Probiotics for Dirt? What a Great Idea!

Bokashi is a Japanese term meaning ‘fermented organic matter,’ and what it means for those of us who know about probiotics is a way to compost using bacteria. We spend most of our time here at Probulin concerned with the impact of good bacteria on our bodies and health – it was really cool to find out how those little microorganisms are being used in other ways!

Bokashi means taking a bucket, adding bacteria (usually in the form of purchased bran) and organic waste (think left overs you forgot about in the fridge). You let it sit for about two weeks and you have compost. There’s very little smell to this process, which makes it perfect for apartment dwellers or those who are smell challenged.

There are several websites selling the bran that contains the microorganisms and that talk about how to do this process in your home or even in your office. (One is here.  http://www.bokashicomposting.com/) One of the positives of bokashi composting is that it is able to handle egg shells, citrus, meats and other items that don’t work well when you compost with worms.

Research into using bokashi compost has found that the rapid preparation time (just two to four weeks, versus much longer times – even six months – for composting with worms) and the end product’s viability are great resources for your garden.

According to a report found here http://www.reap-canada.com/bio_and_climate_3_4.htm, “ Research with peanut crops has shown that crops treated with Bokashi fertilizer had higher growth rates, increased nodulation and higher yield than crops treated with chemical fertilizer.”

What a great, non-smelly way to use microorganisms to make your life – and our planet – better!

Go with Your Gut,

The Probulin Team

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Shrimp Farms Utilize Probiotics

FACT: The major importers for shrimp into the U.S. are Thailand, China, Vietnam, India and Indonesia. ~USDA Aquaculture Statistics

Are you a seafood fan? Here in the Midwest seafood is a little hard to come by (hence Red Lobster and Long John Silvers chains). But despite not being near the sea for the fresh catch of the day, seafood has many healthy benefits.  So if allergies for shellfish aren’t standing in your way, be sure to add some fish to your diet a couple of times a week.

Give Bubba Gump Some Lovin’

One of my favorite types of seafood is shrimp. Now I don’t know, or haven’t paid attention to, whether my shrimp from the grocery store is caught from the ocean or is bred in an aquaculture (aka shrimp farm).

FACT: It’s predicted by 2020 up to 50 percent of our seafood worldwide will come from fish farms, as estimated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.S. ~LiveStrong.com

David Moriarity of The University of Queensland, in his presentation in 1999 to the International Symposium on Microbial Ecology, stated probiotics can be beneficial in reducing bad bacteria and rates of infection within shrimp aquaculture farms.

Probiotics for Creatures Big & Small

Consider our use of antibiotics… an overuse of such drugs can cause the body to react by building immunity to the helpful antibiotics. Over time, we become immune to antibiotics because we’ve grown resistant to the bacteria being used to fight off infections. Probiotics not only reduce the rate of infection, but now even doctors are starting to prescribe probiotics with antibiotics in order to prevent resistance to the drugs, and get us feeling better faster.

Similar occurrence with shrimp: the tanks they are bred in have recently had problems repopulating at such great numbers due to bacterial infections.

What does this have to do with us (humans)?

Remember that saying “you are what you eat.” Shrimp alone do not provide any probiotics for us, they don’t naturally produce the good bacterium by themselves. Turns out if we eat shrimp that has been feed high doses of antibiotics, we are more likely to grow resistant to certain strains of antibiotics. So feeding probiotics to shrimp and keeping their bacteria balanced indirectly benefits us and our immunity.

Despite the health benefits we get from seafood, it is still suggested that we take probiotics on a daily basis. Check out NutraCenter’s line of digestive health products and get started balancing your microflora (intestinal bacterial levels) today!

Go with your gut,

Probulin Team

This article was originally posted on the NutraCenter blog on March 15, 2012. It has been reposted here with permission by the author.

Celiac Disease and Probiotics – Emerging Research

In Kansas, we love the rolling waves of grain and enjoy watching farmers harvest wheat. But if you have Celiac Disease, you may not be so enthusiastic about the gluten factor…

We’ve mentioned (and you’re probably sick of hearing about it!) how exciting it is to see the research being done on probiotics. While much is still in the mouse stage (being tested on mice and not on humans yet), the data is showing the promise of probiotics.

