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Monday, 24 September 2012 09:59

Power of Probiotics in Coping with Health Problems Featured

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Know How use of probiotics can help in controlling various diseases symptoms.

probioticsNow-a-day trend is more towards use of complementary therapies instead of medication. Side-effects and noncompliance associated with medication is switching more and more people towards complementary therapies. Probiotics are not lagging in such cases. Furthermore, current treatment guidelines for managing bowel diseases emphasize more on probiotics.

Probiotics are live microorganism, especially bacteria, having a beneficial effect in digestion. According to World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nation, probiotics are live microorganism, a friendly bacteria which when consumed in an adequate amount confer health effects on the host. They are similar to beneficial microorganism found in the human gut.

Lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria are commonly consumed as probiotics. Additionally, certain yeast and bacilli are also used as probiotics.

In daily diet, probiotics can be added in the form of fermented foods such as yogurt, soy yogurt, and dietary supplements. Now a days, readymade preparation of priobotics are also available in market

When ingested probiotics improve intestinal microbial balance and inhibit pathogen and toxin producing bacteria.

Uses of probiotics

Inflammatory bowel disease

Microbes producing butyric acid can be used in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) as per a press release from EurekAlert.

Hyperactive immune response associated with imbalance of the normal types of bacteria in the gut result in IBD. Inflammation of gastrointestinal tract results in watery and bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain.IBD can be presented as Crohn’s diseases and Ulcerative colitis.IBD sufferer has reduced level of bacterial strains producing butyric acid. Butyric acid has anti-inflammatory effect and strengthens the intestinal wall cells. Administration of butyric acid strains such as Butyricicoccus Pullicaecorum and Faecalibacterium Prausnitzii produce good therapeutic effect in IBD.

Prof. Filip Van Immerseel, a medical microbiologist from Ghent University in Belgium said,

"Now we realise that lactic acid is used for growth by a certain population of bacteria that produce butyric acid, which could explain why some of the older studies had a positive outcome. Recent trials focusing on butyric acid-producing bacterial strains have been extremely promising and could lead to a new treatment for IBD."

Irritable bowel syndrome

Dietary modification is a good approach in managing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

IBS is highly prevalent disorder of intestinal tract with no permanent cure. Patient present with unexplained abdominal pain, bloating, discomfort and altered bowel habits.

Review published in Clinical Journal of Gasteroenterology reported probiotic as a promising treatment approach in IBS.

Lactobacilli,Bifidobacteria and VSL#3 suppress low-grade inflammation associated with IBS and restore normal local immune function. Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria deconjugate and absorb bile acids and decrease colonic secretion so useful in reducing diarrhea. VSL#3 slow down colonic transit.

Rationale for use of probiotics in IBS is encouragement in fermentation process and diminishing gas production by changing colonic flora.


Ability to maintain intestinal microbial balance makes probiotics a good therapy in both infectious and antibiotic associated diarrhea.

A review published in Cochrane database mention that along with rehydration therapy, probiotics are safe and have beneficial effects in shortening the duration and reducing stool frequency in acute infectious diarrhea.

Use of antimicrobial agent is responsible for 5-25% of incidence of diarrhea. However, several studies now confirm that probiotics are safe approach in dealing with antibiotic associated diarrhea.

Study reported in British Medical Journal stated that consumption of lactobacilli species and streptococcus reduce the incidence of antibiotic and Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea.

Uro -genital health

Urogenital infections are very common in women. Bacterial vaginosis, urinary tract infection and yeast vaginitis are commonly encountered urogenital infection in daily life of women. Use of antimicrobial agents is scientifically proven treatment approach in dealing with such cases. However, use is associated with side effects, recurrences and secondary infection. Furthermore, repeated infection disrupts the normal micro flora of a vagina, especially loss of lactobacilli and raise chances for sexually transmitted diseases and resistance to antimicrobials.

Probiotics with lactobacilli strains is a good option over antimicrobial use in treating urogenital infections reported in Journal of Nutrition in Clinical care.

Atopic diseases

Probiotics are rooting their roots in allergic illnesses such as allergic rhinitis, allergic eczema etc. A randomized study published in Journal The Lancet, Lactobacillus strain is effective in prevention of atopic diseases in children at high risk. It may be due to immunomodulating effect of probiotics.

You can gain health benefits of probiotics simply by enjoying cup of curd or yogurt daily.

Read 5149 times Last modified on Monday, 24 September 2012 10:23

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