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    The Question and Answer Guide to Probiotic Supplements!

    Bacteria! They’re everywhere, and they are usually harmful. But did you know that some bacteria are actually good for you?..

    Bacteria! They’re everywhere, and they are usually harmful. But did you know that some bacteria are actually good for you?..

    Good bacteria, called Probiotics, are friendly to the human body, and actually are very important to have inside of us. While many of us have heard of probiotics some people are still unsure or even confused as to exactly what they are and what they do.

    I have been asked number of times to provide some clarity on this subject.

    The following is a Q & A of the most common questions about probiotics. These are some of the questions that I have been asked over the years. At the end I have provided a brief list of the main points to know about probiotics as well as shopping points.

    What are Probitics exactly?

    Probiotics are bacteria that live in our bodies. Trillions of living cultures of actual bacteria. There are more of these bacteria living inside of us than there are cells that make up our body. An estimated 500-600 trillion live cultures of probiotic bacteria live inside the human body (the body is made up of an estimated 100 trillion individual cells).

    Am I supposed to have bacteria living in my body?..

    Yes. The word Pro-biotic is a contraction of the Latin – for (pro), and the Greek – life (bio), “for life.” Probiotic means “for life.” Probiotics are also referred to as friendly bacteria or intestinal flora.

    Are these bacteria a part of my body?

    No, probiotics are living organisms separate from our bodies but living within us. They have been there since birth and are supposed to be there. We actually need them.

    Why do we have them?

    Probiotic bacteria form a symbiotic relationship living within us. What they do for us is mainly two-fold.

    Probiotics are an important part of digestion where they perform the final breakdown and absorption of nutrients from the food we eat. Our body cannot effectively get nutrition without these bacteria.

    As well, probiotics are one of our body’s main lines of defense against colds and sickness. They fight and stop infectious pathogens such as viruses and harmful bacteria.

    How do probiotics fight a cold?

    Probiotics fight virus and bacteria in a few ways.

    One of the ways probiotic bacteria fight pathogens (infectious agents) is by crowding out the invader. Living organisms within the body must attach to living tissue to survive. They cannot simply float around in our bodies and live. An adequate supply of probiotic bacteria in the intestinal tract eliminates room for the pathogen to attach and grow.

    Another way they fight virus and bacteria is that it is the nature of some pro-biotic strains to seek, attack, and destroy invading viruses and bacteria.

    A third is, studies have shown that many strains of probiotic bacteria stimulate the production of IgA (immunoglobulan antibodies) a critical component of our body’s immune system.

    Essentially; the gut, stomach, small and large intestine make up the main part of our body’s immunological organs. They contain seventy percent of all the IgA producing immune cells, which are critical for immune function.

    Simply put, the health of the intestinal tract determines our overall health.

    Do I need to/when should I take a probiotic supplement?

    Though our bodies are being bombarded with viruses and bacteria everyday, probiotics and our immune system are at work all the time and successfully stop them from gaining a foothold and making us sick. There are times though when the probiotics in our body, and our immune system can be overwhelmed, either by too numerous or too powerful an attack. Taking a probiotic supplement at the first sign of a cold significantly enhances our body’s natural abilities to defend against invading pathogens.

    When the first signs of a cold come on, many in the nutrition field reach first for a probiotic and second to vitamin c, echinacea, and other anti-viral and cold fighting products.

    Another time when it is very important to take probiotic supplements is after a round of antibiotics (looking back at question two, to what the word “probiotic” means, will provide an idea of what antibiotic means).

    Antibiotics not only kill harmful bacteria but also kill the healthy friendly bacteria that we need. This destruction can wreak havoc on digestion and the absorption of nutrition from food. It is the reason people often get diarrhea when taking antibiotics. Since probiotic bacteria are a major component of our immune system, taking antibiotics also disrupts our body’s natural ability to defend itself against sickness or infection. Even against things that we would normally have beaten without any noticeable symptoms.

    These conditions will remain until our gut ecology is re-populated. Taking a probiotic supplement can speed up this process geometrically. It also helps avoid the sluggishness often associated with taking antibiotics.

    This all sound great but why haven’t I heard of probiotics before?

