Ulcers: Probiotic research in its early stages

Ulcers are open sores that are pretty commonly found in the stomach or first part of the small intestine. In most people, they’re caused by theHelicobacter pylori bacteria, although they can occur because of other reasons.

While probiotic research is in its infancy on this subject, studies have shown that probiotics decrease the number of H. pylori bacteria in the stomach. The usual treatment for ulcers is antibiotics and other studies found that if probiotics are taken along with antibiotics, the chance of getting rid of the H. pylori are higher.

Researchers in Spain successfully tested various strains of Bifidobacteria in treating H. pylori. You can read about that HERE

This is why it’s so exciting about the probiotics medical field! Every day new research comes out showing how this good bacteria affects our bodies and helps many health problems. The potential is tremendous! And what’s terrific is that you can be proactive while you’re waiting on the evidence-based research to solidify. Most of us (and be sure to check with your doctor if you have a medical condition) can take probiotics now and start getting the good effects, even as the medical world continues to discover MORE good effects.

Talk about a win-win. Certainly a better gamble than the stock market these days. . .

 

Go with your gut,

The Probulin Team

It’s an Ugly Subject. . . but We’re Brave!

It’s not something anyone wants to talk about. Any subject that starts with stomach cramps and ends up in the bathroom. . . well, it’s just yuck. But face it, most of you suffer from diarrhea one to many times during the year. It can be acute, meaning of short duration, or chronic, meaning of long duration.

Various things can cause diarrhea, including illness, food poisoning and even taking antibiotics. But the good news is that one of the most well-studied aspects of probiotics is their ability to make an impact on digestive problems.

In particular, studies have shown that taking probiotics at the same time you take antibiotics will help you avoid the diarrhea associated with doing that. Doctors are even starting to prescribe probiotics (the strains of Lactobacillus GG and Lactobacillus acidophilus show promise in treatment of antibiotic-associated diarrhea) along with antibiotics. This is something physicians in Europe have caught on to a lot faster than those in America.

If you’re struggling with any type of digestive problem, talk to your doctor about the potential of probiotics.

You’ll be glad you did! And you may save some toilet paper too! (Yes, bad joke. We know. But hard to resist.)

 

Go with your Gut,

The Probulin Team

Probiotics: high cholesterol’s worst nightmare

We live in a high cholesterol world. From movie theater popcorn with gobs of butter to down-home fried chicken (hungry yet?), the urge to ignore those ugly cholesterol numbers and chow down is hard to ignore.

Cholesterol has a good component (HDL) and a bad component (LDL). The higher the LDL levels, the higher the risk of heart disease. HDL, on the other hand, protects against heart disease.

Fermented milk and acidophilus have been shown to increase HDL and lower LDL, decreasing the chance of heart disease.

Probiotics can break down cholesterol and use it in their metabolic processes, which decreases your cholesterol levels. L. acidophilus and L. lactis have been shown in studies to decrease cholesterol.

Probiotics may even decrease cholesterol by changing the way the liver synthesizes cholesterol. The liver uses cholesterol to make bile acids. Bile is stored in the liver and, when needed, pumped into the small bowel where 95% is reabsorbed. Probiotics make an enzyme that breaks down the bile salts that can’t be reabsorbed. The liver then reaches out into the blood to get new cholesterol, which lowers the amount of cholesterol in the blood. All bifidobacter species, lactobacillus acidophilus, and some other lactobacilli have this capability.

Adding prebiotics to probiotics helps probiotics flourish, but also prebiotics – because they’re fiber – directly work to decrease cholesterol. Talk about a win-win!

Now, I’m not advocating a daily fried food diet, but any help I can get with lowering my cholesterol, we’ll take! How about you? What’s your favorite food that you just know makes your cholesterol aim toward the sky?

My pick: fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuits. . . excuse me. I’ve uh. . . gotta go to lunch.

Go with your gut,

The Probulin Team

Probiotics & Allergies: Nothing to Sneeze At!

Allergies are “altered reactions,” derived from the Greek words allos (meaning different or changed) and ergos (meaning work or action). Fifty million people in the United States have allergies, with nasal allergies or hay fever, asthma, allergic eczema, and hives being the most common.

Greek or not, you know allergies by their symptoms – from itchy, runny noses to hives and rashes.

In medical terms, an allergy is an exaggerated response by your immune system to contact with a “foreign” substance. But it’s usually a misguided reaction. Your body perceives an allergen – an allergy-producing substance – as dangerous when it’s really not. If you’re allergic to a particular substance – cat hair, pollen, or mold, for instance – your body snaps to attention, producing an exaggerated response.

Several research studies show that probiotics offer promising treatments for allergies. They’ve been successfully used to treat eczema (bacteria studied include L.Planatarum, L.rhamnosus, L.casei, L.Bulgaricus). One Netherlands study found that daily probiotics prevent asthma-like symptoms in children with eczema, while another study showed decreased incidence of eczema in children when taking prebiotics.

Early research shows that probiotics impact food allergies, but conclusive evidence isn’t available yet. The same is true of hay fever – initial studies of the bacteria lactobacillus casei shirota show positive results for decreasing hay fever symptoms.

Click HERE to check out a great article on how taking probiotics while pregnant may decrease the chance of passing allergies on to babies.

Meanwhile, save some dollars in Kleenex, allergy pills and eye drops by fighting off your allergies with probiotics and prebiotics!

Go with your gut,

The Probulin Team