PROBULIN FAQ

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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.

Learning More: Research Needed into Human Microbiome

We’re learning about the bacterial world in and on our bodies, called the microbiome, and it’s clear to most medical researchers that it has a critical impact on our health.

Recently, researchers met in Paris for the International Human Microbiome Consortium, and talked about the importance of continuing research into the microbiome in our bodies. According to ScienceInsider, two major research programs in this area are coming to an end and it’s critical that funding be extended.

For such a relatively new field, the data gathering process has been important. But now it’s time to start challenging and interpreting the data. As we report here frequently, initial studies about the impact of probiotics are so promising, that more research needs to be done so we can fully understand the benefits.

Here’s to all the researchers, funders and others seeking to make our world better through understanding the bacteria we live with daily!

Read here (http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2012/03/international-human-microbe-prog.html?ref=hp ) for more information on the international meeting.

Go with  your Gut,

The Probulin Team

The facts, ma’am… and some stats, research studies…

Here on the Probulin Team, we don’t always agree about what to write about in the blog. There are those of us who want to cite all the research studies out there and those of us who just want to summarize, without including numbers and such. (Guess you could call it the battle of right brain versus left brain thinkers!)

Today, the numbers people won. There’s a great website (click here to visit it  www.probiotic-research.com) that summarizes abstracts of ongoing or completed scientific research studies.

One stuck out among the others. Doctors did a study of 72 patients with severe multiple injuries. Some received a placebo and others received a combination of a probiotic and a prebiotic (called a synbiotic).  The abstract says in conclusion: “Synbiotics contained in the studied formula decrease significantly the risk for sepsis by bloodstream infections and the occurrence of VAP by A. baumannii.”

Translated, VAP is ventilator associated pneumonia, which is a real problem at hospitals. Other studies have also found that probiotics fight off VAP. One, done at Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Neb., said that daily use of probiotics reduced VAP in critically ill patients by almost half. (In the interest of fairness, we want to note that the study patients were carefully selected and probiotics have not been studied for all critically ill patients on the ventilator.)

Half! Even if you don’t like to deal in numbers, you gotta like that number!

For more studies like this, check out the link we mentioned above. . . and, of course, check back  here. Us stats loving people win the fights occasionally and get to fill this blog with some medical talk!

Go with your Gut,

The Probulin Team

Selecting and Using Probiotic Supplements

Even though probiotic-rich foods should be an important part of your life, you probably need probiotic supplements to ingest enough bacteria to make a difference. Supplements are especially important if you’re treating a specific illness, such as inflammatory bowel disease or other health issues.

Even people in the medical profession would be lost in the supplements aisle of the grocery store shopping for probiotics. Because the research is still in its infancy, specific recommendations about how much good bacteria you should take (or, in some cases, which strain will help particular diseases) just aren’t available.

However, here are some points to keep in mind:

What goes in your mouth does not necessarily reach your colon.

Good  bacteria can’t help you if they don’t survive your stomach acid. Look for products labeled “encapsulated” or some other indication that they use technology to help the good bacteria reach your colon.

More strains of bacteria are better than one.

Make sure your supplement includes Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria strains. Also check for prebiotic ingredients like inulin; prebiotics make the probiotic bacteria more effective. (Probulin is a good example of this kindof supplement.)

Always check the expiration date and storage information.

Some supplements need to be chilled; even those that don’t require refrigeration should be stored away from heat. Heat destroys probiotic bacteria, so don’t drink coffee, hot tea, or other hot beverages for an hour after you take probiotics in any form — either as a supplement or in foods.

✓ Good probiotic supplements include prebiotics.

The good probiotic supplements include fiber (prebiotics) which serves as “food” for the probiotic bacteria. Including insoluble fiber ensures probiotic have enough food for energy and growth once they reach the gut.

So next time you head to the store or go online for your supply of probiotic supplements, be sure to check the supplement facts on the bottle.

Go with your health,

Probiotic Team

India – Moving Ahead to Recommend Probiotics

The most-studied area where probiotics help you is in your gut – and particularly in preventing diarrhea. We’ve tackled this smelly subject in other blog posts, for example our post titled “It’s An Ugly Subject… But We’re Brave!

An article in an India newspaper talked about all the evidence that probiotics help prevent diarrhea in patients who take antibiotics (remember from our previous blog that antibiotics, in their efforts to kill off the bad bacteria also kill off the good bacteria, which causes the diarrhea and stomach upset). Right now, the article said, it’s rare for doctors to prescribe probiotics as an antidote to antibiotic-induced diarrhea. One Indian doctor, an expert in probiotics, estimates that 1.4 million of the 9 million child deaths in her country in 2008 could be attributed to diarrhea.

Now, the National Institute of Nutrition in India has put together guidelines for probiotics in the country, requiring them to list exactly what’s in the probiotic, to use only evidence-based health claims and other information that we have on our Probulin label like serving size and proper storage.

They’re hoping to encourage doctors to use probiotics more frequently, particularly in treating diarrhea.

It’s nice to have a little control over your health, isn’t it?

 

Go with your gut,

The Probulin Team

The Most Popular New Year’s Resolution (and the Hardest!!): Losing Weight

With 2012 underway, most of us are charging into the New Year with new ambitions. Of course, one of the more common goals we set for ourselves: lose the love handles. Research shows there may be a link between probiotics and reaching that healthier weight.

