Probiotics

There are over 400 species and thousands of strains of bacteria that are supposed to inhabit the lower intestines and colon. These 400+ species are collectively called probiotics, which means “for life”, and were initially discovered in the early 1900’s. These bacteria have many roles in good health such as making short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), polyamines, vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids. Another function, especially in the case of Lactobacillus species, is to prevent food from decay, preserve antioxidants and vitamins, remove toxins and keep pathogenic organisms at bay. A third and major role of probiotics is to maintain proper immune function. Among the various effects on the immune system, a specific action is to stimulate the action of white blood cells like the macrophages, natural killer cells, monocytes, and neutrophils. When buying a probiotic, you want a multi-strain product called “broad spectrum”. It should have at least 8-15 different types of probiotic bacteria. Avoid supplements with fillers or preservatives. Make sure it is a product that has been kept cold in the store and then keep it in your fridge when you get it home. Look for supplements that contain prebiotics as well like: inulin and FOS. Talk to your Doctor about the right product and dosing for your health.

References

The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.