieth century, has always stressed the fundamental importance of bowel cleansing. With the advent of so-called "scientific medicine," naturopathy slipped into decline, and the concept of autointoxication was discredited. Over the last thirty years or so, this has changed. Naturopathic medicine has rebounded, and the importance of bowel health is once again recognized. A paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1964, while opining that autointoxication "was exploited by quacks and faddists" in the early 1900's concedes that "the concept of autointoxication must now receive serious consideration."7
Leaders in the rebirth of natural medicine such as Dr. Bernard Jensen have helped educate the public about the importance of keeping the bowels healthy through regular use of lactobacilli. Jensen is well-known for his extensive studies of regions such as the Hunza Valley in Pakistan where people commonly live well over one hundred years. Jensen and others have noted that the consumption of fermented dairy products containing lactobacilli is a common dietary practice in these areas. Their observations have contributed to the popularity of friendly bacteria supplements. At the same time, clinical research has provided ample evidence of the beneficial effects of lactobacteria supplementation.5,9<.sup>
Eubiosis-Keeping a Healthy Bacteria Population in the Intestinal Tract
In his book 'Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management, which contains a wealth of valuable wisdom on intestinal health, Dr. Jensen writes, "Where health and vitality are found, we invariably find the friendly and beneficial microbes ... To a large extent the flora in the bowel determines the state of health in an individual."8 In a healthy bowel the friendly flora make up the bulk of the bacteria population. The unfriendly, disease-causing organisms are in the minority. The good bacteria keep them firmly under control. This healthy microbial balance in the gut is called "eubiosis."
Life in our modern industrial society is hardly favorable to eubiosis. Residents of the Hunza Valley lead unhurried lives in a pristine, pollution-free environment. They grow their own food in fertile, nutrient-rich soil, work close to the landÐand consume lactic-acid producing bacteria on a daily basis. For the rest of us who cannot hope to enjoy this enviable lifestyle, eubiosis is something we should never take for granted. This means taking proactive steps to plant the seeds of health in our intestinal garden, by using a viable friendly bacteria supplement.
Supplements which help to populate the intestinal tract with friendly bacteria are known as "probiotics." The term "probiotic" literally means "for life.' (In contrast, "antibiotic" means "against life.") Probiotics restore the natural state of "eubiosis" that is so very important for health and longevity.
L. Sporogenes-an ideal probiotic
Not every species of lactobacilli qualifies as an effective probiotic. As noted above, many do not survive processing, storage and passage through the digestive system very well. The following attributes make L. Sporogenes an ideal probiotic supplement:1,10,11
1) Naturally microencapsulatedÐstable at room temperature and can be stored unrefrigerated for long periods without loss of viable organisms.
2) Tolerates heat, stomach acid and bile, allowing it to successfully travel into the lower bowel.
3) Non-pathogenic, has only beneficial effects on its host. Has similar characteristics as acidophilus: prefers a mild acid environment; produces lactic acid, digestive enzymes, etc.
4) Readily multiplies in the human gut. In the stomach, the spore coat absorbs moisture and begins to swell. Upon reaching the small intestine, the bacteria cells germinate and begin to multiply, doubling in number every 30 minutes.
5) Produces enzymes which help digest protein, fats and carbohydrates. These enzymes include lactose, the enzyme that digests milk sugar.12
6) Creates a favorable environment (mildly acidic) in the gut for other friendly bacteria to thrive. Prevents overgrowth of pathogenic organisms.
7) Produces lactic acid in the form of L- lactic acid only.
The last point is especially important. Lactic acid occurs in the form of three isomers (substances with identical molecular structures that have different shapes): L-lactic acid, D-lactic acid and DL-lactic acid. The D form is metabolized slowly, and can produce acidosis in the system. (Infants have a particularly difficult time metabolizing D-lactic acid.)11,13 DL-Lactic acid, the kind acidophilus makes, may be converted to either D or L.