Celiac disease – which is basically an allergic reaction to gluten found in wheat, oats and other foods – is an autoimmune condition that’s essentially inflammatory. When you have CD, your immune system attacks your small intestine.

Studies have shown that taking probiotics may help lessen the severity of CD in several respects – reducing inflammation and heal the intestinal barrier. But new research, still done only in mice, was reported in the journal Laboratory Investigation, indicating that probiotics may help prevent the onset of CD.

Check out “Can Probiotics Prevent the Development of Celiac Disease?” article that talks about all the implications of this research.

More than 3 million people in this country have celiac disease and the numbers are on the rise. There’s no real explanation as to why the surge in this autoimmune disease, but if probiotics could do something to slow that increase, it would be terrific.

What’s great about probiotics is that even as our scientists are putting their brains to getting evidence-based research completed, we can still take the supplements. For most people – aside from a few with compromised immune systems – probiotics will do no harm, and there’s already evidence from human trials that they help with many gut problems.

So take your daily Probulin and know that you’re probably getting a lot of side benefits – like fighting Celiac Disease – that will only be proven in the future!

Go with your Gut,

The Probulin Team

 Have you “liked” us on Facebook yet?!  https://www.facebook.com/probulin

Hang with the Popular Gang!

Love this article on the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim – where all the people who care about natural foods gather to market products, share information and generally enjoy an industry that is growing dramatically every year.

Author Leon Kaye talks about how the big, shining star at the expo this year was probiotics. . . in everything. From gum to mints to supplements and foods, probiotics are showing up everywhere.

Last year, he said, Greek yogurt and coconut water were the biggies, but hands down, probiotics won this year.

Excuse me while we here at Probulin take a minute to gloat. It’s nice to see that the United States is starting to understand something that many other countries have known for some time – the bacteria in our gut and throughout our bodies has a tremendous impact on our health.

Want to get in on the action? Check out Profresh Mints probiotic mint – take once daily for a brighter, whiter smile. Not to mention it gives you fresh breath, how can anyone resist?!

Go with your Gut,

The Probulin Team

Dairy product for seniors in the works

A New Zealand dairy processor, Fonterra, is working to utilize its knowledge and research about probiotics to create nutritional products for senior citizens, building off its established line of infant nutrition products. (For the full article: http://www.dairyreporter.com/Markets/Fonterra-cross-leverages-infant-nutrition-expertise-to-capture-senior-nutrition-trend)

Fonterra representatives told DairyReporter.com that they have all the great nutritional information needed for such a product, and would like to “cross-leverage” it into the market for older citizens.

There already are lots of studies about the possible impacts probiotics have on people as they age. One thing we know for sure is the bacteria in our gut changes as we age. Initial research into numerous areas shows promise for many of the health challenges we face as we get older. For instance, heart problems, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

Let’s look at milk proteins: they have properties that help fight high blood pressure. Probiotic enzymes break down milk proteins into useable components. Animal studies have shown that the probiotic Lactobacilli can actually reduce blood pressure.

Good job, Fonterra, for utilizing your knowledge and research to move into a market that can share the benefits of probiotics with even more people!

Go with your gut,

Probiotic Team

This article was originally posted on DrChalla.com by Dr. Shekhar Challa on Mar 5, 2012. With permission by the author we have reposted it on Probulin.com.

Makin’ It Through the Gut

One of the challenges of creating a probiotic like Probulin that we want to be effective and the best possible supplement to help our customers – that’s you! – is making sure the bacteria stays alive until it gets where it needs to go: your intestines.

Your stomach acids are pretty tough and darned good at tearing up whatever is put in there, whether it arrives in food or in a health supplement. (Unless you were one of those kids who ate pennies, and those probably passed right on through!) The highest quality probiotics are tested in a “simulated acid environment” to make sure the capsule survives the challenging stomach environment.

Probulin uses special gastric bypass technology, designed especially for us, to make sure most of the bacteria run the gamut of your stomach acid and are able to go to work in your intestines. This proprietary process minimizes the loss of bacteria to the harsh stomach acid; the probiotics are not released until after the capsule leaves the stomach.

That means those good bacteria get where they’re intended to go – and they can do the most good for you there!

