Monday, February 25, 2008

Probiotics- Digestive Wellness

Info taken from "Digestive Wellness" by Elizabeth Lipski

*Vit C--I have learned a lot about Vit C--including Vit C flushes (if you want more info on Vit C flushes, just let me know) I first read about the use of IV vitamin C several years ago in Dr. Weil's books. In this book she says, "Vitamin C is necesssary for maintenance of the cytochrome P-450 detoxification pathways in the liver. It is used by physicians intravenously to help remove toxins from the body during chelation therapy." (Dr. Weil notes in his books that he suggests to his patients who have surgery to use/have IV Vit C during surgery-- it has shown to increase healing from the surgery) Elizabeth goes on to say"Vitamin C has been well researched for its ability to help detoxify bacterial toxins, drugs, environmental toxins, and heavy metals from our bodies. Its gentle and potent detoxification counteracts and neutralizes the harmful effects of manufactures poisons. High levels of Vitamin C help to detoxify the body, rebalance intestinal flora, and strengthen the immune system...Humans are one of the only animals that do not produce their own Vit C, so we must replenish our supply daily."

*Ulcers--Many of you already know this, but I thought I would send a quote from this book on ulcers. "Ulcers, long believed to be a disease of high stress and high stomach acidity, are now known to be caused by bacteria. Of people with ulcers, 79 to 90 percent have a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. When it takes hold, the mucus layere of the stomach is digested, and the acid comes into direct contact with the unprotected lining of the stomach, causing it to burn and develop sores called ulcers. Though Zantac and Tagemet, the most commonly used medications for ulcers, are the best-selling drugs of all time, the latest recommendations from the National Institutes of Health put these medications in the background and focus on killing the Helicobacter bacteria."

*FRIENDLY BACTERIA--ther are several quotes I want to share on this, so bear with me.. all VERY interesting. "Antibiotics kill not only disease-causing bacteria, but healthy ones, as well. healthful bacteria, like Lactobacillus acidophilus, attach tightly to the intestinal lining so that no parasitesor disease-producing organisms can get a foothold. Antibiotics also disrupt the natural symbiosis of the gut and can cause gross imbalance of the natural flora, leading to chronic and systemic illnes." "We have 400 to 500 types of bacteria in our digestive systems, each of which has as many types of strains. This variety may seem overwhelming, but 20 types make up three-quarters of the total. The most common are bacteroides, bifidobacteria, eubacterium, fusobacteria, lactobacillus, peptococceae, rheumanococcus and streptococcus. Most of the bacteria are anaerobic, meaning that they do not need oxygen to thrive, some are aerobic, which do need oxygen for survival; and a thrid group produces lactic acid and can be either aerobic or anaerobic. Lactic acid producing bacteria help acidify the intestinal tract and protect it from overgrowth of harmful bacteria. A total of one hundred trillion bacteria live in our digestive system, in either symbiotic or antagonistic relationships. Their total weight is about 4 pounds-- the size of the liver." "Friendly flora help increase our resistance to food poisoning. In 1993, the US reported 20 to 40 million cases of food poisoning, although the FDA estimates the true total to be 80 million. Many cases go unreported because symptoms closely resemble the flu. Some food-borne infections lead to chronic illness, causing heart and valve problems, immune system disorders, joint disease, and possibly even cancer. Use of supplemental acidophilus and bifidus can prevent food poisoning by making the intestinal tract inhospitable to the invading microbes. It is a common misconception that friendly flora kill invading microbes. What they actually do is change the environment by "competitive exclusion"-- they secrete large amounts of acids (acetic, formic, and lactic acids) which make the area unsuitable for pathogens." "In addition to these nutritional and digestive benefits, probiotics enhance immune function. They manufacture antibiotics, like acidophilin produced by acidophilus, whcih are effective against many types of bacteria, including streptococcus adn staph. lactobacillus acidophilus and lactobacillus bulgaricus have been shown to be efective in laboratory testing against the following pathogens: Bacillus subitilis, Clostridium botulinum, Colstridium profingens, Eschericha coli, Proteus mirabilis, Salmonella enteridis, Salmonella typhimurium, Shigella dysenteriae, Shigella paradysenteriae, Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus faecalis." (Is this COMPLETELY amazing or WHAT?? This is one of the reasons I give my kids supplements daily and increase the dose when they are on antibiotics--I take them, too. Again-- they now make enteric coated probiotic supplements so that more of the good stuff gets to the intestines -- remember the stomach kills a lot of what you ingest in yogurt, etc...) Canidida albicans, a fungus which causes infections in nails and eyes, thrush and "yeast infections" is controlled by acidophilus. This works in at least two ways. First acidophilus bacteria ferment glycogen into lactic acid which changes the pH of the intestinal tract. Since Candida and many other disease causing microbes thrive in alkaline environments, this action discourages many disease causing microbes. Second, specific strains of Lactobacillus produce hydrogen peroxide which kills Candida directly. Studies show that supplementation with a hydrogen peroxide-producing strain of acidophilus, DDS-1, reduced the incidence of antibiotic induced vaginal yeast infections threefold." "Friendly bacteria also help us in other ways. Studies have shown that lactobacillus bacteria can help normalize cholesterol levels. Probiotics can also rebuild and breakdown hormones like estrogen. Probiotics aid digestive function, improve peristalisis and help to normalize bowel transit time. Finally, bacterial balance is essential for healthy metabolism." "L. bulgaricus adn Streptococcus thermophilus are two other friendly inhabitants of our digestive tracts. Transient residents of the digtestive tract, these flora are not native to it. They "vacation" in us for up to twelve days, which gives them time to have a beneficial effect on the intestinal ecology. Their most obvious function is inhancing the production of Bifidobacteria. They have also been shown to have antitumor effects, and L. bulgaricus has antibiotic and antiherpes effects, as well. They are found in cultured dairy products or can be taken supplementally." "Saccharomyces boulardi is a friendly fungus which enhances levels of Secretory IgA. In France it is called "yeast against Yeast". Clinically, it has been found to be useful for clearing the skin and controlling diarrhea caused by antibiotics, Clostridium difficile, and travelling. Saccharomyces has also been used effectively in people with Chron's disease, significantly reducing the number of bowel movements."