Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Power of Probiotics

by Kris Pitcher

Don't be grossed out but you have over 500 different species of good and bad bacteria in your gut. Probiotics are live micro organisms which have a positive health benefit to the host. That's us!

These good bugs are great for us. We get these "live active cultures" in yogurt, fermented foods, miso, tempeh, and in supplements. Probiotics are powerful and healthful bugs to have.

Lactobacillus and bifidobacterium longum have been reported to lessen our stress and reduce anxiety in one British study. These healthy bugs have also been linked to lower levels of LDL cholesterol.

Want cleaner teeth and gums? Lactobacillos reuteri and bifidobacterium can reduce strains of harmful bacteria in our mouth. Look for "live active cultures" in the yogurt you buy. And one note, you can't freeze it. This changes these organisms. Sorry fro-yo folks!

Studies are now looking at the intestinal flora of obese vs. normal weight people to test the strains of organisms they are "hosting". They are finding that those who are overweight have a much different make up of bacteria in their gut.

Supplementing is another way of getting these good bacteria. I don't eat soy or dairy, so I take an acidophilus & bifidus supplement. Be sure you are getting your good bacteria to support healthy intestinal health. Here's to the power of probiotics!

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