Hippocrates said “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Unfortunately, many people have lost sight of this and constantly fill their guts with overly processed, high sugar, pesticide ridden, and bacteria promoting foods.
Many people think that if they take an antacid for their gastro-esophageal reflux issues or a laxative for their constipation that this is treating the issue. This is most often a Band-Aid solution. The underlying cause generally remains. A treatment aimed at getting to the root of the cause would begin by making changes to promote a healthy gut. A naturopathic approach would certainly start with diet. Another immediate recommendation would be a good probiotic
When choosing a probiotic it is important to choose one that has multiple strains as our gut naturally contains hundreds of strains with affinities for different parts of the intestine and different therapeutic actions. It is also important to make sure you are getting a strong therapeutic dose. A general daily dose of 15-30 billion organisms is sufficient. If you are dealing with concerns like Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s, chronic yeast infections, recovery from antibiotics as well as some other issues, the dose may need to be adjusted upward.
When choosing a probiotic for this vital “organ” it is important to choose a quality multi-strain product like Naka Pro PB11. People often have misconceptions about what a probiotic strain is. Most people think Lactobacillus acidophilus is a strain. In fact, Lactobacillus is the genus, acidophilus is the species and La-14 is an example of a strain.
Studies have shown that there could be up to one thousand different types of bacteria found in the human gut. Less than fifty types of bacteria make up ninety percent of what is found in the human intestine. Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus bacteria are among the largest groups of that ninety percent. When choosing a probiotic it is important to choose one with multiple strains as they serve different functions.
A few specific actions of each of these strains are the following:
Bifidobacterium breve (Bb-03)
Bifidobacteria genus of probiotics were first discovered in 1899. They have the greatest presence in the intestine of breast fed infants and it has been suggested that Bifidobacterium strains are responsible for increasing breast fed children’s resistance to various diseases.
Bifidobacterium lactis HN019
This probiotic is particularly helpful for those who suffer from constipation or long intestinal transit times. One problem with longer transit times is an increase in compounds that can lead to serious colorectal conditions. This probiotic strain has been clinically shown to improve whole gut transit time (WGTT).
Bifidobacterium longum (Bl-05)
This human strain promotes resistance to disease by strengthening the immune system.
Bifidobacterium bifidum/B. lactis (Bb-02)
This has been found in studies to attenuate Ulcerative Colitis.
Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. Lactis (BI-04)
This is a human strain that enhances the immune system as well as provides anti-inflammatory action. This is helpful for those who suffer from issues like Crohn’s disease.
Lactobacillus acidophilus (La-14)
This is a human strain that improves the immune system as well as breaks down oxalic acid, which can lead to kidney stones and renal failure.
Lactobacillus casei (Lc-11)
This is a strain that has been found to be particularly stimulating to the immune system, helpful for lactose intolerance and potentially able to decrease the risk of bladder disease.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus (Lr-32)
This is particularly helpful in the prevention and treatment of diarrhea. This strain also promotes GI health through increasing intestinal cell replication. It is also used to expel parasites from the body.
Lactobacillus salivarius (Ls-33)
This specific strain also exerts immuno-modulating and anti-inflammatory actions on the intestinal mucosa reducing symptoms of issues like colitis and protecting from inflammatory processes in the intestine.
Lactobacillus acidophilus (NCFM)
This is an extensively researched human probiotic strain with many health benefits. It has antimicrobial action against many food borne pathogens and other bacteria. It also has the ability to bind environmental toxins.
Streptococcus thermophiles (St-21)
This has been effective in preventing nitrates from being converted to cancer causing nitrites. This strain produces lactase which helps those who are lactose intolerant to more easily digest dairy products. It also has anti-inflammatory effects in the intestine.
Glutamine is one of the most abundant amino acids in the human body. It can become depleted during times of illness and stress. Low glutamine levels can lead to muscle wasting, depletion of the immune system and gastrointestinal permeability. Many people experience gastrointestinal issues as well as other symptoms that may be caused by “leaky gut”.
These are oligosaccharides that serve as food for the good bacteria in our gut. They help increase the rate of production and colonization of probiotics in the intestine. Inulin from chicory root is a common prebiotic and studies have found that when it is combined with Bifidobacterium species, the protective action against pathogenic bacteria is greater than when the probiotic species is used alone.
WHEN DO I TAKE PROBIOTICS?
Studies have shown that survival of probiotics is best when they are taken 30 minutes before or with a meal.
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