MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Disease, illness, even death, they can all be caused by the spread of bad bacteria. But there are billions of other kinds that could do your body a lot of good.
Adam Jonas has colitis.
"You basically feel like you need to go to the bathroom 10, 15 times a day," Jonas told Ivanhoe. "So it's pretty nasty. It's not a comfortable thing to be dealing with."
To help with his gut problem, he takes a capsule full of bacteria every day.
"It's new to hear doctors prescribing bacteria," Gregory Plotnikoff, MD, Senior Consultant at the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, told Ivanhoe. "They're friendly bacteria, beneficial bacteria."
Called probiotics, they can be found in yogurt. The doctor said they help the body produce vitamins, pain relieving substances, and can improve digestion.
Sleep problems, surgery, stress, even antibiotics hurt the balance of good bacteria in your belly.
"Forty million Americans suffer from chronic gut distress," Dr. Plotnikoff said. "Simply taking probiotics can help a large number of people."
They're helpful for most, but critically ill patients with immune system problems should steer clear of probiotics. Also, the FDA doesn't regulate probiotics for over the counter use.
If you take them, the doctor said make sure they have at least 20 billion colony forming units or CFUs per capsule. And only wash them down with filtered or bottled water.
"City water has chlorine in it to get rid of bacteria," Dr. Plotnikoff explained.
Heat can also kill probiotics, so avoid coffee, tea or hot foods for at least 30 minutes before or after taking one.
After taking probiotics for a while now, Adam Jonas has experienced their benefits.
"I would say I'm normal now," he said.
Probiotics are available over the counter and the doctor said a two month supply runs about $40 to $50.
BACKGROUND: Probiotics are bacteria that help maintain the natural balance of organisms (microflora) in the intestines camera. The normal human digestive tract contains about 400 types of probiotic bacteria that reduce the growth of harmful bacteria and promote a healthy digestive system. The largest group of probiotic bacteria in the intestine is lactic acid bacteria, of which Lactobacillus acidophilus, found in yogurt with live cultures, is the best known. Yeast is also a probiotic substance. Probiotics are also available as dietary supplements. (SOURCE:http://www.webmd.com)
WHAT FOODS CONTAIN PROBIOTICS? Fermented dairy products have been advertised as containing "beneficial cultures." These cultures are what would now be considered probiotics. Other foods currently claiming to provide probiotics are cereal, juice, frozen yogurt, granola, candy bars, and cookies. (SOURCE: http://www.medicinenet.com/probiotics)
SIDE EFFECTS OF PROBIOTICS: Side effects are rare. Most people do not experience any, or they may have a mild gastrointestinal side effect, such as gas, but there have been some case reports of serious adverse effects, and research on safety is ongoing. Concerns have also been raised about the quality of probiotic products. Some products have been found to contain smaller numbers of live microorganisms than expected. In addition, some products have been found to contain bacterial strains other than those listed as ingredients. (SOURCE:http://nccam.nih.gov/health)
BENEFITS: Although more research is needed, there's encouraging evidence that probiotics may help:
Treat diarrhea, especially following treatment with certain antibiotics
Prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections
Tuesday, December 10 2013 5:15 PM EST2013-12-10 22:15:07 GMT
Once its spread, melanoma is extremely difficult to treat. Now, researchers say a new therapy is helping them shock away some of the most stubborn tumors.more>>
Each year, more than 76,000 Americans are diagnosed with melanoma, and 9,000 die. Once its spread, this cancer is extremely difficult to treat. Now, researchers say a new therapy is helping them shock away some of the most stubborn tumors.more>>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 5:15 PM EST2013-12-04 22:15:09 GMT
Constant diarrhea, abdominal pain, and intestinal bleeding are just some of the symptoms inflammatory bowel disease patients endure. Now, there's a new therapy for people who have tried everything.more>>
One point four million Americans suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases –like Crohn's and ulcerative colitis. Constant diarrhea, abdominal pain, and intestinal bleeding are just some of the symptoms these patients endure. Now, there's a new therapy for people who have tried everything.more>>
Monday, December 2 2013 5:15 PM EST2013-12-02 22:15:04 GMT
Nearly a million children a year injure their eyes and half of those injuries happen in the home. The younger a child is fitted with a new eye the better.more>>
Nearly a million children a year injure their eyes and half of those injuries happen in the home. Scissors, running with pencils, throwing rocks, sharp corners, and power tools are all to blame. The younger a child is fitted with a new eye the better.more>>
Friday, November 22 2013 5:15 PM EST2013-11-22 22:15:07 GMT
You may think you can avoid them, but in reality most of the foods on your supermarkets shelves contain at least one GMO. When it comes to the GMO debate, things are moving too fast for people to digest.more>>
You may think you can avoid them, but in reality most of the foods on your supermarkets shelves contain at least one GMO. Are they safe? Should you take genetically modified foods off your menu? When it comes to the GMO debate, things are moving too fast for people to digest.more>>