In a controlled study in 2010, Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 was found to have contributed to Body Mass Index reduction— including that hard-to-lose fat around the middle. (BMI is a calculation that takes into account a person’s body fat, height and weight.) You can check out this study HERE.

The microbial population in an obese individual’s gut is different than in a thin one,  according to Dr. Jeffery Gordon at the University of Washington. Once an overweight person reaches a healthier BMI, his or her gut flora composition shifts to that of a thin person.

Prebiotics – remember, these are the foods that help probiotics work better –  may also play a role in weight management through modulating hormones. There’s a rather challenging read for those without medical degrees HERE that examines how prebiotics and probiotics may help with weight control.

Adding prebiotics and probiotics, like Probulin, to your daily routine may help you achieve greater success in reaching your weight management goals. Here’s to 2012 and achieving all your resolutions!

Go with your gut,

The Probulin Team

Probiotics & Prebiotics: Not Just for Us Humans

No, we’re not talking an alien invasion. We’re actually talking about using probiotics to help the animal industry. In recent years, there’s been considerable concern about the food animal producers using antibiotics. Remember, when we use too many antibiotics, people start to get resistant to them and new strains of bacteria are born that are antibiotic-resistant. (The one you’ll recognize is MRSA because it’s gotten a lot of attention in the media.)

The food animal industries have been looking at options to reduce the use of antibiotics, and probiotics and prebiotics are options, according to an article at WorldPoultry.net. The article says the poultry industry is “embracing” probiotics for pathogen prevention, but lots more studies are looking at using probiotics and prebiotics to reduce the use of antibiotics.

If you’ve got one of those science-y heads, you can read another article from Medwell Journals that’s pretty complex about how probiotics are being investigated for use with many animals (not just those chickens!) HERE. It talks about how some studies have shown that:

  • Probiotics feed intake and daily weight gain in chickens, horses, pigs, sheep, goats and cattle.
  • Cows fed probiotics saw higher milk yields, and increased fats and proteins.
  • Rabbits fed probiotics had reduced morbidity and mortality rates during their fattening periods.

There are lots more studies listed in this article – but it’s all a good sign for how society is starting to recognize the potential of good bacteria to make positive changes.

 

Go with your gut,

The Probulin Team

Happy holidays from the Probulin Team!

It’s a wonderful time of the year! Friends, family, all the holiday gatherings filled with laughter and joy. It’s also a little crazy – at least around here. Baking and gift-buying, and then wrapping those piles of presents.

Remember to take your probiotics and prebiotics during this hectic time. One of the first places we feel stress is in our guts. Even when you’re having fun during the holidays, just being so busy adds stress and on top of that, you’re probably eating a little more than you usually do. (Kudos out there to those who AREN’T eating more during the holidays. Add a comment and tell us how you resist all those sugar cookies, fudge and decadent desserts.)

All of these things combined together are bound to affect the balance of bacteria in your digestive system. Get this, in a study published in the Los Angeles Times in August (click HERE to read the article)  ), an international research group found that mice who took drinks spiked with Lactobacillus rhamnosus (JB-1) were less anxious and stressed than the control group.

Most of you already know from your own experiences that when you get stressed, a stomach ache often follows. Doesn’t it make sense to keep that bacteria in balance as you face these crazy, fun holiday times?

Wishing you lots of joy and laughter to offset the busy-ness!

Go with  your gut,

The Probulin Team

Reading the Probiotic Label: It’s Not Gobblety Gook!

I don’t know about you, but reading any labels makes my head spin. Thank goodness for smart phones where you can determine what those multiple-syllable, unpronounceable words really are. (Mayo Clinic has a great interactive guide for learning to read labels, in general, that will help you make healthier eating choices. . . check it out!)

When you look at the Probulin label, you’ll see all the key factors you should look for in finding a probiotic. Here are some points to keep in mind:

*   What goes in your mouth might not reach your colon. Good bacteria can’t help you if they’re killed off by your stomach acid. Look for products labeled “encapsulated” or some other indication that they use technology to help the good bacteria reach your colon.

*  More strains of bacteria are better than one. Make sure your supplement includes Lactobacillus and Bifidobacter[M1]  strains. Also check for prebiotic ingredients like inulin; prebiotics make the probiotic bacteria more effective. (Probulin is a good example a supplement with both of these.)

*  Always check the expiration date and storage information. Some supplements need to be chilled; even those that don’t require refrigeration should be stored away from heat.

A sidenote: Keep in mind that heat destroys probiotic bacteria, so don’t drink coffee, hot tea, or other hot beverages for an hour after you take probiotics in any form — either as a supplement or in foods.

That wasn’t too painful, was it? Now, click here to order Probulin and never force yourself to read another probiotic label again! (Though we’re highly in favor of expanding your vocabulary! So in our desire to further your education, here’s a new word you won’t find on a label. . . floccinaucinihilipilification. Go on. Pull out your smart phone or hit Google. Can’t say you don’t learn lots of stuff here on our blog. We’re just educators at heart.)
Smile. Take your Probulin. Have a terrific day!

Go with your gut,

The Probulin Team


 [M1]bifidobacteria