After a recent surge in stomach flu, diarrhea, and urinary tract infections among my friends and blog followers I decided that it is time to do a post on PROBIOTICS.
- The digestive system including the urinary system contains more than 500 different species of bacteria. These bacteria’s are helpful in maintaining the health of the system as well as aiding in food digestion. Certain scenarios can reek havoc on these good bacteria’s: antibiotic therapy, gastroenteritis (stomach flu), food poisoning, and diarrhea. While antibiotics wipe out bacteria good and bad, GI upset can cause an overgrowth of bad bacteria which overpowers the good bacteria.
What is a probiotic?
Probiotics are safe in the healthy, non-immuno-compromised persons. Excess ingestion of probiotics should be avoided in individuals with pancreatitis.
Probiotics are known to be effective in the treatment of:
- acute childhood diarrhea
- acute adult diarrhea
- antibiotic associated diarrhea
- regulating the healthy immune system
- treatment of recurrent yeast infections and urinary tract infections
A study published in 2010 by the American Academy of Pediatrics Journal reported that probiotics not only aide in the treatment of acute diarrhea in children but may also decrease the risk of ear infections, strep throat, and respiratory infections. The study involved 638 children in different daycare settings. The children who drank a probiotic yogurt drink were 19% less likely to get the illnesses listed above.
In 2009 CNN Health published an article discussing which probiotics were found to be most effective for treating or preventing varying types of illnesses
Antibiotic associated diarrhea and Gastroenteritis:
- S. cerevisiae bouladdii
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
- Bacillus coagulans GBI-30
Recurrent yeast infections, Urinary tract infections, and Bacterial Vaginosis:
- L. rhamnosus GR-1
- L. reuteri RC-14
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Bifidobacterium infantis 35624
- L. plantarum DSM9843
How do you buy Probiotics?
- Probiotics can be found in food, powder, liquid, and tablets. They can be purchased at your local market as well as health food stores.
- When buying yogurt look for “live & active” cultures
- Look for the probiotics listed above on the ingredient list
- Plain non-fat yogurt is best. Avoid the added sugar yogurts.
- Organic yogurt is best
- According to LiveStrong.com Greek yogurt has a higher concentration of probiotics.
So to recap: Probiotics are microorganisms that naturally occur in our digestive system. It is recommended that under certain bacteria changing situations you should increase your intake of certain probiotics. Make sure that when choosing a probiotic supplement that you choose the bacteria that is appropriate for the treatment of your personal ailment.
And always remember when dealing with illness or infection a little GREEN TEA goes along way! My perfect abdominal upset formula is green tea and an extra dose of probiotic usually in the form of greek yogurt.