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 What is Probiotics?
What is Probiotics?

Probiotics

In today’s world where battle superbugs, food poisoning and chronic infections, that one simple word can make people cringe. What if someone told you here where one and half kilograms of bacteria, living inside your intestinal tract right now? Bacteria are vital to protect you. In fact, those one and a half kilograms are a mixture of good, neutral, chameleon, and bad bacteria that keep you healthy and alive. These gut microflora (very tiny living organisms) are a major part of your digestive and immune systems. When you are healthy, all of these types of bacteria are in a crucial, very delicate balance. Once your microflora is out of balance, your health is in major jeopardy.

Stress, pollution, drugs, diet changes, aging, environment and travel, not only to foreign countries but also outside your home, are all culprits that deplete beneficial bacteria levels, creating an imbalance in your intestinal (digestive system) microflora. Digestive problems, skin conditions, debilitating diseases and even death can result. Beneficial bacteria help protect you from the onslaught of disease- causing microorganisms. They defend the body against bad bacteria (pathogens including salmonella), detrimental fungi (such as yeast and mould) and viruses (like your annual flu virus).

Probiotics are good bacteria that help to relieve a variety of health problems including chronic diseases, autoimmune diseases, acid reflux, coronary heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), food poisoning and lactose intolerance. They have an involvement with autism and yeast infections.

Probiotics means "for life" and this name is now mostly used to refer to concentrated supplements of beneficial or good bacteria taken by humans and animals. We know what bad bacteria can do to us-they make us ill-and hospitals and doctors have tried to clean them away or kill them with antibiotics.
However, antibiotics don't work as well as they used to, and some bacteria survive all antibiotics. We now need Probiotics. The good friendly bacteria, or probiotics, promote the body's natural immunity, keep us healthy and help our digestion. They are very necessary and may keep the bad bacteria level lower. There are many types of good bacteria in our body that we need - acidophilus is one that you may have heard of.

Probiotics, from the Greek "for life", is the science of administering living bacteria to treat or prevent a clinical disorder. It is the opposite of antibiotics or the killing of bacteria. The usefulness of probiotics has been known for thousands of years. The ability of beneficial bacteria to transform milk into a longer lasting food was recorded as far back as 6,000 years ago. Throughout most of history, food has been used as medicine as well as nourishment. The revered Greek physician Hippocrates said "Let your food be your medicine and your medicine your food". Fermented milk products were used to improve appetite and to treat dysentery, peptic ulcers, diarrhea, and other gastric (stomach ) disorders.

In 1908, Elie Metchnikoff, a Nobel Prize recipient working at the Pasteur Institute, observed that Bulgaria had an incredible number of people who lived more than 100 years. This country was one of the least advanced countries in Europe so it was believed that modern medicine was not the reason people lived such long lives. He observed that Bulgarian peasants consumed large quantities of yoghurt. He isolated the responsible bacteria and used them in trials. Only recently, in the last 30 years, has conventional medicine turned its attention to the scientific study of these friendly bacteria using probiotic supplements. For more on Metchnikoff’s observations, see Natasha Trenev’s book “The Power of Probiotics: Secrets to Great Health” which may be purchased from this website (in book section under Natren probiotics).

Your body needs balance
The secret to a long, healthy and vital life is to assist your body in minimising the growth of harmful (bad) bacteria and encouraging the growth of beneficial (good) bacteria. Unfortunately it is not possible to restore your balanced microflora through proper diet alone. Supplementation with selected stains of probiotic bacteria is necessary. Due to the damage we have done from our inappropriate use of drugs and chemicals, it will take several generations before we will be able to restore the beneficial bacteria naturally to our bodies.

All mammals are born germ free but rapidly acquire their own unique bacterial flora-primarily from the mother during birth. This bacterial flora is highly active, some species replicating every 20 minutes. Beneficial bacteria are abundant in nature and present on your skin, in your mouth, digestive system and the vaginal mucosa of healthy individuals. Beneficial bacteria act as an indispensable defense barrier to repel the attacks mounted by bad bacteria and yeast. When the balance is good the body operates at its peak. This optimum balance is your guarantee of protection from disease. It is when you lose your optimal balance that trouble begins. The bad bacteria and yeast rapidly spiral out of control, leaving you with a barren intestinal landscape full of toxic waste. Taking beneficial bacteria supplements daily provides a fast, simple and effective way to promote bowel regularity and elimination of toxins. (More in-depth information is given in Natasha Trenev’s book “The Power of Probiotics: Secrets to Great Health” available in the books section of Natren probiotics.) Not only do they control the growth of bad bacteria and reduce the toxic load of harmful byproducts from normal body metabolism, chemicals in food and in the environment, they minimise the inflammatory cycle and allow the intestinal wall to heal. These valuable health promoters perform indispensable functions that help the body tolerate lactose (the sugar found in dairy products that is difficult to digest), keep the vaginal tract healthy and inhibit opportunistic, disease-causing pathogens. They boost the immune system and stimulate the body’s tolerance to food and environmental elements. They help you avoid allergic reactions and optimise the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals from food and dietary supplements.

