According to Digestive Wellness, Intestinal flora play an important role in our ability to fight infectious disease, providing a front line in our immune defense. Many B vitamins contain the friendly flora, such as: biotin, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), cobalamine (B12), and folic acid, and vitamin K.
Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacteria increase the absorption of minerals that require acid for absorption, such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and manganese. Farm animals are routinely given supplemental flora, which enhance absorption of both vitamins and minerals.Friendly flora help increase our resistance to food poisoning. In the 1990’s, there were reported 20-40 million cases of food poisioning. Many cases go unreported because the 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 help prevent food poisoning by making the intestinal tract inhospitable to the invading microbes. They actually change the environment by “competitive exclusion”-they secrete large amounts of acids (acetic, formic, and lactic acids) that make the area unsuitable for pathogens.
Benefits of Lactobacillus acidophilus
It prevents overgrowth of disease-causing microbes: Candida species, E. coli, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), and salmonella.
It prevents and treats antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
It aids digestion of lactose and dairy products.
It improves nutrient absorption.
It maintains integrity of intestinal tract and protects against macromolecules entering bloodstream and causing antigenic response.
It lessens intestinal stress from food poisoning.
It acidifies intestinal tract. Low pH provides a hostile environment for pathogens and yeasts.
It helps prevent vaginal and urinary tract infections.
Another helpful bacteria is Candida
Candida and many other disease-causing microbes thrive in alkaline environments, this action discourages many disease-producing microbes. Other probiotics have antitumor and anticancer effects. Probiotics also help us metabolize foreign substances, like mercury and pesticides, and protect us from damaging radiation and harmful pollutants.
Friendly bacteria also help us in other ways. Studies have repeatedly shown that lactobacillus bacteria can help normalize cholesterol levels. Probiotics also rebuild and break down hormones such as estrogen. Probiotics aid digestive function, improve peristalsis, and help normalize bowel transit time. Finally, bacterial balance is essential for healthy metabolism.
Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus are two other friendly inhabitants of our digestive tracts. It is safe for people of all ages, including infants. It is resist ant to antibiotics, except antifungal medications, so it can be used while taking antibiotics. It helps protect and restore normal flora. It stimulates antibodies that are the first line of defense against pathogens. It also stimulates enzy matic production, helping to repair and maintain normal gut mucosa, and stimulates the activity of short-chain fatty acids and disaccharide enzymes, such as lactase, maltase, and sucrase, which can help prevent diarrhea.
When used for treatment, S. boulardii is useful for stopping diarrhea caused by traveling, antibiotics, AIDS, and severe burns. It has also been used effectively in people with Crohn’s disease, significantly reducing the number of bowel movements and diar rhea, and it has been used to help people with diarrhea-type irritable bowel syndrome.
S. boulardii helps protect against bacteria and bacterial toxins by preventing them from attaching to the intestinal mucosa or specific receptor sites. Studies have shown its effectiveness against disease-causing strains of E. coli, Clostridium difficile, cholera, and Entamoeba histolytica. Studies indicate that it may also be effective against salmonella, the main cause of food poisoning.
E. coli Nissle strain has also been used effectively in digestive diseases. It’s best studied for its role in protection from inflamma tory bowel diseases and irritable bowel syndrome.
Probiotic supplements may be beneficial for the following health conditions:
Recurrent urinary infections
Diarrhea in adults and children
Complications from antibiotic therapy
Traveler’s diarrhea and/or colitis
Immune system stimulation
Small bowel bacterial overgrowth
Elevated blood cholesterol
Allergy, including food allergies
Inflammatory bowel diseases and pouchitis
Bacterial and fungal infections
Alcohol-induced liver disease
Bacterial infections, antibiotics use, high stress levels, excessive alcohol intake, poor diet, and a number of other factors can disrupt the delicate balance of beneficial bacteria in our gut. Often, disease-producing bacteria and fungi will proliferate, causing symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, and gas. If left unchecked, they can contribute to long-term conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.