You Have Heard About Probiotics But Do You Know What Prebiotics Are?

When looking at the words prebiotic and probiotic they look very similar, only containing one different letter. They also have similar benefits as their jobs are to improve overall health by starting with digestive health. According to Dr. Shekhar Challa, author of Probiotics for Dummies, and creator of the first Probiotic video game – microwarriorsvideogame.com, probiotics mean “for life.” Probiotics are the good bacteria. Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients, like inulin, that stimulate the growth and/or activity of bacteria in the digestive system in ways believed to be beneficial to health and are not consumed by the bad bacteria. Essentially Prebiotics act as food or fuel to Probiotics. Probiotics and Prebiotics worktogether to maintain gut health.

Prebiotic fiber is not affected by heat, cold, acid or time, yet probiotics can be killed by heat, acid or passage of time. Prebiotics nourish the thousands of good bacterial species already living in the colon. Probiotics contain species of bacteria which are added to the colon when ingested.

Probiotics are the beneficial organisms, prebiotics help probiotic bacteria grow and flourish. Prebiotics and probiotics working together are called synbiotics. Now we can understand that prebiotics are the support team to probiotics which maintain our gut health. When Prebiotics and Probiotics are available in the same product it is called a synbiotic. Probulin is a classic example of a synbiotic.

Hammering Away at Your Health: Probiotics & Kidney Stones

Just saying the words “kidney stones” can make you grimace in pain if you know anything about them at all. About 1 in 20 Americans will get kidney stones at some point, with men more likely to get them than women. Some unlucky people get them repeatedly. . .

The most common type of kidney stones is composed of calcium oxalate, a chemical compound that forms needle-shaped crystals. Your gut bacteria – normally Oxalobacter formigenes, but also known as B. lactisL. acidophilus and B. infantis – normally break down oxalate. But if you don’t have the bacteria in adequate amounts, then your gut absorbs the oxalate and the burden of excreting it falls on the kidneys. When your kidneys can’t get rid of oxalate fast enough, you may develop kidney stones.

A University of Boston study found that people who have a lot of Oxalobacter formigenes in their systems are 70 percent less likely to develop kidney stones. In animal studies, oral probiotics decreased both blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine levels, both of which measure kidney function. Probiotiocs have been used for cats and dogs for a long time.

Early evidence also suggests that probiotics can postpone dialysis for people with kidney failure.. . . but that area needs more research.

I’d say it’s a good gamble to be taking your probiotics and decreasing the odds of getting kidney stones. I’ve never yet heard a good story about ’em and would just as soon reduces those stones to gravel. J

Go with your Gut,

The Probulin Team

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

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

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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.

Human Microbiome Project: Studying Microbial Cells (Don’t worry, all the science-y talk is in the headline!)

Researching probiotics brought me to an interesting website recently. The Human Microbiome Project is an initiative of the National Institutes of Health to study the microbial cells in the human body, which outnumber human cells 10 to one.

It’s only recently that we’ve had the technology to study those microbial cells so that we can better understand the impact they have on our development, physiology, immunity and nutrition. The project is focusing on microbes found in the nasal, oral, skin, gastrointestinal and urogenital areas.

I’m interested in these studies because the impact probiotics have in your body has to do with the impact on the microbial environment. As technology and scientists isolate the information, we’ll learn more about strains of probiotics that will help us the most, particularly in treating disease states.

While the project isn’t focused on probiotics, any understanding of the microbial environment in our bodies will advance the science that we use to bring you the best probiotics possible. It’s exciting to see glimmers of the future potential – aside from the amazing things good bacteria already do!

To read more about what the Human Microbiome Project is doing, click here: http://commonfund.nih.gov/index.aspx

 

Go with your Gut,

The Probulin Team

This article was originally posted on DrChalla.com by Dr. Shekhar Challa on Feb 13, 2012. With permission by the author we have reposted it on Probulin.com.

Probiotics sales to skyrocket worldwide

It seems that many, many people are finding out about the benefits of taking probiotics and that trend is expected to continue. A market researcher found that U.S. per capita spending is expected to double from 2011 through 2016. For more detailed information on that market, click here (http://www.nutraingredients.com/Consumer-Trends/US-per-capita-spending-on-probiotic-supplements-expected-to-nearly-double-by-2016) to read the full article.

The most prominent probiotic market has been drinkable yogurt, followed by spoonable yogurt, and trailing that is supplements. As consumers become more educated to understand that they need supplements are necessary to get enough probiotics – particularly if you’re taking them for a specific disease or illness – that may change.

Either way, we’re excited to see the rising interest in probiotics. Just as 40 years ago very few people took multi-vitamins or fish oil, we think educated consumers will learn there’s a huge place in their daily supplement regimen for probiotics.

Go with your gut,

Probulin Team

This article was originally posted on DrChalla.com by Dr. Shekhar Challa on Feb 13, 2012. With permission by the author we have reposted it on Probulin.com.

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.