You have probably heard of probiotics, the “good bacteria”. That’s right, not all bacteria is bad for you. The gut effects your over all health, and keeps your immune system in top shape. The immune system takes up 80 percent of our digestive system! As you know your immune system is the biggest factor in your overall health, so it goes without saying that you want to make sure you are looking after your digestive system.
Problems in the gut can lead to more problems than people realize, not just bowel problems like you might think. Irritable bowel syndrome/Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Infectious diarrhea, and antibiotic-related diarrhea. Those may all seem obvious, gut problems are effected by gut health after all. But research has found that other health issues are also effected by the gut, such as: Skin conditions (like eczema, acne and rosacea), urinary and vaginal health, allergies and colds, and oral health.
So what exactly do probiotics do for you to keep you healthy? Well for starters without them your body would not absorb certain undigested starches, fiber, and sugars. The “good” bacteria in your gut convert these carbohydrates into primary sources of important energy and nutrients. Probiotics also help in the production of both vitamin K and B vitamins. And good bacteria helps keep the bad bacteria in your body under control. Recent research also suggests that probiotics may decrease Helicobacter pylori infections which are responsible for gastric ulcers. The currently accepted treatment for gastric ulcers is “triple therapy” (a combination of two antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor) which eliminates harmful bacteria that cause gastric ulcers.
However, triple therapy also kills beneficial bacteria, so a side effect of this treatment is diarrhea. The rationale for use of probiotics such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium in combination with triple therapy is to restore colonization of beneficial bacteria that have been destroyed by antibiotics, positively affect intestinal and systemic immunity, and improve compliance because the probiotics reduce the incidence of diarrhea.
Yogurt is a traditional source of probiotics, yet different brands of yogurt can vary greatly in bacterial strains and potency. Some (particularly frozen) yogurts do not contain any live bacteria. However, adequate doses of probiotics can be provided as standardized supplements in powder, liquid extract, capsule, or tablet form.
The amount of probiotics necessary to replenish the intestine varies according to the extent of microbial depletion and the presence of harmful bacteria. One to two billion colony forming units (CFUs) per day of acidophilus is considered to be the minimum amount for the healthy maintenance of intestinal microflora. Some S. boulardii research has used 500 mg taken four times per day. It seems that, at least for acute infectious diarrhea, higher doses of probiotics given for short courses are more effective than lower doses and are equally safe.
At present, only a small percentage of health care professionals are aware of the potential of probiotics and so they typically are not part of the clinical arsenal for prevention and treatment of disease or maintenance of health. The establishment of accepted standards and guidelines, proposed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization, represents a key step in ensuring that reliable products with suitable, informative health claims be available for the management of a number of debilitating and even fatal conditions.
Now we know that probiotics are good for you, who exactly should be taking them? Everyone! While some people may need them more than others (people who are currently taking antibiotics for example) everyone can benefit from them, since most people do not eat the foods that are highest in probiotics. Probiotics should be taken on empty stomach right before bed. Probiotics should also be refrigerated.
Supplements are a fast, simple way to make sure your body is getting what it needs, but you can also get probiotics through food. These foods include: yoghurt, sauerkraut, and some cheeses. However the food that is highest in probiotics is kefir.
Dr. Jenny is a strongly sensitive and seasoned naturopathic doctor and clinical research associate with an extensive background in nutritional and hormonal biochemistry. Active in community promotion of naturopathic principles and remedies and owner of AgeVital Pharmacy, Research and Wellness, located in downtown Sarasota, FL, she has been recognized for her outstanding ability in prescribing health supplements and other functional, preventative remedies by her peers, community, and media (as seen on ABC7 – ‘The Suncoast View’, NBC – ‘DayTime’, TBN -‘A Rood Awakening,’ on CBS and the CW: Medical Cannabis: The Healing Power Of Knowledge, and a regular on iHeart Radio).
Dr. Jenny is a provider of highly individualized and dedicated patient care. With a comprehensive knowledge of allopathic pharmacy, she has developed individual naturopathic treatment plans for her patients to alleviate chronic and acute illnesses. A champion of the observation, “You’re not what you eat but what you absorb,” Dr. Jenny focuses on achieving overall homeostasis in the body, using a variety of techniques to facilitate the proper absorption of nutrition, the removal of harmful toxins, and the strengthening of a reliable and effective immune system. As an owner of pharmacies, she is a proponent of “test, don’t guess” and has bridged the gap between allopathic and naturopathic approaches, utilizing the very best science provided by both disciplines to achieve the maximum quality and quantity of life for her patients. She has an excellent understanding of HIPAA Universal Precautions and patient protection policies, and is a firm believer in the benefits of effective and professional healthcare.
In a day and age when there seem to be numerous divisions in healthcare, Dr Jenny is inviting everyone to find a common ground: the best interests of the patient. Both quantity and quality of life are important. Gone are the days when physicians threw every available pill or procedure at the patient in order to stretch out a few more seconds of life, regardless of the suffering involved. Today, the goal is real healing, not just “Band-Aids for booboos.” The old goal was to treat disease, but the new goal is to heal from it. Scientific breakthroughs are occurring in leaps and bounds. It is Dr. Jenny’s passion to keep abreast of the very best that discovery has to offer and to work in tandem with those who share her vision in order to produce real healing for the patient.