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Fad or wonder food? (Probiotics)

Von: pautrey (rpautrey2@gmail.com) [Profil]
Datum: 04.06.2010 21:47
Message-ID: <65860d94-5b19-4c58-864a-0ba9bf42be32@m4g2000vbl.googlegroups.com>
Newsgroup: alt.healthmisc.health.alternative
Gut Instinct

Fad or wonder food?
Kalyan Ray

Not all bacteria are bad. One of the current wellness fads,
probiotics, harnesses healthy bacteria, writes Kalyan Ray

Probiotics has opened up a new genre of food laced with millions of
healthy bacteria, invisible to naked eye, which help expel harmful
bacteria from the gut. Improving intestinal health is the most
important benefit of probiotics even though latest research has
uncovered more to probiotics than mere gut health.

Stress, bad food, and the rat race can throw the digestive system out
of gear, triggering bloating, diarrhoea and constipation, flaring up
of IBS symptoms, Crohn’s disease, and a host of other gastrointestinal
problems. When the intestinal flora – an assembly of 100 trillion
bacteria — is disturbed and the balance upset, diseases strike.

Probiotics means “for life”. Its addition in daily diet keeps the
colon and intestines healthy. In a child’s digestive system, there are
many good bacteria. As one grows up and matures most of these good
bacteria diminished or disappear entirely from the body, which is
where supplements can help.

Probiotic supplements are an easy, and in many cases, favoured way of
keeping the digestive tract healthy. “Other positive functions range
from the augmentation of host resistance such as cancer and microbial
infections through activation of the immune system,” said Koji Nomoto,
a scientist at the Yakult Central Institute for Microbial Research in

Allowing the growth of certain good bacteria in the gut remains the
most well known function of probiotics. In fact, almost 100 years ago,
a pioneering Japanese scientist Minoru Shirota became the world’s
first person to succeed in culturing a fortified strain of lactic acid
bacteria beneficial to human health.

That strain, Lactobacillus casei Shirota, gave rise to one of the
world’s first probiotic supplement launched by the Japanese company
Yakult in 1935 which helped in diseases like food poisoning,
dysentery, cholera and typhoid. Eight decades later, probiotics has
become a global health fad and a multi-million dollar industry, even
though many claims are unsubstantiated.

What does research say?

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