Archive for ‘Probiotics’

April 19, 2013

What Should I Be Taking Daily to Stay Healthy?

brick_wall2We get this question a lot  from customers when they come in for the first time. Although we can never prescribe, we can give great information on the highest quality products available, because that’s all we carry!

A standard for everyone who wants lifelong, vibrant health are the “FOUNDATION 4” supplements. They include: Vitamin/minerals, Omega 3 fatty acids, Digestive enzymes and Probiotics. Anyone, from seniors down to toddlers can benefit with those four products. Of course dosages will be different depending on age and health status, but the foundation four products carry over through all generations.

It’s important to remember that many of our foods are depleted of certain nutrients as modern corporate farming methods have resulted in soils that are lacking in many nutrients. Add to this extensive processing, improper storage, etc., and its little wonder that many of the foods that reach our tables cannot meet our nutritional needs. This means for optimum health, it is necessary to get nutrients in the form of supplements.

#1.  A High Potency, Whole-Food Based, All-Natural Multivitamin/Mineral

Not all vitamins are created equal!  Vitamin supplements can be divided into two groups; synthetic and natural.  Synthetic vitamins are produced in labs from chemicals that mirror their counterparts found in nature. Natural vitamins are derived from food sources so your body recognizes them as food and utilizes them more efficiently.

Supplements that are not labeled natural may also include coal tars, artificial coloring, preservatives, sugars, and starch, as well as other additives like aluminum (YES, aluminum!). You should be aware of these harmful elements when you purchase any supplements. Even vitamins that state they are natural, may not be extracted from whole food sources. Read labels carefully and remember that you get what you pay for! Don’t expect to feel more energy when taking a mass produced, low-potency “once daily” that you picked up in the vitamin aisle at the local grocery or dollar store. You may as well take the money you spent and flush it right down the toilet because with the coatings and binders used manufacturing synthetic multis, they aren’t going to break down and absorb anyway.

Look for a vitamin that is extracted from whole food concentrates that does not contain an entire list of “other ingredients” like binders, fillers, artificial colors, coatings and such. Natural vitamins do not contain any of those things. One to try:  Pure Essence Lab’s One ’n Only or Life Essence.  They are long-time Baum’s Best Sellers!

#2. Essential Fatty Acids from Fish Oil

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are considered “essential fats” because they are required for good health but cannot be produced by our bodies.  Research has determined that in order to prevent deficiency and ensure optimal health, EFAs should be taken daily.

Proper cell function is dependent on a balanced intake of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fats. The American diet is so overloaded with Omega-6 fats from processed foods, refined vegetable oils and meat that it is nearly impossible to maintain a proper balance. When Omega 6 is out of balance in the body, it causes inflammation. Chronic inflammation causes disease. Omega 3’s are absolutely necessary to keep the Omega 6’s in check, keep inflammation to a minimum and help prevent disease. The list of the benefits of Omega 3 is long. It includes:

  • Cardiovascular Health
  • Joint Health
  • Brain/Memory/Attention
  • Eye/Vision Health
  • Healthy Skin
  • Healthy Mood
  • Immune System Support

Quality is extremely important when purchasing fish oil.  If you open a bottle of fish oil and it stinks or smells “fishy,” throw it out!  Good quality fish oil, should never smell bad or give you rancid fish burps. Baums only buys the highest quality fish oils on the market, so YOU can too! One to try: Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega with D3

#3 Digestive Enzymes

One of the major theories behind the inclusion of digestive enzymes as a foundation supplement stems from the work of physician Edward Howell. In the 1930s and 1940s, he did extensive research on enzymes and declared them essential. He noted that the cooking and processing of foods, destroys enzymes that naturally occur in foods.  According to Dr. Howell, “our overly cooked and processed diet led to dramatic changes in the ability of modern men and women to digest foods and remain healthy.”

Let’s use beans as an example. You rinse them, drain them and cook them for a long time. Any enzymes contained in the beans were destroyed by this process. Without enzymes, what happens? You eat the beans, you get bloated, gassy and uncomfortable. The beans haven’t digested properly and they ferment instead, causing gas. If you had taken a digestive enzyme supplement prior to eating those beans, they would have been better digested and the chance of gas would have been greatly reduced. You also are able to absorb much more of the nutritional value when enzymes are available to help break down foods.

Beans are just one example. Anything you see in a box, sitting on the shelf of the grocery store, has almost certainly been stripped of its enzymes.  Without  enzymes, packaged foods can sit on the shelf much longer without spoiling.

Enzyme Experts recommend that you take a digestive enzyme blend prior to meals to ensure proper digestion. A blend will cover all types of food, including protein, carbohydrates, fiber & fats.
What to Try? Baums Veggie Zymes (Adults) or Nature’s Plus Tummy-Zyme (Kids)

#4 Probiotics (good bacteria)

Chances are you’ve heard of probiotics – especially if you’ve seen a yogurt commercial in the last couple of years – but do you have any idea as to what they really are, how they work, or why we really need them?