Go with Your Gut,

The Probulin Team

Avoid diarrhea despair on your next vacation!

It’s that time of year when many of us, stuck in cold climates with sleet hitting the windows, think of escaping to warm, sunny beaches. It’s also a countdown to summer when we take the kids and explore new countries, eat new foods and generally get away from the house.

But one challenge of traveling overseas is traveler’s diarrhea, which often occurs when we visit other countries. TD is considered three or more stools in a 24-hour time period when you’re traveling outside the U.S. It’s usually associated with cramping, bloating and occasionally nausea, and the source of infection is usually eating or drinking fecal-contaminated food or water. (How many ways can we say UGH online??)

But before you leave for your trip, make sure you’re taking your probiotics. Studies have found that Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus acidophilus are effective in preventing traveler’s diarrhea. Of course, you also have to stay smart – don’t drink local water or eat food you’re unsure of.

I don’t want you stuck in your hotel room when you could be out on the beach. But that’s just my opinion. Now go plan your next summer vacation!

Go with your gut,

Probulin Team

This article was originally posted on DrChalla.com by Dr. Shekhar Challa on Feb 8, 2012. With permission by the author we have reposted it on Probulin.com.

Bacteria on the Cutting Edge of Science

We love working with probiotics because we get to read lots of brand-new scientific research. Medicine is an exciting field – just think of what we can do today that we couldn’t yesterday (heart transplant, anyone?).

A new discovery, reported on the Fish Information & Service website, says they’ve found strains of bacteria in the Bay of Fundy (off the coast of Maine) that could fight cancer in humans.

Like many scientific advancements, this discovery (and keep in mind that there’s lot of research still to be done before anything is definite) was found as researchers worked to protect farmed salmon from infection. Read the article to get the whole story.

What is exciting for us here at Probulin is this vast, increasing knowledge about bacteria and what an important role they play in our lives. It’s unlikely we’re anywhere near understanding how the environment’s we’ve created today with our anti-bacterials and such have changed the good bacteria in our bodies, leaving us open to all sorts of problems.

Stay tuned as we keep you up-to-date on more research!

 

Go with your gut,

The Probulin Team

Probiotics in your Grocery Store

If you’re anything like me, when you first walk into your neighborhood store, you’re reaching for the sanitary wipes and giving the cart a good rub-down before shopping. Nowadays, though, you might be combing the shelves of that same market in search of the right kind of friendly bacteria to get your hands on.

Lately, probiotics haven’t just caught the attention of the science community. There’s a growing market out there of consumers looking for ways to improve their quality of health. Corporate America has caught on and now you, the consumer, are rewarded with an assortment new products that will help you get the probiotics you need.

Products you may encounter include:

Probiotic “shots”: Popular in other countries, these drinks are newly arrived in the United States, and contain a good, hearty dose of probiotics in each shot.

Probiotic snacks: From buckwheat snacks to granola bars, keep an eye out for probiotic labels.

Probiotic chocolate: Seriously, does it get better than this? Probiotic chocolate. . . chocolate that helps keep you healthy. Yep. I’m there.

Kombucha: A tart and tangy beverage made from fermented tea, kombucha is a great vegan source of probiotics.

So, keep an eye out for these new products and load up your cart with the probiotics you need to keep healthy!

Go with your gut,

The Probulin Team

Get to Know Your Bacteria

Okay. We throw a lot of probiotics 4-1-1 at you and it may be hard to keep up with all the new information floating around out there. (We try really hard not to bury you in medical-ese!)  So, we at Probulin thought it might be time for a refresher course. Below is a list of helpful bacteria to be on the lookout for!

Lactobacillus acidophilus

L. bulgaricus

L. casei

L. johnsonii

L. reuteri

Bifidobacterium lactis

B. breve

B. infantis

B. longum

Streptococcus thermophilus

Certain foods already contain the probiotics listed above. Here’s a cheat sheet to take to the supermarket!

  • Yogurt | Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus, thermophilus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacteria
  • Cheese | Lactobacillus strains (like Gouda in the picture left)
  • Kefir | Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria
  • Pickles, sauerkraut, miso,  and kimchi |Lactobacillus

Hope this helps gets you pointed in the right direction!

Go with your gut,

The Probulin Team