The L form is the one we want. L. sporogenes is a "homofermenter," it makes L-lactic acid exclusively. Lactic acid keeps the gut mildly acidic. This acidity is essential for the gut to be a hospitable home for friendly bacteria, and stops the growth of the unwelcome disease-causing bacteria.
L. sporogenes has only one drawback. It is a transient visitor that does not permanently colonize in the digestive tract. A study on the retention of L. sporogenes found no bacteria in the feces six days after consumption was discontinued.14
L. Sporogenes-Results from Clinical Studies
L. Sporogenes is used extensively in Japan and approved by the Japanese equivalent of the FDA. L. sporogenes has been given to hospital patients suffering from intestinal complaints such as gas and bloating due to abnormal fermentation, constipation, diarrhea and indigestion. (These problems often occur after surgery or chemotherapy.) A total of 16 clinical reports are on record in Japanese hospitals, documenting 293 case of digestive complaints treated with L. sporogenes.15 The overall improvement rate is an impressive 86 percent. Results are typically seen within four to five days. L. sporogenes has also been used with success to clear up diarrhea in newborns.16 Like other lactobacilli, L. sporogenes lowers blood cholesterol. (Lactobacilli break down cholesterol and bile salts in the intestinal tract.) Researchers at a hospital in New Delhi, India gave L. sporogenes tablets to 20 patients with high cholesterol for twelve weeks.17 Total cholesterol levels were substantially reduced, along with LDL cholesterol, and the beneficial HDL rose slightly.
The popularity of L. sporogenes in other countries as an ideal friendly bacteria supplement will no doubt be soon matched in the U.S. This microscopic helper for intestinal health is now sold in probiotic products under the name "Lactospore®."
1. Gandhi, A.B., Nagarathnam, T. Probiotics in veterinary use. Poultry Guide 1990;27(3):43-47.
2. Brennan, M., Wanismail, B., Ray, B. Prevalence of viable Lactobacillus acidophilus in dried commercial products. Journal of Food Protection 1983;46(10):887-92.
3. Gilliland, S.E., Speck, M.L. Enumeration and identity of lactobacilli in dietary products. Journal of Food Protection 1977;40(11):760-62.
4. Dalton, R.H. The limit of human Life, and how to live long. JAMA 1893;20:599-600.
5. Shahani, K.M., Ayebo, A.D. Role of dietary lactobacilli in gastrointestinal microecology. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1980;33:2448-57.
6. Metchnikoff, E.. Prolongation of Life. New York: G.P. Putnam Sons;1908.
7. Donaldson, R.M. Normal Bacterial populations of the intestine and their relation to intestinal function. New Eng. J. Med. 1964;270(18):938-45.
8. Jensen, B. Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management. Escondido, CA: publ. by Bernard Jensen, D.C.;1980.
9. Schauss, A.G. Lactobacillus acidophilus: method of action, clinical application, and toxicity data. Journal of Advancement in Medicine 1990;3(3):163-78.
10. 'General InformationÐLactospore®' 1996; Sabinsa Corporation: Piscataway, NJ.
11. Gandhi, A.B. Lactobacillus sporogenes, An Advancement in Lactobacillus Therapy. The Eastern Pharmacist August 1998:41-44.
12. Kim, Y.M., Lee, J.C., Choi, Y.J., Yang, H.C. Studies on the production of beta galactosidase by Lactobacillus sporogenes. Properties and application of beta galactosidase. Korean J. Appl. Microbiol. Bioeng. 1985;13(4):355-60.
13. Oh, MS. D-Lactic acidosis in a man with short bowel syndrome. New Eng J Med 1979;31(5):249-52.
14. Hashimo, K. et. al. New Drugs and Clinics 1964;13(9):53-66.
15. 'Abstracts of papers on the clinical studies of Lacbon' Unpublished data.
16. Dhongade, R.K., Anjaneyule, R. Lactobacillus sporogenes (Sporlac) in neonatal diarrhea. Unpublished data.
17. Mohan, J.C., Arora, R., Khaliullah, M. Preliminary observations on effect of Lactobacillus sporogenes on serum lipid levels in hypercholesterolemic patients. Indian J. Med. Res. 1990;92(B):431-32.