Probiotics are naturally occurring bacterium that live in our intestinal tract. The most abundant being acidophilus and bifidobacterium. Probiotics help keep balance in our bodies, from fighting-off harmful bacteria we ingest, to fighting off allergies.

Most people don’t know that most of their immune system is located in the gut as a vast network of lymph tissue referred to as GALT (gut associated lymphatic tissue). The probiotics in our gut are constantly interfacing with the GALT and essentially priming the immune system for contact with other bacteria. One way probiotics keep us healthy is by breaking-down other bacteria in the foods we eat. This helps prevent food-born illnesses such as salmonella. They also populate themselves in healthy numbers so that when other bacterium are ingested, the healthy ones crowd them out, preventing illness.

It’s important to remember that when anyone takes an antibiotic that is prescribed by a doctor, it kills ALL bacteria in the body. Both good and bad. Often this causes diarrhea or even constipation. It is vitally important to restore those good bacteria for optimal health and wellness. You can take probiotics and antibiotics at the same time, just take them as far apart from each other as possible.

Baums carries probiotics for everyone, from newborns all the way through the senior years. Come in and pick up more great information on probiotics and the wonderful ways they keep us healthy!
Baums Best Seller: Jarrow Formulas, JarrowDophilus EPS or Baums 35 Billion Probiotic

Please purchase your supplements from a health food store where the employees are knowledgeable and the quality of supplements is top shelf.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

August 9, 2012

Health Benefits of Taking Probiotics

From Harvard Medical School’s Family Health Guide

Bacteria have a reputation for causing disease, so the idea of tossing down a few billion a day for your health might seem — literally and figuratively — hard to swallow. But a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that you can treat and even prevent some illnesses with foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria. Northern Europeans consume a lot of these beneficial microorganisms, called probiotics (from pro and biota, meaning “for life”), because of their tradition of eating foods fermented with bacteria, such as yogurt. Probiotic-laced beverages are also big business in Japan.

Enthusiasm for such foods has lagged in the United States, but interest in probiotic supplements is on the rise. Some digestive disease specialists are recommending them for disorders that frustrate conventional medicine, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Since the mid-1990s, clinical studies have established that probiotic therapy can help treat several gastrointestinal ills, delay the development of allergies in children, and treat and prevent vaginal and urinary infections in women.

Self-dosing with bacteria isn’t as outlandish as it might seem. An estimated 100 trillion microorganisms representing more than 500 different species inhabit every normal, healthy bowel. These microorganisms (or microflora) generally don’t make us sick; most are helpful. Gut-dwelling bacteria keep pathogens (harmful microorganisms) in check, aid digestion and nutrient absorption, and contribute to immune function.

The best case for probiotic therapy has been in the treatment of diarrhea. Controlled trials have shown that Lactobacillus GG can shorten the course of infectious diarrhea in infants and children (but not adults). Although studies are limited and data are inconsistent, two large reviews, taken together, suggest that probiotics reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 60%, when compared with a placebo.

Probiotic therapy may also help people with Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Clinical trial results are mixed, but several small studies suggest that certain probiotics may help maintain remission of ulcerative colitis and prevent relapse of Crohn’s disease and the recurrence of pouchitis (a complication of surgery to treat ulcerative colitis). Because these disorders are so frustrating to treat, many people are giving probiotics a try before all the evidence is in for the particular strains they’re using. More research is needed to find out which strains work best for what conditions.

Probiotics may also be of use in maintaining urogenital health. Like the intestinal tract, the vagina is a finely balanced ecosystem. The dominant Lactobacilli strains normally make it too acidic for harmful microorganisms to survive. But the system can be thrown out of balance by a number of factors, including antibiotics, spermicides, and birth control pills. Probiotic treatment that restores the balance of microflora may be helpful for such common female urogenital problems as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infection.

Many women eat yogurt or insert it into the vagina to treat recurring yeast infections, a “folk” remedy for which medical science offers limited support. Oral and vaginal administration of Lactobacilli may help in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis, although there isn’t enough evidence yet to recommend it over conventional approaches. (Vaginosis must be treated because it creates a risk for pregnancy-related complications and pelvic inflammatory disease.) Probiotic treatment of urinary tract infections is under study.

Probiotics are generally considered safe — they’re already present in a normal digestive system — although there’s a theoretical risk for people with impaired immune function. Be sure the ingredients are clearly marked on the label and familiar to you or your health provider. There’s no way to judge the safety of unidentified mixtures.

In the United States, most probiotics are sold as dietary supplements, which do not undergo the testing and approval process that drugs do. Manufacturers are responsible for making sure they’re safe before they’re marketed and that any claims made on the label are true. But there’s no guarantee that the types of bacteria listed on a label are effective for the condition you’re taking them for. Health benefits are strain-specific, and not all strains are necessarily useful, so you may want to consult a practitioner familiar with probiotics to discuss your options. As always, let your primary care provider know what you’re doing.

