Ezegut | Probiotics
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Probiotics Explained

The word ‘Probiotic’ means ‘for life’. Probiotic supplements contain bacteria that can help strengthen the body’s natural defenses while also restoring the natural balance of the more than 500 bacteria found in the human gut.

How do probiotics work?

Researchers believe that some digestive disorders happen when the balance of friendly bacteria in the intestines becomes disturbed. This can happen after
an infection or after taking antibiotics. Intestinal problems can also arise when the lining of the intestines is damaged. Taking probiotics may help.

“Probiotics can improve intestinal function and maintain the integrity of the lining of the intestines,” says Stefano Guandalini, MD, professor of pediatrics and gastroenterology at the University of Chicago
Medical Center. These friendly organisms may also help fight bacteria that cause diarrhea.

Probiotics may help lots of ailments

Although they are still being studied, probiotics may help several specific illnessess. In 2011, experts at Yale university reviewed the research. They concluded that probiotics are most effective for:

  • Treating childhood diarrhea.
  • Treating infantile colic.
  • Treating chronic functional constipation.
  • Treating necrotizing enterocolitis, a type of infection
    and inflammation of the intestines mostly seen in infants.
  • Preventing pouchitis, an inflammation of the intestines
    mostly seen in infants.
  • Helping the immune system.
  • Treating ulcerative colitis.
  • Preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhea and infectious diarrhea.
  • Treating and preventing eczema associated with cow’s milk allergy.

The Yale University panel of experts concluded that probiotics may be helpful in other ways, although the evidence is less convincing. These include:

  • Treating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
  • Treating diarrhea caused by C.difficile bacteria
  • Treating vaginitis

Cautions about Probiotics

For the most part, taking probiotics is safe and causes few side effects.

” People in cultures around the world have been eating yogurt, cheeses, and other foods containing live cultures for centuries “— says Martin Floch, MD, a professor of gastroenterology at Yale University, co-author of Probiotics: A Clinical Guide, and a consultant for the Dannon Company.

Still, probiotics may be dangerous for people with weakened immune systems or serious illnesses. One study found that patients with severe pancreatitis who were given probiotics had a higher risk of death.

Reference: http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/features/what-are-probiotics

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