VitaNet ® Staff
May 09, 2005 06:10 PM
It's in the BloodNatural alternatives abound for managing cholesterol levels, backed by a growing body of research ©VR By Paul Bubny
The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) last July lowered the threshold for considering the use of statin drugs—a move which some say was motivated more by profits than scientific evidence. For example, the Center for Science in the Public Interest pointed out that eight of the nine authors behind the new recommendations had financial ties to statin manufacturers, which stand to reap billions of dollars more from a category that grossed $14 billion in the U.S. last year. And though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January decided against authorizing over-the-counter (OTC) sales of statin drugs, drug companies would still like to see this happen.
“The medical establishment’s pushing of these drugs to becoming the number one category of prescribed drugs in the world has led them to keep lowering the total cholesterol number that triggers the drug recommendation,” said Neil E. Levin, C.C.N., D.A.N.L.A., nutrition educator, product formulator, and “Truth Advocate” for NOW Foods (Bloomingdale, IL), which produces a number of supplements for addressing cholesterol. “This is despite the lack of evidence that total cholesterol means much as regards cardiovascular risks.
“Other tests are much more important in terms of predicting risks, including CRP (C-reactive protein), the balance of different cholesterol fractions, and homocysteine,” he continued. “Add adult-onset diabetes to the risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD).”
At the same time, the allegation that enormous sales potential lay behind the lower threshold for prescribing statin drugs illustrates how widespread the problem of hypercholesterolemia (elevated total cholesterol) is. More than 100 million Americans have elevated cholesterol (total cholesterol values of 200 mg/dl and higher), and of these, more than a third have high cholesterol (levels of 240 mg/dl and higher), according to the American Heart Association. Those numbers have unfavorable implications for the incidence of CVD, as high cholesterol is considered a risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke.
While statin drugs haven’t garnered the same degree of negative publicity that COX-2 inhibitors have suffered lately, safety concerns have arisen nonetheless. For one thing, these drugs lower the liver’s production of coenzyme Q10 (coQ10) along with its production of cholesterol. “CoQ10 is related to energy production and immune functions, is an antioxidant, and [is] an important cardiovascular nutrient,” Levin said. “It is not good to lower one’s coQ10 levels by half!”
Moreover, said Levin, statins increase the tendency of muscle tissues to break down. “Combined with inactivity or certain drugs, this can stimulate muscle wasting,” he said. “Muscle is where a good deal of calories are burned, so a loss of muscle could affect mobility and energy production, potentially adding to obesity problems. These muscle changes occurred in patients and persisted for years after treatment was discontinued, as shown by muscle biopsies, even if no obvious muscle problems were observed by the patients.”
And the last word on the subject may not have been spoken. Predicted Dr. Frank King, Jr. president of King Bio Natural Medicine (Asheville, NC), “Once the appropriate studies are finished, these drugs, along with hypertensives, will hit the fan bigger than the COX-2 inhibitors.”
Also looking toward the future, Levin said that of the 20 million Americans who will be “targeted” for statin drug prescriptions under the new NCEP guidelines, “Some of these will want to try natural methods first. Others will rebel at the side effects of the drugs and experiment with alternative products.”
King and Levin both saw opportunity for natural products in the fallout from drug safety concerns, with King projecting that sales of his company’s cholesterol-related homeopathic remedies will double in 2005. “The reports of deaths from drugs will always overshadow the trumped-up studies and news reports blasting dietary supplements,” said Levin. “Vioxx knocked vitamin E off the media’s radar screens pretty rapidly, though we still see ignorant reporters citing that [Johns Hopkins] vitamin E analysis as if it were true. But the comparable safety of supplements means that open-minded people will want to at least try natural therapies before signing in to a lifetime of drug therapies. Meanwhile, the studies on natural products will continue to build our credibility.”