Lactobacillus acidophilus is the most prominent bacteria in the small intestine. Super strains called NAS and DDS-1 have demonstrated increased production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) which destroys bad bacteria, yeasts and viruses, and have proven antimicrobial and antifungal characteristics.

Bifidobacterium bifidum is the powerful supporter of the large intestine, regulating unwanted bacterial growth and acting as your all-important waste and disposal system. Super strain Malyoth is the most potent and beneficial strain of resident bifidobacterium available. It has been validated in clinical trials with cirrhotic liver patients as an important support system to repair damaged livers.

Lactobacillus Bulgaricus is a travelling transient bacteria that aids the other two (L. Acidophilus and B Bifidum)as it passes through your body. It supports a healthy GI tract by helping to digest complex carbohydrates and proteins. Super strain LB-51 increases the absorption of essential minerals (especially calcium).

Bifidobacterium Infantis is the most important bacteria for the development of a healthy infant, minimising the predisposition to allergies and encouraging the production of antibodies. Super strain NLS is the essential “baby bacteria” which stimulates better weight gain and assists in the absorption of nutrient and vitamins.


What do these healthful bacteria do for us?
These hard working bacteria keep us healthy by

  • Increased nutritional value through better digestibility and increased absorption of minerals and vitamins.
  • Normalisation of gut function, relieving constipation and irritable bowel syndrome
  • Reduction in urinary and vaginal tract infections cause by bacteria and yeast
  • Inhibition of helicobacter pylori, the bacterial cause of stomach ulcers
  • Prevention of GI tract infections caused by bacteria, viruses or yeast
  • Improvement of kidney and liver function by elimination of toxins
  • Repopulation of beneficial flora following antibiotics or radiation
  • Reduction of the hyper-allergenic reactions of the immune system
  • Improved well-being and optimal physical and mental health
  • Prevention of atherosclerosis by reducing blood cholesterol
  • Stimulation of the immune system to boost defenses
  • Alleviating bowel wind, bloating and belching
  • Increased resistance to infectious disease
  • Reduction of disease-inducing agents
  • Improvement of lactose digestion
  • Decreased duration of diarrhoea
  • Reduction in blood pressure
  • Prevention of osteoporosis
  • Reduction in allergies

What causes us to have low levels of good bacteria?
These friendly bacteria living in your intestinal tract can be easily damaged. They can only perform the functions that keep us healthy if they are in a fit state. For example, when bifidobacteria are in a good state of health they will help rid the body of toxins as well as manufacture B vitamins. When in a poor state of health, however, they cannot do these jobs as well or at all. Many factors influence just how healthy your bacterial flora is. Here are some of the reasons good bacteria become unfit and cause low levels of friendly bacteria:

Stress

Ageing process

Drugs eg Antibiotics, Steroid drugs, Contraceptive pills

Chemotherapy

Radiation (x-rays)

Travelling

Alcohol consumption

Eating disorders

Diet

Pollution

Caesarean delivery(birth)

Not breast feeding an infant(formula feeding)

Chemical additives, Pesticides

Infants born in Westernised Urban Areas

Taking antimicrobial herbs eg Echinacea, raw garlic, golden seal

Colonics

Illness

Environmental changes

What happens when we don't have enough good bacteria in our body?

When harmful bad bacteria invade us, they take up residence on the lining of our intestinal tract. They take over the home that should belong to our beneficial bacteria. They multiply and spread taking over more and more intestinal area. This leads to a loss of the good bacteria. Initially there may be only a few symptoms that you may think are minor…." symptoms that we presume everyone else has too"….. like bloating, bowel wind, indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea, etc. Then the symptoms continue, and start to occur most days and we get used to them being there. Clearly there is now a shortage of beneficial bacteria - a probiotic deficiency. It is important to replace the beneficial bacteria and know how to encourage their growth, while minimising the expansion of the unfriendly ones.


Health Conditions Associated with Low Levels of Friendly Bacteria (Probiotic Deficiencies)


Mouth/Throat

Skin

Infants

Other

Gingivitis

Acne

Thrush

Premature Ageing

Thrush

Psoriasis

Colic

Hyperactivity

Cold Sores

Eczema

Nappy Rash

Gout

Strep Throat

 

 

Migraines

 

Reproductive Organs

Immune System

Stomach/Intestinal
Tract

Jock Itch

Allergies i.e. Hay Fever

Constipation

Vaginitis

Immunosuppression

Chronic Diarrhoea

Yeast Infections

Arthritis

Crohn's Disease

Thrush

Ankylosing Spondalitis

Malabsorption
(Weight Loss)

Vaginal Viruses

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Colitis

Urinary Tract Infections

 

Peptic Ulcers
Bloating
Bowel Wind

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