Probiotics have many clinically defined benefits ranging from gut health to immune and cardiovascular health. More recently probiotics have also been linked brain activity, mood and behavior.
You may have heard about the new antibiotic resistant, Superbug, found in a patient on the east coast, which is causing alarm considering the number of antibiotic prescriptions written in the United States (the CDC says 268 million prescriptions were written in 2013). Luckily, new Superbugs are rare and when they do occur they draw the full attention of organizations like the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention. What is a far more common problem with antibiotic use that has a much higher chance of causing you and I problems is Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea or AAD.
The path to a healthy lifestyle can be a long and hard road, and one component that has been touted as an integral part of that journey are health supplements. But are they really reliable companions on our journey to health and wellbeing?
The average human gut contains 40 trillion bacteria (called the microbiome) that come from our parents and our environment. However, our modern lifestyle and diet degrade our “good” gut bacteria, depriving us of an important protective and supportive tool. But we can change to a healthier microbiome.
For years, probiotics were associated with one thing: the gastrointestinal tract (GI) and digestive health. However, various clinical trials have found that the probiotic benefit extends beyond gut health. Research indicates that in addition to a healthy gut, probiotics can benefit immune system modulation, inflammation, metabolic and cardiovascular health, and be beneficial in preventing infection.
Travel is one of the most enjoyable pastimes, but can also expose travelers to various risks, including GI related risks, through changes in food, diet, or irregular eating habits. All of these can result in a variety of gastrointestinal ailments related to the ingestion of pathogenic bacteria, or something as simple as an unsettled stomach due to a change in environment and food.
The term probiotic was coined in the early 1900s, by the Nobel Prize winner Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov, who found that certain “healthy bacteria,” like those found in yogurt, can have a positive effect on digestion and the immune system.
For decades, health providers and nutritionists have preached about the health benefits of fiber, but why is it good for us? The usual answer is that it keeps us regular and cleaned out. Is that all there is? What if I’m already regular? There has to be more to it!
Our digestive system is home to at least 500 different bacterial strains. Under ideal conditions, our microbiome should consist of 85% “good,” or beneficial, bacteria. When the majority of our microbiome is made of the “good” bacteria, the remaining 15%, which can be pathogenic bacterial strains and yeasts, are easily kept under control by competitive suppression.
Generally speaking, if you have frequent digestive symptoms, like discomfort, you likely have an issue with the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. The scientific term for this is Dysbiosis.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7
Page 6 of 7