Those studies keep coming in, with at least four major findings published in the past few months, plus a heart-health claim on walnuts authorized by FDA. They join a raft of earlier findings that link natural products—branded and otherwise—to healthy cholesterol levels.
"Blur of Products"
With so many natural alternatives to cholesterol drugs available, it can be hard to keep track. “As with any other category, the blur of products as they cascade over several shelves means that the retailer needs to have a good sense of what works and what they want to recommend to their customers,” Levin said. “Really, each person needs a protocol that would include antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, herbs, and oils. The pre-mixed cholesterol support formulas are a good starting place.”
To help retailers get a sense of “what works,” here is an alphabetical discussion of several nutrients that have demonstrated benefits in serum cholesterol levels. They include the following:
Barley may help lower cholesterol, according to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2004, vol.80, no.5: 1185-1193). Twenty-five adults with mild hypercholesterolemia consumed a controlled diet low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol for 19 weeks. They then added whole-grain products containing barley to their diets that contained low (0 g), medium (3 g), or high (6 g) amount of beta-glucan per day for five weeks. Total cholesterol was reduced by 4 percent 9 percent, and 10 percent, respectively. The diet with the highest amount of beta-glucan led to a decrease in LDL cholesterol of 17 percent.
Chromium. There’s evidence, Levin said, that chromium in doses of 500 mg a day may decrease levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, the so-called “bad” cholesterol) and total cholesterol while raising levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good” cholesterol). At the annual meeting of the American College of Nutrition last October, a poster presentation on the safety of Benicia, CA-based InterHealth Nutraceuticals’ ChromeMate niacin-bound chromium won first prize; among other things, the presentation cited chromium’s role in maintaining healthy blood lipid levels.
Fatty Acids. The latest in a long line of studies demonstrating the benefits of fatty acids in heart health is a study published in The International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics in December 2004. It showed that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid, can restore normal blood vessel function in children with inherited high cholesterol. The study, which used Martek DHA produced from microalgae, concluded that restoration of normal blood vessel function has the “potential for preventing the progression of early coronary heart disease in high-risk children.”
“The evidence continues to accumulate on the cardiovascular benefits of DHA for people of all ages,” said Henry “Pete” Linsert, Jr., chairman and CEO of Martek Biosciences, an ingredient supplier based in Columbia, MD. “This study clearly indicates that DHA played an important role in healthy blood vessel function in the children in this study.”
On the Omega-Research.com Website maintained by fish oil manufacturer Nordic Naturals (Watsonville, CA) can be found summaries of several earlier studies linking omega-3 fatty acids to maintaining healthy blood lipid levels, as well as related benefits such as elasticity of the arteries. In a 2003 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that women receiving a mixture of 4 g eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and DHA along with 2 g of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) had lower levels of LDL cholesterol after 28 days compared to those who received either the EPA/DHA supplements without DHA, EPA/DHA with a smaller dose of GLA, or GLA alone.
Flax is another source of omega-3s, and Arkopharma/Health From The Sun (Bedford, MA) offers FiProFLAX in a variety of forms. Marketing director Hugues P. Mas said the flax is “QAI [Quality Assurance International] certified organic and guaranteed GMO [genetically modified organism]-free.” On its Website, the company offers a cholesterol quiz geared to consumers, discussing the importance of omega-3s as well as other nutrients.
Garlic. Adding to an already considerable body of research demonstrating that garlic can lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides while increasing HDL cholesterol, researchers at UCLA in 2003 reported that Kyolic aged garlic extract reduced or inhibited plaque formation in the arteries of 19 cardiac patients taking statin drugs.
Lead researcher Matthew Budoff, Ph.D. commented at the time that the study “suggests that aged garlic extract may be a useful and beneficial dietary addition for the people who have high cardiovascular risk or who have undergone heart surgery.” Budoff has since presented several trade show seminars sponsored by Los Angeles-based Wakunaga of America, the makers of Kyolic.
