Probiotics may be used for a variety of conditions.
Probiotics are essential to basic human nutrition.
They are the live, friendly bacteria that are similar to the beneficial microorganisms i.e. microbiota, that are found naturally in the human gut.
These “friendly bacteria” help to prevent and alleviate many gastrointestinal conditions and well as a host of other different conditions.
Previous estimates of the number of distinct kinds of microbes in the human colon ranged upwards of 500. These older estimates were made by growing the bacteria that lived in the lower gut in a Petri dish. However, this often left rarer species out of the count, only counting the common ones.
David Relman of the Stanford University School of Medicine and his colleagues used a technique known as pyrosequencing to get a more complete count of the different varieties of bacteria colonizing the human colon
A new study, detailed online Nov. 18 in the journal Public Library of Science-Biology, found that the bacterial community in the human bowel is 10 times more diverse than previously thought.
In sheer numbers, the mammalian colon harbors one of the densest microbial communities found on Earth. Did you know that for every human cell in your body, there are roughly 10 single-celled microbes, most of which live in your digestive tract?
These microorganisms form, as Dr Oz, says, a ‘bioreactor’, which helps digestion, helps form the immune system and provides important nutrients, made by the bioreactor, like the B vitamins, vitamin K, folate, and some short-chain fatty acids.
Dr Oz says then that almost 10% of our daily energy needs come from the byproducts of the good bacteria in your gut.
Even medical opinion supports the benefits of probiotics in:
- Treating diarrhea, especially following treatment with various antibiotics
- Treating irritable bowel syndrome and colitis
- Reducing the recurrence of bladder cancer
- Shortening the duration of intestinal infections
- Preventing and treating inflammation following colon surgery
- Preventing eczema in children
- Reducing HIV induced symptoms of diarrhea and cognitive disruption.
Here are some conditions to think about using probiotics for:
1 Acne and Skin damage from the Sun
They help when they are rubbed in to the skin used topically.
Probiotic cream can reduce inflammation and lower the skins pH making it more acidic and thus less conducive for bacteria to grow.
Then, further studies show that taking probiotics orally strengthens your skins defenses and reduces the likelihood of eczema in people prone to it.
The review also showed that daily use was necessary to see the full benefits.
Dr. Susanne Bennett, D.C., CCSP, a natural allergy expert who specializes in environmental medicine, and who has authored ‘The 7 Day Allergy Makeover‘ says,
“Your skin has its own flora ranging from bacteria to yeasts to viruses. When this flora is out of balance, skin infection, and/or bacterial and fungal overgrowth can occur causing a myriad of conditions”.
“Probiotics used internally and topically improves and strengthens the skin’s integrity, making it less likely to be damaged by the sun and other external elements.”
- Often, bloating is not triggered by how much you eat, but rather by eating certain foods that are difficult to digest.
- These undigested substances then pass into your colon and produce gas bubbles that make your stomach swell up and produce uncomfortable and unattractive belly bloat.
- However, with the proper amounts of beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract, food that is hard to digest is broken down quickly.
Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics is a blend of beneficial bacteria that immediately addresses the source of discomfort and improves the pH of your colon, allowing the bacterial balance to regulate itself and so correct the root cause of the bloating and abdominal discomfort.
3 Bad Breath – Halitosis
We know that the primary cause of bad breath is the formation of so-called volatile sulfur compound that are the by-products of bacterial metabolic degradation.
This happens on all oral surfaces as well as in periodontal pockets and also on the tongue surface.
Researchers have identified the species of bacteria most associated with odor production, along with a species most prevalent in those subjects without bad breath. In fact, the good species,
A study published in the Journal, “Current Opinion in Gastroenterology” looks at how oral care probiotics can be used to help with bad breath. They found that probiotics can help replace the odor-causing oral bacteria with other beneficial ones.
The European Journal of Pediatrics published a study in 2001 that looks at how the use of a beneficial strain of Escherichia coli (E. coli) greatly improved bad breath that came from gastric gases.
Another, more recent study in the Journal of Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology and Endodontology showed that Lactobacillus salivarius may be able to overcome bad breath coming from the mouth.
There are many studies that show how L salivarius combats bad breath.
The Journal of Applied Microbiology also published a study that found a week-long course of L. salivarius dramatically dropped the amount of volatile sulfur compounds in the mouth. Another study published in the International Journal of Contemporary Dentistry said that adding Streptococcus salivarius bacteria into the mouth after rinsing with mouthwash can reduce levels of sulfur on one’s breath i.e. reduce bad breath.
