Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Probiotics: Benefits and Uses

Bifidobacterium lactis Dr. Usman pointed out in her AutismOne speech that it promotes neurogenesis--new cell growth in the brain. Supports digestion, helps prevent and stop diarrhea and improves immune function.

Lactobacillus acidophilus produces lactic acid (which inhibits yeast growth) as well as natural antibiotics, and has been shown to inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria such as salmonella, shigella, S. faecalis and E. coli. Studies have shown that L. acidophilus is effective in reducing lactose intolerance and reinforcing the immune system, as well as reducing cholesterol levels.

Lactobacillus brevis is a transient bacterium that is valued for its ability to help improve the symptoms of lactose intolerance. L. brevis inhibits the growth of some pathogens, and its proven antimicrobial effects support the immune system.

Lactobacillus bulgaricus is a transient strain that produces interferon, a protein that inhibits the replication of invading viruses, on its way through the intestinal tract. This bacterium is beneficial in cases of acute diarrhea and lactose sensitivity. Traditionally, L. bulgaricus is found in yogurt along with S. thermophilus.
Note: Has been proven to produce histamine, so avoid if needed.
Lactobacillus casei is commonly used for milk fermentation and is naturally occurring in the mouth and digestive tract. It breaks down carbohydrates and inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the small intestine. Studies have demonstrated L. casei's antimicrobial effects and its helpfulness in treating diarrhea caused by antibiotics and viruses. Note: Has been proven to produce histamine, so avoid if needed.

Lactobacillus plantarum secretes a naturally occurring antibiotic called lactolin, giving it beneficial antimicrobial activities. This probiotic is being studied for its efficacy against allergies.
It also breaks down histamine.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus occurs from the mouth to the small intestine, and helps inhibit the pathogenic bacteria involved in vaginal and urinary tract infections. It produces a mucus coating called mucin, which prevents toxins from entering the bloodstream and protects against the invasion of harmful microbes. L. rhamnosus has been shown to enhance the effectiveness of oral vaccinations against rotaviruses (which cause vomiting and diarrhea) and may help to remedy gastroenteritis (also called "stomach flu").
Shown to down regulate histamine receptors and up-regulate anti-inflammatory agents.

Lactobacillus salivarius found in the mouth and small intestine, has been shown to improve bleeding gums, tooth decay, bad breath, thrush and canker sores. L. salivarius breaks down proteins and produces B vitamins, enzymes and lactic acid. Its strong antimicrobial effects have been demonstrated clinically.

Bifidobacterium bifidum assists with proper digestion and absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium and other vitamins and minerals. It manufactures B vitamins and produces lactic and acetic acids, which inhibit the growth of unfriendly bacteria. Studies have shown that B. bifidum can reduce the incidence of acute diarrhea in infants and is beneficial in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. With regular use, B. bifidum can improve immunological and inflammatory responses in seniors.

Bifidobacterium breve also produces beneficial lactic and acetic acids. It has been shown to repress the growth of ulcer-inducing bacteria. Recent studies have demonstrated that B. breve populates the immature bowel of infants and can help very low birth weight babies to gain weight.

Bifidobacterium infantis is the most important probiotic found in infants' colons and is effective in the treatment of acute diarrhea. It stimulates the production of immuno-modulating agents, and can fight such pathogens as clostridia, salmonella, and shigella.
It also breaks down histamine.
Bifidobacterium longum plays a direct role in preventing invasion of pathogenic and putrefactive bacteria. B. longum breaks down bile salts, helps to synthesize B vitamins, and stimulates the immune system through its effects on immunoglobulin A (IgA). Another producer of the good acids (lactic and acetic), B. longum has been clinically shown to improve lactose digestion and constipation.
It also breaks down histamine.
Lactobacillus lactis (also referred to as Streptococcus lactis) is another transient bacterium that produces the immuno-supportive lactic acid. Lc. lactis produces a peptide called nisin, which has proven activity against C. difficile. In addition to controlling acute diarrhea, it is also recognized for its potential in the long-term management of colitis.

Streptococcus thermophilus is a transient bacterium with proven antioxidant activity. It produces large quantities of lactic acid and helps in the prevention and treatment of diarrhea. S. thermophilus also breaks down lactose and improves lactose intolerance by producing the enzyme lactase.
Shown to down regulate histamine receptors and up-regulate anti-inflammatory agents. Note: I avoid this strain. There is no substantial data to support my wanting to avoid it other than parents whose kids have PANDAS (which a lot more kids have it than we know about... they don't get diagnosed until their behavior is noticeably bad) say that their kids have a reaction to the strep strain in probiotics and yogurts. I'm not taking any chances. :)  

Lactobacillus gasseri is in some of Garden of Life's probiotics. These bacteria are thought to help the body function properly by reducing harmful bacteria, enhancing immune function, and stimulating digestion. It is often used to promote weight loss, reduce belly fat, inhibit fat production, speed up metabolism and protect against obesity.  It is said to treat allergies, asthma, diarrhea, high cholesterol, menstrual pain.

Lactobacillus reuteri Note: Has been proven to produce histamine, so avoid if needed.

Saccharomyces boulardii, is an important yeast that functions like a probiotic in the body. Doctors have recommended it to help patients with diarrhea. It helps to regulate the intestines and protect them from pathogens and other things that can damage the intestinal lining. It also modulates different parts of your immune system and keeps the intestinal barrier function up and running. Studies show that taking S. boulardii alongside your antibiotics can reduce the possibility of getting diarrhea. S. boulardii can also help treat other ailments such as lactose intolerance, and might even have a future in the treatment of acne, vaginal yeast infections, high cholesterol, fever blisters and canker sores. It seems to improve the quality of life of people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), as well as Crohn's disease. According to Dr. Sid Baker, "For some individuals on the autism spectrum, the combination of S. b., a yeast-free diet, and avoidance of refined carbohydrates is all it takes to produce a dramatic improvement." Jett has ASD and takes 2 a day.

For recommended probiotics, also see the DS Day to Day amazon Store

You want to look for a good delivery system and one with Bifidobacterium lactis and without Streptococcus thermophilus.

Florify $13.99 30 capsules
One daily dose of Florify probiotic contains 5 billion colonies of stomach-acid-resistant flora from: Bifidobacterium lactis (Dr. Usman pointed out in her AutismOne speech that it promotes neurogenesis) and Lactobacillus acidophilus (which targets your small intestine) and Florify also has a proprietary blend of FOS (fructooligosaccharides) and dicalcium phosphate. It doesn't contain the strain that our kids should avoid. (You get it through Melaleuca's wellness club. Let me know if you want to be a member. It's only $1 in January.)
Master Supplements Children's Theralac® Mult-Strain Probiotic
A high potency probiotic powder containing 5 probiotic strains of human origin and 2
prebiotics in an acid-proof, controlled-release formulation. Has Bifidobacterium lactis and 4 other strains.

I also give Jett a soil-based probiotic: Prescript Assist


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