    You have. But you may not have known what it was. The most well known probiotic is lactobacillus acidophilus. Most people are familiar with acidophilus as being one the “beneficial” ingredients in yogurt. This is actually a strain of probiotic bacteria.

    I see on the supplement bottles “billions” of cultures, is this too much?

    Billions seems like a lot. But remember that we have trillions in us right now. Depending on the need people can take anywhere from 1 billion to 100 billion cultures per day.

    Can I overdose?

    No. The body will get rid of what isn’t used.

    In extreme cases, or if mega-dosing, when hundreds of billions of probiotic cultures can be taken per day, gas and bloating can occur.

    How do you take them?

    It is typically best to take probiotics on an empty stomach. These strains of bacteria can be delicate and easily affected, reduced in number, or even destroyed during digestion before they even get to the intestines which is where they do their work. Take probiotics fifteen minutes before a meal (or even better a half an hour) or, at least a 30 to 45 minutes after a meal (or even better 1 hour).

    Some probiotic products are given a special outer coating called an enteric coating. This prevents the capsule from opening in the stomach where the pH is acidic, or harmful, but opens easily in the small intestine where the pH is alkaline, or safe. In this case taking it with food will not be a problem.

    Does brand matter?

    Not generally. It seems that all major, or well respected, brands in the nutritional-supplement industry all get their raw material from the same few main suppliers of bacteria. Any reputable well known brand carried at a health products retailer should be fine.

    There’s so much hype and advertising, how do I decide which one?

    Some manufacturer’s have joined with probiotic researchers to learn what the different bacteria requirements of the human body are at varying stages of human development. They have often tailored their products according to the needs of a specific age or condition. This is excellent.

    Other manufacturer’s emphasize the number of cultures in the billions in each capsule of their product, and some the number of different strains. This is good. But, a product whose strains, and amounts, has been linked to a need or to an age range is even better.

    (At the time of writing this author likes best the “Ultimate Flora” line by Renew Life. It’s an excellent blend of; -billions of cultures per capsule, -number if different strains, -which blend of strains specifically, -overall product design, -targeting for a specific age or condition, -enteric coated vegetarian capsules.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6318307

    Bacteria! They’re everywhere, and they are usually harmful. But did you know that some bacteria are actually good for you?..

    Good bacteria, called Probiotics, are friendly to the human body, and actually are very important to have inside of us. While many of us have heard of probiotics some people are still unsure or even confused as to exactly what they are and what they do.

    I have been asked number of times to provide some clarity on this subject.

    The following is a Q & A of the most common questions about probiotics. These are some of the questions that I have been asked over the years. At the end I have provided a brief list of the main points to know about probiotics as well as shopping points.

    What are Probitics exactly?

    Probiotics are bacteria that live in our bodies. Trillions of living cultures of actual bacteria. There are more of these bacteria living inside of us than there are cells that make up our body. An estimated 500-600 trillion live cultures of probiotic bacteria live inside the human body (the body is made up of an estimated 100 trillion individual cells).

    Am I supposed to have bacteria living in my body?..

    Yes. The word Pro-biotic is a contraction of the Latin – for (pro), and the Greek – life (bio), “for life.” Probiotic means “for life.” Probiotics are also referred to as friendly bacteria or intestinal flora.

    Are these bacteria a part of my body?

    No, probiotics are living organisms separate from our bodies but living within us. They have been there since birth and are supposed to be there. We actually need them.

    Why do we have them?

    Probiotic bacteria form a symbiotic relationship living within us. What they do for us is mainly two-fold.

    Probiotics are an important part of digestion where they perform the final breakdown and absorption of nutrients from the food we eat. Our body cannot effectively get nutrition without these bacteria.

    As well, probiotics are one of our body’s main lines of defense against colds and sickness. They fight and stop infectious pathogens such as viruses and harmful bacteria.

    How do probiotics fight a cold?

    Probiotics fight virus and bacteria in a few ways.

    One of the ways probiotic bacteria fight pathogens (infectious agents) is by crowding out the invader. Living organisms within the body must attach to living tissue to survive. They cannot simply float around in our bodies and live. An adequate supply of probiotic bacteria in the intestinal tract eliminates room for the pathogen to attach and grow.