One to Try:

Strains in Jarro-Dophilus EPS® promote healthy intestinal microflora, which in turn helps to support intestinal health and immune function. Bifidobacteria Iongum BB536 has been clinically shown to stimulate immune response and promote healthy intestinal microfloral balance. L. rhamnosus R0011 is a unique, high producer of polysaccharides that facilitate colonization and stimulate intestinal immune response. L. helveticus R0052 assists in breaking down lactose (milk sugar), which may improve digestion of dairy products by those individuals who are lactose intolerant. Lactococcus and Pediococcus help reduce spoilage caused by unfriendly bacteria in fermented foods.

Jarro-Dophilus EPS® is on sale for $5 off all this month at Baum’s!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

August 2, 2012

Introduction To Probiotics

Our intestinal tract is filled with an enormous number of helpful bacteria called probiotic bacteria. They are called probiotic bacteria because the term “probiotic” means “for life,” as opposed to the term “antibiotic” which means “against life.” Our bodies are actually designed to have a symbiotic relationships with these probiotic bacteria. They help us digest our food, kill harmful microorganisms and keep us functioning properly in a number of ways.

As we look into the intestinal tract we find that there are only a few probiotic bacteria in the stomach because it is highly acidic. However, the further down the intestinal tract we move, the number of these good bacteria increases dramatically with the biggest numbers being found in the large intestine.
We need to have a large population of probiotic bacteria to aid with digestion and to keep the harmful, disease-causing microorganisms in check. If the percentage of good bacteria is too low, compared to the bad bacteria, our bodies function poorly. Over time we are likely to have many health problems.

For the average adult, the intestinal tract will contain about 4 pounds of bacteria. Normally there should be a balance of about 85% probiotic bacteria and 15% harmful bacteria, but many people are so far off that their intestinal tract contains only 15% probiotic bacteria and 85% harmful bacteria.
Scientists are studying the benefits of taking probiotics and are finding it to be very beneficial.

Why We Need Probiotic Supplements

Our bodies are designed to function best with millions of friendly probiotic bacteria living in our intestinal tract. In the past, we replaced the probiotics in our system by constantly eating organic vegetables grown in dirt that was rich with soil-based organisms or drinking raw milk straight from the cow. I myself remember walking into the garden, pulling up young carrots, brushing as much dirt off them as possible and eating them on the spot. Think of the probiotics that were going into my system before I could wash them down the kitchen drain or boil them for 15 to 20 minutes.

Today we need probiotic supplements because there are so many influences that prevent us from getting the probiotics our bodies need.

Today, at least in the United States, many people eat a horrible diet composed of highly processed foods that are filled with chemicals and simple sugars and carbohydrates. Potato chips and Oreo’s are utterly devoid of anything living as are most of the boxed and prepared foods sold in the grocery stores.

Because of the modern agricultural practices, such as the heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers, the soil-based microorganisms are no longer living in the dirt of most farms. We need probiotic supplements to replace what is missing in our food.

The use of antibiotics (remember the “anti” means “against”) directly kills all bacteria in our intestinal tract.

Drinking chlorinated water destroys our intestinal flora. The reason we put chlorine in the water is because it is able to kill bacteria and, unfortunately, it gets the good ones along with the bad when we drink it.

The medical treatment of radiation and chemotherapy also destroys our intestinal flora as well as damaging our immune systems. Any course of chemotherapy absolutely must be followed with heavy doses of probiotic supplements.

Farm animals are continuously fed antibiotics to keep diseases down. When people eat them they also are taking in these antibiotics which then harm the beneficial bacteria in their systems.

Many people who are concerned with health use colonics for detoxification. These practices can wash some of the good bacteria out of their systems.
Alcoholic beverages tend to harm probiotics by killing them directly, encouraging harmful bacteria and yeast overgrowth.

Unfortunately most people simply do not know that the health they experience right now has a direct connection to the billions of beneficial microorganisms that live in their gastrointestinal tract. These are microorganisms which help the body to break down and absorb foods, produce essential elements, while at the same time helping to clean putrefaction and waste, plus kill harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeast.

One to Try:

Strains in Jarro-Dophilus EPS® promote healthy intestinal microflora, which in turn helps to support intestinal health and immune function. Bifidobacteria Iongum BB536 has been clinically shown to stimulate immune response and promote healthy intestinal microfloral balance. L. rhamnosus R0011 is a unique, high producer of polysaccharides that facilitate colonization and stimulate intestinal immune response. L. helveticus R0052 assists in breaking down lactose (milk sugar), which may improve digestion of dairy products by those individuals who are lactose intolerant. Lactococcus and Pediococcus help reduce spoilage caused by unfriendly bacteria in fermented foods.

Jarro-Dophilus EPS® is on sale for $5 off all this month at Baum’s!

*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.