Monday, March 28, 2011

Benefits of Probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria in your intestines. Many times we become ill due to the overpopulation of bad bacteria in our intestines. Some of these bad guys include staphylococci, salmonella, and camphylobacteria. Populating your intestines with probiotics will promote healthy intestinal flora. Probiotics will kill these bad guys or at least out number them. It is especially important to take a probiotic supplement if you are taking antibiotics since antibiotics will kill off ALL bacteria in your intestines, good and bad. This is a common reason women get yeast infections while taking antibiotics.

What are the benefits of taking probiotics? Here is a least of the main benefits of taking probiotics:
  1. Increasing resistance to infections
  2. Boosting immunity
  3. Regulating hormones
  4. Lowering cholesterol
  5. Improving digestion
  6. Reducing constipation
  7. Relieving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  8. Relieving symptoms of yeast infection
  9. Reducing risk of certain cancers

Probiotics can be purchased in supplement form. The most effective probiotic supplement should include L. acidophilus and B. bifidum in addition to any combination of the following (L. = Lactobacillus, B. = Bifidobacteria, S. = Streptococcus):
  • L. salivarius
  • L. bulgaricus
  • L. casei
  • B. infantis
  • B. brevis
  • B. longum
  • Bacillus coagulans
  • S. thermophilus
Probiotics can also be ingested from a daily healthy serving of the following foods:

  • Yogurt (plain organic)
  • Cottage cheese (organic)Kefir (from diary products)
  • Sauerkraut and pickles (organic)
  • Whole wheat or whole rye sourdough bread
  • Miso, tofu, natto, tempeh, tamari, and shoyu 
If you are lactose intolerant, sensitve to gluten and soy or have high cholesterol, IBS, constipation, yeast infection or want to help prevent any of the conditions listed above, supplementation is your best choice.

In health always :)

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Probiotics can certainly help with the health problems that you list. Interestingly though, different probiotics seem to work better for some people than others so many people have to experiment a little to find the right supplement for them.

Foods are always your best choice but the sourdough breads are not effective as the cooking kills of the lactic acid bacteria. The rest of the ones you mention are great choices.