Guggul. In use for centuries as a component of Ayurvedic medicine, guggul—a gummy resin tapped from the Commiphora mukul tree, which is native to India—has been studied since the early 1960s for its hypolidemic (blood-lipid lowering) properties. Sabinsa Corp. (Piscataway, NJ), an ingredient supplier which produces a standardized extract under the brand name Gugulipid, says the studies on guggul indicate that its hypolipidemic activity can be attributed to more than one mechanism of action.
Among the possible mechanisms are: inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis, enhancing the rate of excretion of cholesterol, promoting rapid degradation of cholesterol, thyroid stimulation, alteration of biogenic amines, and “high affinity binding and anion exchange.”
Homeopathy. “Homeopathy activates the body’s own control system to work properly,” said King. “This is the safest and most curative approach to take.
“Forcing the body into biochemical change even naturally doesn’t actually have the curative action of homeopathy,” King continued. “Homeopathy can even correct the genetic predispositions to disease we may have inherited from as deep as a thousand years into our family chain.” King Bio makes Artery/Cholesterol/BP, a homeopathic formula intended to help tone heart muscles and blood vessels.
Low glycemic index foods. In a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that high glycemic load is negatively correlated to serum levels of HDL cholesterol. Assessing the relationship between blood levels of lipids and diet in a test population of 32 healthy males and females ages 11 to 25, the researchers found that glycemic load accounted for 21.1 percent of the variation in HDL cholesterol. They concluded that glycemic load appears to be an important independent predictor of HDL cholesterol in youth and noted that dietary restrictions without attention to glycemic load could unfavorably influence blood lipids.
Medicinal Mushrooms. Although its product SX-Fraction is intended primarily to address high blood sugar, Maitake Products, Inc. (MPI, Ridgefield Park, NJ) found in a clinical study that LDL cholesterol in diabetic patients declined modestly (from 142 mg/dl to 133 mg/dl) over a two-month period. Those taking SX-Fraction also lost about 7 lbs. in the same time period.
“The more impressive lowering of cholesterol, however, comes from the dietary fiber that is found in all medicinal mushrooms,” said Ellen Shnidman, manager of scientific affairs at MPI. She cited animal studies which documented the cholesterol-lowering properties of four different mushrooms: maitake, shiitake, agaricus, and enokitake.
For example, a study reported in the September 1996 issue of Alternative Therapies showed “a 44 percent reduction in total cholesterol in rats consuming maitake mushroom in their diet,” said Shnidman. “This cholesterol reduction is accompanied by weight loss, relative to rats eating a similar high-choelsterol diet without mushrooms. Apparently, cholesterol is excreted by the rats in sufficient quantity to aid in weight loss.”
Oat bran. A 2004 consumer study conducted by the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI, Harleysville, PA) for Nurture, Inc. (Devon, PA), which produces the ingredient OatVantage, found that 63 percent of consumers managing their cholesterol levels prefer oat-based ingredients.
Oat bran is the subject of a health claim authorized by FDA in 1999, and NMI research found that 69 percent of respondents preferred the FDA-permitted health claim, “Helps Lower Cholesterol,” over the model structure-function claim, “Helps Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels.” “This is significant for food, beverage, and dietary supplement manufacturers who want to increase sales by using a more consumer-desired claim on the product label,” said Griff Parker, Nurture CEO.
Plant sterols. Also the subject of an FDA-approved claim for heart health, plant sterols (structurally similar to cholesterol in humans) can block the absorption of cholesterol, according to a number of studies. In an “Ask the Doctor” publication (available online at www.atdonline.org), Decker Weiss, N.M.D. noted that sterols enter the same receptor sites that cholesterol enters on its way to the bloodstream. “The cholesterol, being blocked from absorption, remains in our intestines where it is eventually excreted,” Weiss wrote. General Mills has just introduced Yoplait Healthy Heart, a yogurt high in plant sterols.
