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Restore Digestive Health With Probiotics

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Dr. Minocha  is a practicing gastroenterologist and author of "Natural Stomach Care: Treating and Preventing Digestive Disorders with Best of Eastern and Western Therapies"

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Restore Digestive health with  probiotics continued from previous page >>>


When buying yogurt or another probiotic product, relying on the term "live" bacteria or cultures is not sufficient. Make sure some of the bacteria that I mentioned earlier are present and check the number of bacteria per gram or capsule, as the case may be. Some experts recommend that yogurt should contain at least 3-5 billion live bacteria per gram in order exert its probiotic effects. If there are not sufficient bacteria present, enough of them may not survive the digestive process in order to make a difference. The quantity of live bacteria in most popular brands of yogurt is one hundred to a few hundred million per gram but nowhere close to 3-5 billion needed to achieve benefit as a probiotic.



Are probiotic bacteria safe for use as dietary supplements or to treat disease? The answer is yes. Probiotics have been used in various cultures and lack of evidence of their migration from the gut to the blood, attests to their safety. The beneficial effects of probiotics in HIV patients supports their usefulness even among immune suppressed patients. However, one should not use an organism as a probiotic without scientific evidence that it is indeed safe and effective. Purchase a probiotic product that has been proven to be beneficial in clinical studies. Not all probiotics are effective against every disease. In fact, even different strains of a probiotic like Lactobacillus confer different healing properties.




It's possible that certain combinations of probiotics may be superior to using just one strain. For example, probiotic VSL#3 has been documented to be beneficial in several digestive disorders. It contains four strains of Lactobacillus, three strains of Bifidobacterium, one strain of Streptococcus salivarius. Each dose pack contains about 450 billion live bacteria.



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