Probiotics: A Breast Milk Boost

Giving breastfeeding mothers probiotics and modifying their diets to include canola oil-based foods boosted the immune properties and fat content of breast milk in one Finland study.

The study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, found that adding canola oil-based foods and two probiotic strains, lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and bifidobacterium lactis Bb12, to the mother’s diet increased the following things in the mother’s breast milk:

  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega 3 fatty acid needed for growth and development
  • Total omega-3s
  • Immune system modulating compounds

To read more about this study, visit http://www.springerlink.com/content/5531441412216722/.

The gastrointestinal benefits of probiotics are well recorded. It’s fascinating to see what evolving research is finding out about these good-guy bacteria!

 

Go with your gut,

The Probiotics Team

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Bacteria: A Gift from Mom

The bacteria in your gut – the gut flora – are unique to every individual beginning with birth and changing over your lifetime. The GI tract of a baby is sterile. During birth, babies swallow the bacteria present in the birth canal and, within a few days, these colonize the intestine. Babies born from C-sections have delayed colonization and may feature more organisms acquired from the environment compared to vaginally born infants.

Once the flora fingerprint is established, the bacteria in each individual is recognized as normal throughout the individual’s life span. Essentially, these bacteria are your colon warriors who recognize each other and try to prevent “foreign invasion” by anything that will harm your body.

Billions of  “adherence sites” in the cells of the intestinal wall allow the different bacteria in the your gut to “stick on,” and the friendly bacteria overcrowd the pathogenic bacteria by competing with these sites. In health, there is an important balance, called dysbiosis, between the good and the bad bacteria. When the balance is altered, the intestinal wall may become irritated and the body is unable to differentiate between what’s good and what’s not. That can increase intestinal permeability (what flows through) and cause “leaky gut syndrome.” When that happens, harmful substances/bacteria pass into the body and circulate in the blood stream. But when you’re healthy, your normal flora prevents this from happening.

Years ago, scientists believed the gut microbiota and the human being were in a commensal relationship – meaning that they exist together but don’t help or harm each other. Advances in medicine clarified that we have a “mutualistic relationship,” meaning the gut microbiota benefit from us and we, the hosts, benefit from the gut bacteria.

Click HERE to check out a bunch of articles about bacteria if you want to learn more about these fascinating organisms and how they affect your life.

Bacteria – just another reason to thank your mom!

Go with your Gut,

The Probiotics Team

Bacteria and your body: It’s all over the place!

Now, don’t get creeped out, but bacteria is everywhere. Bacteria are single-celled microorganisms found everywhere on Earth – water, soil, plants and yep, on and in our bodies. These tiny organisms have struggled against a bad rep since the 1800s when the father of microbiology, Louis Pasteur, began experiments that would change how we view our bodies.

His experiments showed that bacterial growth was what spoiled things like milk and beer, and he invented pasteurization, the process of heating milk to kill the bacteria and molds. From those first forays into microbiology, Pasteur proposed that bacteria cause disease in people, which launched a field that today does much to keep you healthy.

Your body is full of bacteria – on your skin, in your mouth, gastrointestinal tract and vagina, for instance. There are 10 times as many bacteria as human cells in the body (10 to the power of 14)…100 trillion. Around a thousand different types can be found on the skin and in the GI tract.

Many things change the bacteria in your body. Medications may alter your body’s environment, making it easier or more difficult for bacteria to survive. For instance, many women get yeast infections when they take antibiotics. Yeast vaginitis infections are typically the result of the Candida albicans (a fungus), which is present normally in the vagina in small amounts. However, when they begin to multiply rapidly, they cause infection. Those antibiotics tend to wipe out good bacteria that keep yeast infections away. (Probiotics have been shown to help prevent and cure yeast infections!)

Do you think you can understand that bacteria are a necessary part of life without getting a little obsessive about washing your hands? It’s easier to fully grasp the concept when you start taking probiotics – remember, they’re just good bacteria – and see the impact on your health.

Go with your gut,

The Probiotics Team

What are probiotics anyway?

Probiotics are good bacteria. With all the antibacterial stuff around these days – from soaps to hand lotions to shoe liners – it’s easy to think all bacteria are bad. But good bacteria help our bodies stay healthy (that’s particularly true of the bacteria in our gut, called the gut flora).

If the good bacteria in your body gets out of whack, you can become sick. That’s why it’s helpful to eat foods high in probiotics and also take probiotic supplements. Probulin puts good bacteria in your system, balancing the bad bacteria and helping to maintain your gut health.

Gut flora play a key role:

  • In nutrition by synthesizing vitamins, producing digestive enzymes and helping with absorption of nutrients like calcium, magnesium and iron.
  • In gut health by maintaining the integrity of the lining of your colon and provide a major source of energy by converting unabsorbed sugars into short-chain fatty acids that provide energy for the epithelial cells to regenerate themselves.
  • In supporting the immune system. The metabolic activity generated by these bacteria is equal to that of a virtual organ, leading to gut bacteria being referred to as the “forgotten organ.”

Does it bother you to think of all that bacteria swimming through your body? It helps to keep in mind that many are good guys (can you picture them wearing white hats?) working to keep you feeling good!

Go with  your gut,

The Probiotic Team

Probiotic Video Game on Horizon

Defeat the bad guys, fight to the death, save the… digestive system?

It’s hard to believe, but it’s coming… the world’s first probiotic video game is to be released summer 2012. In conjunction with the launch of Microwarriors probiotic & prebiotic documentary Part 2, the game is targeted mainly to children and students.

Created for both PCs and Macs, the video game will also be accessible on iPhones.

David Knight – of Health Point Productions – is the producer of Microwarriors documentaries and the upcoming video game. His goal is to educate not only children but also medical staff and the general public on the benefits of probiotics and prebiotics.

Check out the first segment of the “Microwarriors: The Power of Probiotics” DVD, available on Amazon. Let us know what you think by commenting below.

 

Go with your gut,

Probulin Team

 

Full article available at Nutra Ingredients.