Policosanol. A mixture of fatty alcohols derived from sugar cane or beeswax, policosanol has been favorably compared in clinical studies to several types of prescription drugs for managing cholesterol. On its own, policosanol was found in a 1999 study to reduce LDL cholesterol while raising levels of HDL cholesterol.
Probiotics. “Several studies have indicated that consumption of certain cultured dairy products resulted in reduction of serum cholesterol, as well as triglycerides,” wrote Dr. S.K. Dash, president of probiotic manufacturer UAS Laboratories (Eden Prairie, MN), in his Consumer Guide to Probiotics. Among other studies, Dash cited two controlled clinical studies from the VA Medical Center at the University of Kentucky.
“In the first study, fermented milk containing [Lactobacillus] acidophilus was accompanied by a 2.4 percent reduction of serum cholesterol concentration,” he wrote. “In the second study, a different L. acidophilus strain reduced serum cholesterol concentration by 3.2 percent. Since every 1 percent reduction in serum cholesterol concentration is associated with an estimated 2 to 3 percent reduction in risk for coronary heart disease [CHD], regular intake of fermented milk containing an appropriate strain of L. acidophilus has the potential of reducing risk for [CHD] by 6 to 10 percent.”
Dash said his company’s DDS Probiotics contain DDS-1 L. acidophilus, “which has been researched and demonstrated to show cholesterol-lowering effect.”
Psyllium. “Internal cleansing is very important” in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, “especially if you do it with a lot of fiber,” said Sunil Kohli, vice president of Chino, CA-based Health Plus, Inc. The cholesterol-managing ability of fiber in general and psyllium in particular is “very well-established,” he said.
However, Kohli said, “It will probably do you no good if it’s random. It should be done on a regular basis, and it should be supervised. Consulting the doctor or pharmacist is important.”
Soy. The protein in soy “has evidence of lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, based on reviews of studies using over 20 g of soy protein per day,” said Levin. “Soy isoflavones are considered only partly responsible for this effect.”
Sytrinol. A patented proprietary formula derived from natural citrus and palm fruit extracts and containing citrus polymethoxylated flavones and palm tocotrienols, Sytrinol has been shown in clinical trials to improve total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides by up to 30 percent, 27 percent, and 33 percent, respectively. Having just wrapped up Phase III of a long-term trial of Sytrinol, Chicago-based SourceOne Global Partners, which owns the exclusive worldwide license for intellectual property associated with the ingredient, is commencing a study that combines Sytrinol with plant sterols.
Tocotrienols. On its Website discussing the science and benefits of tocotrienols (www.tocotrienol.org), ingredient supplier Carotech Inc. (Edison, NJ) identifies several benefits for blood lipid levels. Tocotrienols, according to the Website, have been shown to “inhibit cholesterol production in the liver, thereby lowering total blood cholesterol;” “[suppress] hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity [and result in] the lowering of LDL cholesterol levels;” and “inhibit cholesterogenesis by suppressing HMG-CoA reductase.”
With all of this, Levin said, it’s important for retailers to remember that “they are not allowed to discuss diseases and remedies unless there is an approved FDA health claim allowed on the label, as with soy protein and plant sterols. What is allowed are structure-function claims such as ‘cholesterol support,’ ‘promoting normal, healthy circulation,’ ‘homocysteine regulators,’ etc.”
Supplementation is only one tool for managing cholesterol levels, manufacturers pointed out. “Besides nutrition, lifestyle is a key to controlling cholesterol,” Levin said. “Eating a variety of antioxidant-rich foods will prevent the liver from churning out cholesterol as a ‘cheap’ antioxidant. The body uses oxidized cholesterol to patch leaky and damaged blood vessels, so the ability to build healthy collagen is a must, using nutrients like vitamin C, Pycnogenol, rutin, hyaluronic acid, and MSM.
“Don’t forget exercise and stress reduction,” he added. “Stress results in high cortisol levels—usually accompanied by poor blood lipid levels—and a lack of good sleep to produce unhealthy people.” VR
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