Probiotics (Friendly Bacteria) Are Important in Many Health Conditions

Why take probiotics, the “friendly” bacteria:

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1.  Antibiotics disrupt the GI flora – > 500 days of antibiotic use over a lifetime increase mortality rates

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2. The GI tract is the LARGEST IMMUNE ORGAN – 80% of the immune system is localized around the GI tract

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3. Immune dysfunction, autoimmune disease triggers, allergies, asthma, eczema, depression, bipolar disease, ADHD, and a host of medical problems can arise from pathogenic bacteria colonizing the GI tract

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4. In Western society the high carb diets, reliance on antibiotics, and poor dietary habits are fueling a rise in GI related disease – inflammatory bowel disease, and systemic disease as mentioned above

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5. Overuse of antibiotics has led to BACTERIAL RESISTANCE  (MRSA is becoming a massive problem – this staph is RESISTANT to antibiotics)– GI maladies like constipation, diarrhea, gas, and bloating occur frequently after antibiotic use

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6. There are 1,000 of clinical studies showing the benefits of probiotics:

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*  Protection against infection by pathogenic bacteria (c.difficile, a nasty hospital acquired colonic bacterial infection)

*  Lower incidence of diarrhea associated with antibiotic use

*  Strengthening of the immune system

*  Reduced allergies

*  Reduce inflammation

*  Colon cancer protection in animal studies

*  Strengthen the barrier between the GI tract and the systemic circulation – helping prevent “leaky gut” whereby toxins enter the blood

*  Reduce allergies and allergic reactions

* Helps prevent TRAVELER’S diarrhea

*  Helps treat and prevent ATOPIC DERMATITIS – ECZEMA

(Signals from the GI microorganisms are sent throughout your body and interact with organisms in your skin. Researchers are now looking into how these interactions can help with skin conditions like dryness, improve collagen, or stabilize the microflora on your skin)

The importance of probiotics for children

Probiotics are “friendly” microorganisms (typically bacteria or yeasts) that can live in the GI tract or on other surfaces and have beneficial effects on human physiology and health. Probiotic organisms are believed to work in part by enhancing digestion and immune function by competing with pathogenic microorganisms for binding sites on the wall of the GI tract.*

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Numerous studies have found that probiotics can moderate occasional diarrhea in children.

In one double-blind study, 200 children were randomly assigned to receive 250 mg per day of Saccharomyces boulardii for five days. In another double-blind trial, 269 children were randomly assigned to receive 250 mg of S. boulardii twice per day.1 In both trials, S. boulardii improved diarrhea.

The positive effects of probiotics in children are not limited to the gastrointestinal tract.

Various probiotics have also been used to support immune health.

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In one study, 571 healthy children (aged 1-6 years) attending daycare centers were randomly assigned to receive milk with or without Lactobacillus GG for seven months over the winter. Results suggested that L. GG provided statistically significant support for respiratory health.2

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In another study, 201 healthy infants attending daycare centers were randomly assigned to receive, in double-blind fashion, a formula supplemented with B. lactis, L. reuteri, or no probiotics for 12 weeks. Probiotic supplementation indicated statistically significant support for overall health, immune function and GI comfort.3*

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Supplementation with select probiotic strains have also been found to promote dental health in children.

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In one study, 594 children were randomly assigned to receive milk that did or did not contain L. GG. Researchers reported that probiotic supplementation provided statistically significant support for dental health; the beneficial effect was most pronounced in children three to four years of age.

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L. GG may work in part by moderating the growth of Streptococcus mutans.4

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The strain Streptococcus salivarius K12 has been shown to persist in the oral cavity for as long as three weeks after oral administration as a lozenge5, which raises the possibility that this strain may be able to promote dental health by competing with other oral bacteria.

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In addition, S. salivarius K12 has been reported to help protect ear and throat health.6*

Based on the available evidence, probiotic supplementation in children appears to be a worthwhile strategy to help promote overall good health.

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A wide range of probiotic strains have been investigated in multiple clinical trials and results suggest that the efficacy of different strains may differ depending on the health condition.

References

  1. Kotowska M, Albrecht P, Szajewska H. Saccharomyces boulardii in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea in children: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2005;21:583-590.
  2. Hatakka K, Savilahti E, Ponka A, et al. Effect of long term consumption of probiotic milk on infections in children attending day care centres: double-blind, randomised trial. BMJ 2001;322:1327-1329.
  3. Weizman Z, Asli G, Alsheikh A. Effect of a probiotic infant formula on infections in child care centers: comparison of two probiotic agents. Pediatrics 2005;115:5-9.
  4. Nase L, Hatakka K, Savilahti E, et al. Effect of long-term consumption of a probiotic bacterium, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, in milk on dental caries and caries risk in children. Caries Res 2001;35:412-420.
  5. Horz HP, Meinelt A, Houben B, Conrads G. Distribution and persistence of probiotic Streptococcus salivarius K12 in the human oral cavity as determined by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Oral Microbiol Immunol 2007;22:126-30.
  6. Cosseau , Devine DA, Dullaghan E, et al. The commensal Streptococcus salivarius K12 downregulates the innate immune responses of human epithelial cells and promotes host-microbe homeostasis. Infect Immun 2008;76:4163-4175.

For educational purposes only. Consult your physician for any health problems.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.