Other important benefits of using good probiotic bacteria strains is to help the body’s resistance to and also possibly reduce occurrences of,
- gum disease,
- cavities, and
- sore throats
4 Respiratory Conditions
A review combining the work of dozens of researchers across the world, published in the British Journal of Nutrition in April 2014, found that taking probiotics lessened the duration of common upper respiratory tract infections. This type of assessment, which is known as a systematic review, is widely accepted by many regulatory and policy-setting organizations worldwide as the best means to weigh evidence for a given intervention.
This review on probiotics gives strong evidence for the value of probiotics as part of a healthy diet. The paper’s lead author, Dr. Sarah King, who is affiliated with York Health Economics Consortium in the UK, says, “The core of nutrition science is to advise on the construction of a diet that helps maintain health and reduce risk of disease. “
“This paper shows that with the addition of live lactobacilli and bifidobacteria to your diet, the duration of upper respiratory tract infections (e.g. colds) could be shortened.”
“Combined with results from a 2011 meta-analysis published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, which demonstrated that probiotics can reduce the incidence of upper RTIs, the implication of these findings are important, and could translate into cost savings and improvements in peoples’ quality of life.”
Most important is the fact that the majority of these studies were considered to be well-conducted, so that their results – and therefore the meta-analyses conclusions – are more likely to be reliable. (9)
“Probiotics go beyond the gut to influence other systems such as the respiratory system, kidneys, and skin,” says gastroenterologist and researcher Sonia Michail, MD, director and section chief of the division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio.
“There have been some limited reports that suggest modest benefits to the consumption of probiotics in reducing upper respiratory infections in children, especially those attending daycare.”
5 Colds and Flu
Probiotics help your colds and flu by supporting your immune system.
Because the gut is the first entrance into the body, it serves as a physical barrier against pathogens, toxins and even undigested food particles.
So that’s why the immune system is directed to take care of the gut barrier and to quickly address any problem from there.
Why are probiotics important for the immune system?
When probiotics restore the gut bacteria, the immune system is able to recover and fight against the pathogens and toxins.
However, probiotics do more than that. They also increase the production of immunoglobulins and specialized immune cells such as T lymphocytes and NK (Natural Killer) cells.
Studies have shown that probiotics improve what we call phagocytosis, which is the ability of white blood cells to engulf and destroy viruses. According to the results of many studies as well as the Cochrane review, the beneficial effects of probiotics on the immune system can shorten cold and flu episodes, especially effective against cold and flu in children.
6 Prevent Pregnancy risks like Pre-eclampsia
According to a Norwegian study pregnant women who regularly consumed dairy-based probiotics, such as yogurt, were less likely to develop preeclampsia.
Pre-eclampsia is a sudden increase in blood pressure during pregnancy, and it often happens in the 20th week. About 5% of pregnant women suffer from pre-eclampsia.
Unfortunately, preeclampsia can progress to become dangerous to both the mother & the child.
Brantsaeter, the lead researcher, calls the GI tract the largest “immune interface” with the outside world. She says that probiotics regulate gut health by suppressing disease-causing bacteria, and they also influence inflammation, blood pressure, and the risk of diabetes.
Actually, Brantsaeter and her colleagues studied the dietary habits of 33,399 women and their deliveries over a period of seven years. The women who generally consumed dairy-based probiotics that were rich in Lactobacilli species were 21% less likely to develop preeclampsia.
Then there were women who consumed about 5 ounces of probiotics daily. They had a 39% lower risk of preeclampsia. Those who consumed probiotics once a week were 25% less likely to develop the disorder.
Researchers also showed that Lactobacillus L. rhamnosus probiotics were able to reduce inflammation in placental cells.
7 Help Stress, Depression and Anxiety
There are many human and animal studies to show the unique connection between stress reactions and the gut. Probiotics have been shown to help people feel less stressed. This connection is particularly noticeable by people with IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome.
Dr. Jeffrey Lackner of the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has a seven-year, $8.9 million grant to test this very situation, i.e. The Efficacy of Behavioral Self-Management Treatment for IBS.
