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How Probiotics Aid Optimal Health

ProbioticsgfxBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

Probiotics have been used for thousands of years in the belief that they hold the key to health and wellness.  Probiotics have increasingly undergone rigorous scientific evaluation and there is strong evidence that these friendly bacteria are helpful in treating and preventing a wide variety of ailments.  Research shows that probiotics are particularly useful in supporting the gastrointestinal tract, relieving digestive issues, warding off infection and boosting the immune system. 

The human microbiome is made up of trillions of bacteria that are intimately involved in promoting broad spectrum health at the molecular level.  The many diverse strains of probiotics that inhabit every normal, healthy bowel provide different benefits and work synergistically to keep pathogens in check and aid the digestion and absorption of nutrients.  Beneficial microflora help to regulate immune responses and promote the health and function of the inner intestinal lining, strengthening its ability to bar potentially dangerous organisms.  

Many factors contribute to an unhealthy balance of microflora, which can lead to an increased risk of metabolic and inflammatory chronic diseases.  Modern diets, unhealthy lifestyle factors, pollution, the overuse of antibiotics and even simple aging can shift the balance of a disease-preventing state towards a disease-promoting state.  A negative change in the intestinal microbiome is associated with chronic age-related diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer and metabolic syndrome.  Allergies, asthma and obesity are also related to an abundance of unhealthy bacteria.

Many chronic degenerative diseases are the result of a poorly functioning immune system.  The majority of the immune system is based in the gut, which produces more antibodies than the rest of the body combined.  Supplementation with probiotics can restore and rebalance the microbiome, strengthening its ability to interact with the immune system and boosting the population of cells that destroy harmful, infecting organisms.  Probiotics boost intestinal regularity and can significantly and beneficially impact minor digestive issues, as well as the  more serious conditions of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Prebiotics are nondigestible carbohydrates, which provide the fuel that probiotics need to thrive.  When combined with a probiotic they form a mutually beneficial relationship, working together to maintain a healthy intestinal flora.  Tending to your gut microflora is essential to good health.  A healthy diet, which includes naturally fermented foods such as yogurt or pickled vegetables and devoid of sugars that nourish pathogenic bacteria, combined with  a high-quality supplement will support a flourishing population of beneficial bacteria, providing the body’s first line of defense against all illness and disease. 

BioDolphilus – Fos by Biotics ResearchBioDolphilus supplies the probiotics Lactobacillus acidophilus (DDS-I strain) and Bifidobacterium bifidum in a prebiotic base of fructooligosaccharides.  Pleasant tasting powder can be mixed with a beverage of your choice. 

UltraFlora Advanced by Metagenics UltraFlora Advanced supports healthy intestinal and immune function on multiple levels with a patented blend of probiotics, prebiotic fibers, and immunoglobulins provided in a powder base.

Multi-Probiotic 15 Billion by Douglas Laboratories –  Multi-Probiotic 15 Billion supports intestinal flora with potent amounts of live beneficial prebiotics and probiotics.  One capsule contains a multi-strain blend of 15 billion CFU. 

OrthoBiotic by Ortho Molecular –  Ortho Biotic contains seven carefully assembled strains of probiotic microorganisms that bolster the immune system and promote the health and optimal functioning of the gastrointestinal system.  Proprietary blend of 20 billion CFU per capsule is scientifically formulated for room temperature storage.