Probiotics re-establish disturbed bacterial balanceIf your diet, lifestyle or medications should destabilise this balance, you can supplement with good bugs (probiotics) to re-establish the natural order. Probiotics are mostly bacteria (e.g. lactobacilli and bifidobacteria strains) but also include the friendly yeast Saccharomyces boulardii. 3
So what else do all those probiotics do?So what are all those friendly micro-organisms doing in our guts? They’re all there to carry out the following important functions:1,2,4,5
- Protect the gut and the rest of the body from disease-causing bacteria, fungi and parasites
- Support the immune system
- Regulate inflammation
- Synthesise B vitamins and vitamin K
- Support carbohydrate and fat digestion
- Detoxify waste compounds
Good bugs replace the bad bugsWhen bad bugs take over the gut and far outnumber the good guys, the best way to re-establish the natural order is to flood them out with a hefty dose of multistrain probiotics.7 These good bugs can then rebuild healthy colonies in what should now be “fertile ground” thanks to a course of SB. Talk to your Naturopath or Nutritionist about taking a dairy-free probiotic supplement with multiple strains, a high CFU count, and clinical trials behind the product to ensure each ingredient has a therapeutic benefit.
Top probiotic strains to look for:
- Saccharomyces boulardii (SB) makes an ideal travel partner. SB may aid in the relief of symptoms of diarrhoea associated with travelling. It also discourages the growth of harmful microorganisms and may provide relief of the symptoms of antibiotic associated diarrhoea and candidiasis.5
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) sufferers may benefit from a multistrain probiotic. Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. plantarum and Bifidobacterium breve have been shown in clinical trials to provide temporary symptom relief of medically diagnosed IBS and assist in its management.8
- L. acidophilus and L. rhamnosus have been shown to temporarily relieve diarrhoea.9
- About 25% of women experience recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs). Lactobacillus plantarum may assist in the restoration and maintenance of healthy flora in the urogenital tract, guarding against cystitis and colonisation of pathogenic bacteria.10
- L. acidophilus enhances the immune system of exercise-stressed athletes.11
Mr Vitamins Recommends:
- Sekirov I, Russell SL, Antunes LC, et al. Gut microbiota in health and disease. Physiol Rev 2010;90(3):859-904.
- Resta SC. Effects of probiotics and commensals on intestinal epithelial physiology: implications for nutrient handling. J Physiol 2009;587(Pt 17):4169-74.
- World Gastroenterology Organisation Practice Guideline: Probiotics and prebiotics. World Gastroenterology Organisation, 2008.
- Gill HS, Guarner F. Probiotics and human heath: a clinical perspective. Postgrad Med J 2004;80(947):516-26.
- McFarland LV. Systematic review and meta-analysis of Saccharomyces boulardii in adult patients. World J Gastroenterol 2010;16(18):2202-22.
- Mathias A, Duc M, Favre L, et al. Potentiation of polarized intestinal Caco-2 cell responsiveness to probiotics complexed with secretory IgA. J Biol Chem 2010;285(44):33906-13.
- Chapman CM, Gibson GR, Rowland I. Health benefits of probiotics: are mixtures more effective than single strains? Eur J Nutr 2011;50(1):1-17.
- Williams EA, Stimpson J, Want D, Plummer S, Garaiova I, Barker ME et al. Multistrain probiotic preparation significantly reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in a double-blind placebo-controlled study. Ailment Pharmacol Ther 2008;29(14):97-103
- Song HJ, Kim JY, Jung SA et al. Effect of Probiotic Lactobacillus (Lacidofil® Cap) for the Prevention of Antibiotic-associated Diarrhea: A Prospective, Randomized, Double-blind, Multicenter Study. J Korean Med Sci 2010; 25:1784-1791.
- Gross G, Snel J, Boekhorst MA, et al. Biodiversity of mannose-specific adhesion in Lactobacillus plantarum revisited: strain-specific domain composition of the mannose-adhesin. Beneficial Microbes 2010;1(1):61-66.
- Clancy RL et al. Reversal in fatigued athletes of a defect in interferon-gamma secretion after administration of lactobacillus acidophilus BJSM 2006.