A study by Bravo JA1, Forsythe P, Chew MV, Escaravage E, Savignac HM, Dinan TG, Bienenstock J, Cryan JF. showed that taking Lactobacillus strains regulate emotional behavior and central GABA receptor expression in a mouse via the vagus nerve.
Another study published in The Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility showed that the probiotic, Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001, normalized anxiety-like behavior in mice with infectious colitis by modulating the vagal pathways within the gut-brain.
Researchers at UCLA, also found that probiotics actually were able to alter peoples’ brain function. The study involved healthy women. They found that women who regularly consumed beneficial bacteria, probiotics, through yogurt, showed altered brain function, both while in a resting state and in response to an emotion-recognition task.
Other researchers found that the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus had an important effect on GABA levels which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is has an important function involved in regulating many physiological and psychological processes, in certain brain regions and they were able to lower the stress-induced hormone called corticosterone, which results in reducing anxiety and depression.
8 Strengthen Bones
Research done exclusively on Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics found that when women ages 48 and older took a Japanese probiotic supplement for at least eight weeks, their bone density was 36 percent higher when compared to those who didn’t take the supplement.(3)
‘Scientists suspect that probiotics help the body properly digest calcium,’ said Fred Pescatore, M.D., science advisor for Essential Formulas Incorporated, U.S. distributor of Dr Ohhira’s Probiotics, the Japanese supplement used in the study.”
“This is a surprising side benefit of probiotics, which are most often indicated for supporting digestive health and immune response. Derived from a fermented vegetable blend, it is actually a whole food that contains probiotics, prebiotics (substances that feed probiotics), and organic acids.”
Scientists recognize that it is equally relevant to provide both pro- and pre-biotic components for the GI tract to enhance calcium uptake. Such significant results might not happen when using other types of probiotic supplements.
- Bone Health Fast Facts
Did you know that in the United States, 1.5 million osteoporosis-related fractures occur annually, resulting in over $47 million in direct medical expenses per day?
- Another important consideration is that more women die each year from osteoporosis-related injuries than from ovarian and breast cancer combined.
- Beware of eating loads of sugar, soft drinks, caffeine, and too much alcohol as well as smoking. They can all make the bone-building process more difficult.(4)
Ann Louise Gittleman, a U.S. nutrition expert, has commented in her book “The Gut Flush Plan”. She says,
“While you can take precautions against food-borne illnesses in your own kitchen, that’s much more difficult to do when you’re travelling. Contamination can lead to all sorts of digestive grief….That’s not exactly a fun souvenir.”
Anne Louse Gittleman has a few tips for travelers to keep their stomachs safe on vacation which includes taking probiotics:
- Skip the salad bar: They are usually just a colorful buffet of bacteria.
- Disinfect your hotel room: Bacteria is lurking on TV remotes, minibar handles and even bathroom counters. There’s no telling where previous occupants have been or whom or what they have also touched.
- Dust your food: Yes, we are talking about ‘chardust’ which can be sprinkled from activated charcoal caps onto any suspicious cuisine.
- Pack the probiotics: These beneficial bacteria will give pathogens the heave-ho even before they can get a foothold in your gut.
- Spice up your meals for health: Oregano, garlic, thyme, cayenne and turmeric are loaded with antioxidants that can out-smart many nasty bacteria — even the superbugs in some cases.
10 Vaginal Infections
Conventional treatment uses antibiotics and unfortunately, the failure rate is high. We know that more than half of treated women experience another infection within 3 months. Why? because the antibiotics killed all the good bacteria as well as the bad bacteria.
On the other hand, when probiotics are used, whether with or instead of, antibiotic therapy, we see very good results, because we are supporting an environment where the natural Lactobacillus strains are able to flourish again. It’s the Lactobacillus bacteria that help the function of the body’s immune systems to get rid of the infection.(16)
Clinical trials showed that intra-vaginal administration of Lactobacillus acidophilus for 6-12 days, or oral administration of L. acidophilus or Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus fermentum RC-14 for 2 months, showed that they were able to minimize symptoms of bacterial vaginosis.
Results indicate an increase in beneficial vaginal lactobacilli and it also actually restored the normal vaginal microbiota, significantly more frequently than did a placebo, acetic acid or with no treatment at all. FYI there are several suppositories that are now available for introvaginal treatment from your local health food store.
Dr Ohhira’s range of probiotic supplements and skin products are superior and an excellent choice to enhance your health and well being as well as overcome specific signs and symptoms that may be bothersome on a day to day basis.