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What Are ProBiotics?

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Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that provide a balanced pH environment in the digestive tract.

The word biotic comes from the Greek word biotikos, from bios life.  Hence the word probiotic, or pro life.

When your body is packed full of these pro life bacterium (and there are over 100 trillion micro-organisms from some 400 different species that flourish in your intestinal tract), these bacteria help balance your pH, aid in digestion, absorption and the production of significant amounts of vitamin B and enzymes, help process and eliminate toxins, that then gives you vibrant health energy.

Check the ingredients of the vast majority of probiotic formulas available to you and you will see the bacteria’s are either fed on sugar or lactose (milk sugar) or a combination of both.

Pro-Biotic formulas’ that are fed on sugars and lactose are created for ease of manufacture, not for you the consumer.

As there are many beneficial bacteria that can be in a good probiotic, there are two that are noted to be of great importance.

When choosing a probiotic, look for the following characteristics, because not all strains of beneficial bacteria are created equal. For each type of bacteria, there are recognised super strains with Lactobacillus and the Bifidobacterium being the most beneficial for human health.

Lactobacillus

Lactobacillus acidophilus resides primarily in the small intestine and produces a number of powerful antimicrobial compounds in the gut (including acidolin, acidolphilin, lactocidin, and bacteriocin).

These compounds can inhibit the growth and toxin producing capabilities of some 23 known disease causing pathogens (including campylobacter, listeria, and staphylococci), as well as reduce tumour growth and effectively neutralise or inhibit carcinogenic substances.

Lactobacillus plantarum has the ability to eliminate thousands of species of pathogenic bacteria.

It also has extremely high adherence potential for epithelial tissue and seems to favour colonising the same areas of the intestinal tract the E. colo prefers – in effect, serving to crowd E. coli out of the body.

At one time, plantarum was a major part of our diets (found in sourdough bread, sauerkraut, etc.) but is now scarce if nowhere to be found.

Much has been written about the properties of the soil-based bacteria and heartiest of them all – Lactobacillus sporogens.

Thorough scientific research and development has shown that this bacteria is almost indestructible, ensuring that proper re-colonisation of the gut takes place. For many people this bacterium can produce a mighty power boost to the immune system.

Other important friendly bacteria you might find in a good formula include Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus casei.

Bifidobacterium

Many researches believe that declining levels of bifidobacteria in the large intestines actually mark the eventual onset of chronic degenerative disease.

Bifidobacteria benefit the body in a number of ways.

  1. They consume old faecal matter;
  2. They have the ability to remove cancer-forming elements, or the enzymes which lead to their formation;
  3. They protect against the formation of liver, colon, and mammary gland tumours;
  4. And in addition to all of that, bifidobacteria are substantial producers of a range of the B vitamins.

Note: A good probiotic formulation also contains fruct-oligosaccharides (FOS) which help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.  For some of these bacteria, such as the Bifidus, FOS can increase their effectiveness by a factor of 1,000 times or more!!!

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