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.

Probiotic Potential in the Brain!

Here at Probulin, we’re getting to be experts on all the research in the probiotics world. We’re always careful to tell you when the research is in initial stages, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t excited about all the potential!

Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that probiotic bacteria have the potential to alter the brain’s fatty acids composition. The research, being done in Ireland, was performed on mice and found that bacteria in the gut microbiota influence the brain.

Mice given particular probiotics had increased levels of ARA and DHA, two fatty acids that play important roles in the brain.

We’re not telling you this research will have an immediate impact on probiotic products. But it’s just another sign of how getting a deeper understanding of the bacteria in our bodies may really change the way we treat diseases and stay healthy.

 It’s exciting!

Go with your Gut,

The Probulin Team

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

Research into Bladder & Cervical Cancer

A cancer diagnosis can be a devastating shock, and it’s with relief that we watch daily as more research and treatments become available for different types of cancer. We’ve written in the past the impact probiotics may have on cancer and how much more research needs to be done in this area.

One clinical study found that patients with bladder cancer who took Lactobacillus casei had longer remission periods, in which the cancer didn’t reappear. A Japanese study also found that cancer patients who received probiotoics took longer to develop the cancer and the cancers weren’t as severe when they recurred in probiotic-treated patients.

Cervical cancer studies have found results along the same line. In one study, 228 women with advanced cervical cancer were given probiotics. The women who took probiotics had a higher four-year survival rate – 69 percent versus 46 percent for the women who didn’t take probiotics.

While these are initial studies and certainly aren’t definitive, there is promise in probiotics. . .

Go with your Gut,

The Probulin Team

 

PS – Click the Cervical Cancer ribbon to purchase your awareness magnet today!

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

Getting All the Probiotic Brains Together

Next month is a big event for all of us involved in the probiotics world – the International Probiotics Association World Congress. This event, which occurs every two years, is in Los Angeles April 20-21.

For two days, researchers, regulatory officials, manufacturers, and healthcare providers gather to attend scientific and regulatory seminars, network and generally find a forum to exchange knowledge. Each conference day is geared for unique audiences. On Day 1, manufacturers, probiotic research and development scientists, brand marketers, industry consultants, and regulatory officials will hear from renowned experts on emerging areas of probiotic research, international regulation and recommendations to improve the status of probiotics as non-prescription dietary aids.

The International Probiotics Association (IPA) has members equally divided between industry and academia, and its goal is to provide a unique forum for the exchange of research and the latest breakthroughs in probiotic technology and new product development.

It will be interesting to see what news comes out of this conference. There have been many advances in probiotics research and regulatory issues worldwide since the last one. We’ll keep you updated!

 

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.

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 for Babies: Impact Seen Until Age 4

A study published this month in Clinical and Experimental Allergy found that infants exposed to probiotics (specifically Lactobacillus rhamnosus) from 35 weeks to age 2 were at less risk for getting eczema and rhinoconjunctivitis. (For a detailed report, click here.  http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/758431)

The “protective effect,” according to the article on Medscape, lasted until age 4. The probiotics were given to the mothers before the babies were born and continuing after birth for six months if the mothers were breastfeeding. Then the babies got the supplements directly.

The incidence of eczema was significantly reduced, backing up other studies that found the same results but had tracked the children only to about 2 years of age.

So at your next baby shower, you might want to consider giving mom a bottle of Probulin – along with, of course,  print out of the study so she doesn’t think you just raided your bathroom cabinet for a gift.

 

Go with your Gut,

The Probulin Team