Posts tagged ‘yeast’

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.

November 10, 2011

Are You Deficient In Vitamin B12?

Did you know…

A B12 deficiency can mimic Alzheimer’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, early Parkinson’s Disease, Diabetic Neuropathy, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?  It can make both men and women infertile or cause developmental disabilities in children. Other times it can lay in wait, building its victim’s risk of deadly diseases, ranging from heart attacks and strokes to cancer.

B12 deficiency is considered an “old people’s disease” by doctors but, if you’re over 40, you’re at an elevated risk for B12 deficiency. If you’re over 60, you have up to a 40% chance of having low B12 levels. It can strike at every age and from every walk of life: babies, children, young men and women, middle-aged people and senior citizens.

Low levels of B12 can cause a range of symptoms including:

  • Fatigue
  • shortness of breath
  • diarrhea
  • nervousness
  • numbness
  • tingling sensation in the fingers and toes
  • chronic back and leg pain
  • speech loss
  • severe developmental delay in children
  • severe depression
  • and many more.

The good news is, if you develop this deficiency, it’s easy to spot, easy to treat, and easy to cure-but only if your doctor diagnoses you before it’s too late. Unfortunately, that frequently does not happen. B12 deficiency is not a new or “fad” disease. It is listed in the textbooks of any first year med student. It’s not a rare disease, either. So, how can something as simple as a vitamin deficiency, that can cause so much suffering go so unnoticed? One explanation is that doctors receive surprisingly little or outdated training in the diagnosis or prevention of B12 deficiency. In general, doctors are trained to recognize only the blood abnormalities associated with the deficiency, not the neurological abnormalities, including the “pins and needles” sensation in the hands and feet, memory loss, depression, personality changes, dizziness, loss of balance or even dementia.

These nervous system symptoms often precede classic blood abnormalities by many years. By that time, the damage is already done and may not be able to be undone.

Are You Getting the B12 You Need?

Of the thirteen vitamins your body needs to perform thousands of chemical reactions that keep you alive and functioning, one of those is B12. It acts, in many ways, much like the other dozen vitamins. But in other important ways, B12 is different. And the things that make it different also make it harder for millions of people to get enough of it.

B12 is produced in the gut of animals. It is also the only vitamin you cannot get from plants or sunlight. To obtain B12 from your diet, you need to eat meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products or foods fortified with B12. If you don’t eat these foods and are a vegetarian or vegan, it is extremely important to supplement with B12.

Sometimes even a diet high in B12 and supplements are still not enough for many people.

While many people eat a diet rich in vitamin B12, their bodies are just not able to absorb and use it. To get from your mouth to your blood stream, B12 must follow a very complex metabolism pathway. Any kink in the pathway can lead to low B12 levels. The most famous “kink” in the pathway is pernicious anemia, a hereditary disorder that once subjected its sufferers to physical and mental deterioration and eventually a terrible death.

Anemia is caused from a failure of the body to produce intrinsic factor, a protein, normally produced in the stomach, that is necessary for vitamin B12 absorption. This makes the B12 consumed in the diet useless.

Other causes of B12 malabsorption include:

  • Gastritis
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Gastric Bypass surgery
  • Celiac’s Disease
  • overgrowth of yeast in the gut
  • antacid users
  • alcohol use
  • GERD and ulcer drugs
  • stomach acid blockers
  • diabetes meds
  • anti-seizure meds
  • chemo drugs
  • tetracycline, an antibiotic. (Long-term use of antibiotics can lower the levels of most of the B vitamins in your body.)

One trick to helping your body absorb B12 is to make sure you have a healthy gut! Be sure to consume probiotic rich foods everyday and supplement with a great quality, high- potency probiotic.

One To Try:  35 Billion Probiotic is Baum’s best selling probiotic. High quality & high potency at a great price!

Did You Know…

Taking any one of the B vitamins for a long period of time can result in an imbalance of other important B vitamins. For this reason, you may want to take a B complex vitamin, which includes all the B vitamins. Taking folic acid at high doses can hide a vitamin B12 deficiency, so these vitamins are often taken together. Talk to your doctor before taking more than 800 mcg of folic acid.
Baums carries B12 and B Complex vitamins in all  different forms and strengths. The holidays are coming up fast!  B vitamins also promote energy and help you cope with STRESS…..

*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.