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Probiotics: The Good Bacteria

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Terri R.
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Joined: 21 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2004 10:20 pm    Post subject: Probiotics: The Good Bacteria Reply with quote

PROBIOTICS: The Good Bacteria

These bacteria are not parasites.  We live in perfect harmony with them and as long as they remain in good health, these bacteria provide an excellent service in return. 

As you may have guessed, the word "probiotics" means "for life."  This is due to the protective and therapeutic roles of bacteria within the body.  Some remain in the body for life, others are transient, staying in your digestive tract for a few weeks before passing on. 

Types of good bacteria include:

* Lactobacillus Acidophilus
* Lactobacillus Bulgaricus
* Bifidobacterium Bifidum and Bifidobacteriumlongum
* Bifidobacteria Infantis

They function in several ways in order to keep us healthy:

* Manufacture some of the B vitamins.
* Manufacture the milk-digesting enzyme lactase which helps digest calcium-rich dairy products.
* Produce antibacterial substances.
* Some bacteria have been shown to have powerful anticarcinogenic features.
* Improve the efficiency of the digestive tract.
* Effectively help to reduce high cholesterol levels.
* Help protect against radiation damage and deactivate many toxic pollutants.
* Help to recycle estrogen.
* Shown to be useful in treatment of acne, psoriasis, eczema, allergies, migraine, gout, rheumatic and arthritic conditions, cystitis, candidiasis, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and some forms of cancer.

What To Look for When Purchasing Probiotics

The way products are made is important.  Some manufactures spin the bacteria in a centrifuge. This damages the delicate chains of bacteria, which does not happen when a slower (therefore more expensive) filtration process is used. This information should be on the container.  It's best to take probiotics in powder form, as opposed to capsules or tablets, and should be stored in a dark glass (never plastic) container.  All good products should carry a guarantee of viable colonizing bacteria up to a specific expiration date.  Very few brands meet all of these requirements, so do your homework before you shop.


Probiotics should be used when:

* Under professional guidance if there are chronic bowel problems or ongoing infections such as candidiasis.
* As a preventive against food poisoning when travelling.
* After (and during) any period when antibiotics are taken.
* By all premenopausal and menopausal women to reduce chances of osteoporosis.
* By anyone with high cholesterol problems.
* By anyone receiving radiation treatment.
* By anyone having recurrent vaginal or bladder infections (thrush or cystitis).


Chaitow, L.; and Trenev, N. Probiotics. New York: Harper Collins, 1990.
Alm, L. et al.: "Effect of Fermentation on B Vitamin Content of Milk in Sweden." Journal of Dairy Sciences 65: 353-359.  Alm, L. Journal of Dairy Sciences 64 no. 4: 509-514
Friend, B.: and Shahani, K. "Nutritional and Therapeutic Aspects of Lactobacilli." Journal of Applied Nutrition, 36, 125-153.   Mott, G. "Lowering of Serum Cholesterol by Intestinal Bacteria Lipids." (1973): 4282-4431.   Finegold, S. "Effect of Broad Spectrum Antibiotics on Normal Bowel Flora." Annals of New York Academy of Sciences 145: 269-281.
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