    Another way they fight virus and bacteria is that it is the nature of some pro-biotic strains to seek, attack, and destroy invading viruses and bacteria.

    A third is, studies have shown that many strains of probiotic bacteria stimulate the production of IgA (immunoglobulan antibodies) a critical component of our body’s immune system.

    Essentially; the gut, stomach, small and large intestine make up the main part of our body’s immunological organs. They contain seventy percent of all the IgA producing immune cells, which are critical for immune function.

    Simply put, the health of the intestinal tract determines our overall health.

    Do I need to/when should I take a probiotic supplement?

    Though our bodies are being bombarded with viruses and bacteria everyday, probiotics and our immune system are at work all the time and successfully stop them from gaining a foothold and making us sick. There are times though when the probiotics in our body, and our immune system can be overwhelmed, either by too numerous or too powerful an attack. Taking a probiotic supplement at the first sign of a cold significantly enhances our body’s natural abilities to defend against invading pathogens.

    When the first signs of a cold come on, many in the nutrition field reach first for a probiotic and second to vitamin c, echinacea, and other anti-viral and cold fighting products.

    Another time when it is very important to take probiotic supplements is after a round of antibiotics (looking back at question two, to what the word “probiotic” means, will provide an idea of what antibiotic means).

    Antibiotics not only kill harmful bacteria but also kill the healthy friendly bacteria that we need. This destruction can wreak havoc on digestion and the absorption of nutrition from food. It is the reason people often get diarrhea when taking antibiotics. Since probiotic bacteria are a major component of our immune system, taking antibiotics also disrupts our body’s natural ability to defend itself against sickness or infection. Even against things that we would normally have beaten without any noticeable symptoms.

    These conditions will remain until our gut ecology is re-populated. Taking a probiotic supplement can speed up this process geometrically. It also helps avoid the sluggishness often associated with taking antibiotics.

    This all sound great but why haven’t I heard of probiotics before?

    You have. But you may not have known what it was. The most well known probiotic is lactobacillus acidophilus. Most people are familiar with acidophilus as being one the “beneficial” ingredients in yogurt. This is actually a strain of probiotic bacteria.

    I see on the supplement bottles “billions” of cultures, is this too much?

    Billions seems like a lot. But remember that we have trillions in us right now. Depending on the need people can take anywhere from 1 billion to 100 billion cultures per day.

    Can I overdose?

    No. The body will get rid of what isn’t used.

    In extreme cases, or if mega-dosing, when hundreds of billions of probiotic cultures can be taken per day, gas and bloating can occur.

    How do you take them?

    It is typically best to take probiotics on an empty stomach. These strains of bacteria can be delicate and easily affected, reduced in number, or even destroyed during digestion before they even get to the intestines which is where they do their work. Take probiotics fifteen minutes before a meal (or even better a half an hour) or, at least a 30 to 45 minutes after a meal (or even better 1 hour).

    Some probiotic products are given a special outer coating called an enteric coating. This prevents the capsule from opening in the stomach where the pH is acidic, or harmful, but opens easily in the small intestine where the pH is alkaline, or safe. In this case taking it with food will not be a problem.

    Does brand matter?

    Not generally. It seems that all major, or well respected, brands in the nutritional-supplement industry all get their raw material from the same few main suppliers of bacteria. Any reputable well known brand carried at a health products retailer should be fine.

    There’s so much hype and advertising, how do I decide which one?

    Some manufacturer’s have joined with probiotic researchers to learn what the different bacteria requirements of the human body are at varying stages of human development. They have often tailored their products according to the needs of a specific age or condition. This is excellent.

    Other manufacturer’s emphasize the number of cultures in the billions in each capsule of their product, and some the number of different strains. This is good. But, a product whose strains, and amounts, has been linked to a need or to an age range is even better.

    (At the time of writing this author likes best the “Ultimate Flora” line by Renew Life. It’s an excellent blend of; -billions of cultures per capsule, -number if different strains, -which blend of strains specifically, -overall product design, -targeting for a specific age or condition, -enteric coated vegetarian capsules.

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