- The symbiotic organisms found in the gut and elsewhere are called “probiotics.” These organisms help metabolize foods, absorb nutrients, prevent pathogenic colonization, and help maintain intestinal health by living within our gut and competing with other unhelpful bacteria.
- Some foods have probiotics added in them, such as: yogurt, kefir, kombucha tea, cheese, buttermilk, fermented cabbage like sauerkraut, and kimchi, and acidophilus milk.
- Lactobacillus species, Bifidobacteria species, and Saccharomyces boulardii are the most commonly used probiotic species used. Lesser probiotics include Streptococcus thermophilus
- Processed foods do not have live probiotic organisms. The processing kiolls the organisms. Look for labels that say “contains live active cultures.”
- Probiotics work by competing with the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut by taking up space and nutrients. Siome produce antibacterial substances, such as hydrogen peroxide, acetic acid, or lactic acid, that prevents bacterial growth.
- Probiotics appear to be immunomodulators, stimulating lymphocyte and macrophage activity, reducing markers of intestinal inflammation such as tumor necrosis factor and alpha-1-antitrypsin. They can increase the secretion of immunoglobulin A in the gut against harmful bacteria.
- Probiotics not only fight intestinal and urogenital pathogens, but they also are helpful for several conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, food allergy, pouchitis, and as an adjuvant to vaccination.
- Remember to use only proven blends of probiotics. Not all brands of probiotics are equivalent, even if they have the same agents in them!
- Primary uses of Probiotics include uses for Antibiotic-associated diarrhea, Clostridium dificile infections, irritable bowel syndrome, and preventing respiratory infections.
- The use of a probiotic with antibiotics can reduce diarrhea by 45 % or so. Lactobacillus has the best evidence for success, with Florajen ( Lactobacillus acidophilus) being very effective. Lactobacillus plantarum299v (ProViva) is also useful.
- Bifidobacteriuminfantus and Bifidobacterium longus are effective as is Saccharomyces boulardii for reducing antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
- Combination products such as Lactobacillus acidophilus LA-5 plus Bifidobacterium BB12 (AB-Yogurt), Bifidobacterium lactis plus Streptococcus thermophilus (Nan 2), and Lactobacillus bulgaricus plus Streptococcus thermophilus plus Lactobacillus casei DN114401 (DanActive, Actimel) are also effective, reducing diarrhea by 40%.
- Probiotics are also helpful for reducing the risk of Clostridium difficile infection in patients taking antibiotics. The combination of Lactobacillus acidophilus CL1285 plus Lactobacillus casei (Bio-K+Cl1285 is effective in reducing C. dificile infection when taking antibiotics by over 80 %.
- Lactobacillus planarium299v (ProViva) can reduce recurrence of C. dificile infections. Saccaromyces boulardii(Florastor) also can reduce C. dificile infections by over 60%.
- Combination products include Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium infantis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, and Streptococcus thermophilus (VSL#3) and DanActive/Actimel (Lactobacillus bulgaricus plusStreptococcus thermophilus plus Lactobacillus casei)
- For irritable Bowel syndrome, Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 (Align or Bifantis Procter & Gamble) works well, decreasing abdominal complaints. The product, VSL#3, works well in decreasing IBS symptoms.
- Probiotics also decrease respiratory infections by 30 % or more. Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus gasseri, and Streptococcus thermophilus are helpful in various combinations.
- Avoid or be careful with probiotics if you are immunocompromised. Ask your doctor first before using them in that case.
Products you can use include:
- Activia yogurt (Dannon –Bifidobacterium lactis), Align (Proctor and Gamble -Bifidobacterium infantis) for digestive health and antibiotic induced diarrhea.
- Culturelle (ConAgra Foods – Lactobacillus GG) with multiple varieties, It helps with digestion and decreases bloating sensation.
- Danactive, with a mixture of probiotics in it, for antibiotic associated diarrhea.
- Fllorajen (Lactobacillus acidophilus) with many varieties, useful for antibiotic-associated diarrhea and bowel health.
- VSL#3(Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals – Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. plantarum, L. paracasei, L. bulgaricus, Bifidobacterium breve, B. infantis, B. longum, and Streptococcus thermophilus mixture) useful in inflammatory bbowel disorders and puchitis.
- Fem-dophilus- Lactobacillus rhamnosus, for urinary health, preventing bacterial vaginosis and promoting vaginal health.
- Probabclac and Lactinex are other agents used as probiotics with efficacy.
http://activia.us.com/ <—Activia probiotic
http://www.dannon.com/danactive/ <– Danactive
http://www.insyncprobiotic.com/?gclid=CNuBzaG9ocECFcNQ7AoduScA3A <–Probalac probiotic
http://www.jamiesonvitamins.com/5136 < –Jamieson probiotic sticks
http://www.florastor.com/ <–Florastor probiotics
http://www.vsl3.com/ <—vsl#3 probiotic