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Probiotics Health Benefits

Probiotics have a number of beneficial health effects in humans and animals, such as reducing lactose intolerance symptoms and enhancing the bioavailability of nutrients. Probiotics help regulate intestinal microflora and immunomodulatory properties. Probiotics also decrease the prevalence of allergies in susceptible individuals, inhibit the inflammatory responses in the gut, and have antagonistic effects against intestinal and food-borne pathogens.

Bacteria typically colonize the intestinal tract first and then reinforce the host defense systems by inducing generalized mucosal immune responses. Reports indicate that lactic acid bacteria (LAB) as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium and their fermented products are effective at enhancing innate and adaptive immunity, prevent gastric mucosal lesion development, alleviate allergies, and put up defense against intestinal pathogen infection.

Beneficial effects of probiotic strains, demonstrated and proposed, include the following:*

  1. Increased nutritional value (better digestibility, increased absorption of vitamins and minerals);
  2. Promotion of intestinal lactose digestion;
  3. Positive influence on intestinal and urogenital flora (antibiotics and radiation induced colitis, yeast infections and vaginitis in women);
  4. Prevention and reduction of intestinal tract infections (bacteria or virus induced, Candida enteritis, Helicobacter Pylori);
  5. Regulation of gut motility (constipation, irritable bowel syndrome);
  6. Decreased incidence and duration of diarrhea (antibiotic associated, Clostridium difficile, travelers, and rotaviral);
  7. Maintenance of mucosal integrity;
  8. Improvement of immune system;
  9. Assist in the prevention of colon cancer;
  10. Reduction of catabolic products eliminated by kidney and liver;
  11. Assist in the prevention of osteoporosis;
  12. Better development (growth);
  13. Anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic and anti-allergic activities;
  14. Feeling of well-being;
  15. Anti-Candida properties;
  16. Hepatic encephalopathy;
  17. Assist in the regulation of inflammatory conditions such as Inflamatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis);
  18. Reductions and elimination of small bowel bacterial overgrowth;
  19. Relieving urinary tract infections;
  20. Positive influence on autistic children;
  21. Provides antagonistic environment for pathogens;
  22. Blocking adhesion sites from pathogens; and
  23. Inactivating enterotoxins.

References for the above:(5,6,7,8,9,10,11,16,17,18,19,20)

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

The diagram below is a good representation of various functions and health benefits of probiotics(18).

 

Table 1. Reported Clinical Effects of some Probiotics(20).

Clinical Effect

Probiotic

Immune stimulation Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. casei, L. rhamnosus, L. plantarum, L. delbrueckii, L johnsonii, Bifidobacterium bifidum
Antibiotic-associated diarrhoea L. rhamnosus, L. acidophilus. L. bulgaricus, Saccharomyces boulardii, B. longum, Enterococcus faecium
Travellers diarrhoea L. rhamnosus, L. acidophilus. L. bulgaricus, B. bifidum, Streptococcus thermophilus, L. johnsonii, S. boulardii
Recurrent C. difficile colitis L. rhamnosus, S. boulardii
Anti-tumour L. acidophilus, L. casei, L. plantarum, L. delbrueckii, L. gasseri, B. longum, B. bifidum, B. adolescentis, B. infantis
Rotavirus diarrhoea L. rhamnosus, B. bifidum, S thermophilus
Acute diarrhoea B. bifidum, L. bulgaricus, S. thermophilus, L. acidophilus, E. faecium, L. rhamnosus, L. reuteri
Balancing of intestinal microbiota L. acidophilus, L. casei, B. bifidum, L. plantarum
Lactose intolerance L. bulgaricus, S. thermophilus, L. rhamnosus, L. johnsonii
Lowering faecal enzyme activities L. rhamnosus, L. casei, L. gasseri, L. delbrueckii, L. acidophilus


Probiotics play an important role in human nutrition and health, and in balancing the intestinal microflora naturally.
Health benefits attributed to the consumption of probiotics include: maintenance of the normal gut flora, alleviation of lactose (milk-sugar) intolerance, improvement of digestive processes and absorption of nutrients, and stimulation of body’s immune system*. Probiotics are now widely used in many countries by consumers and in clinical practice and their health benefits are being investigated extensively, especially in the last few decades.The need to find replacement therapeutic approaches to overcome side effects associated with the current pharmacological treatments, and the need for new antimicrobials due to the overuse of antibiotics has propelled forward research on probiotics against a multitude of disorders of varying severity given their favorable safety profiles.

Additional developments in the field of probiotics require cooperation between microbiologists, gastroenterologists, immunologists, nutritionists and food technologists reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of the functional food research.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

CUSTOM PROBIOTICS remains committed to formulating and supplying highest potency and quality probiotic dietary supplements at affordable prices.

BIOMEDICAL LINK

The most professional source of information on medical, biomedical and health topics is PubMed. PubMed was developed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Library of Medicine (NLM), located at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It was developed in conjunction with publishers of biomedical literature as a search tool for accessing literature citations and linking to full-text journals at websites of participating publishers.

PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine, provides access to over 12 million MEDLINE citations back to the mid-1960′s and additional life science journals. PubMed includes links to many sites providing full text articles and other related resources. You can get recently published articles written by medical doctors and scientists on any medical or health related subjects.

You can access PubMed by visiting www.pubmed.com.