This month we present to you a discussion on Probiotics.  You might be confused by all the information that has recently flooded the marketplace. While probiotics have been around for many, many years, it was the introduction of “Activia” that put the benefits of probiotics in the limelight.  We hope our three-part series will clear up any confusion and encourage you to embrace probiotics as part of your overall health.

Probiotics are bacteria with the potential to provide profound health benefits. Bacteria for Good Health? Yes. Let us explain: There is a battle going on in your body, every minute of every day. As part of your immune system, millions of microscopic bacteria constantly defend your body. The balance between the good bacteria—probiotics—and the bad bacteria—disease causing pathogens—is surprisingly delicate.

The World Health Organization defines probiotics as “live organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”. We know that these common bacteria can bestow a myriad of advantages.

Before we discuss the benefits it will help to understand the types of ingestible bacterial biotics. There are three types:

1. Prebiotic
2. Probiotic
3. Synbiotics: A combination of pre- and pro-

General families of probiotic bacteria include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Streptococcus. Streptococcus?? Yes, there are two types that are considered a probiotic: S. thermophilus and S. salvarius.

What are the specific benefits? Well the short list of the positive effects include:

Reduction of cancer-promoting gut enzymes
Prevention of respiratory tract infections
Relief from gastrointestinal (GI) inflammation and related diseases
Prevention and relief of diarrhea and constipation (Irritable Bowel Symptoms)
Prevention of allergies
Alleviation of lactose intolerance
Treatment of urogenital infections
There are also strong indications that probiotics help with certain types of heart and autoimmune disease, and prevent dental cavities.

Our next blog will do a deeper dive into the benefits. If you have any questions, please feel free to call our office. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.