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Do You Know Nutrition: Are probiotics for you?

By By Phylis Canion
Oct. 29, 2013 at 5:29 a.m.

Phylis Canion

Can you give me any information and guidelines on when someone should take probiotic supplements?

First, a bit of history.

The use of probiotics dates back as far as the late 1800s, at which time many diseases were attributed to waste buildup in the body that leaked into the bloodstream. It was only after the success of using probiotics to ferment meat in order to protect it from spoiling during packaging that the decision was made to use probiotics in the human body to eat away body waste left in the body to accumulate.

Inside each of us lives a vast number of bacteria without which we could not remain in good health. Of the several billion in each one of us, most live in the digestive tract. While some of the bacteria aid in maintaining good health, others help us regain health once it has been disrupted.

The use of friendly bacteria supplements is known as probiotics.

According to Dr. Deepak Chopra, here is a list of recommendations as to when you should use probiotics.

  1. If there are chronic bowel problems or ongoing infections such as candidiasis.

  2. As a preventive against food poisoning when traveling (bifidobacteria and acidophilus kill most food poisoning bacteria).

  3. After (and during) any antibiotic use.

  4. By all premenopausal and menopausal women to reduce chances of osteoporosis.

  5. By anyone with high cholesterol problems.

  6. By anyone with chronic health problems (acne, skin problems, allergies, arthritis, cancer).

  7. By anyone receiving radiation treatment.

  8. By anyone having recurrent vaginal or bladder infections (thrush or cystitis).

And as a footnote, Bifidobacteria infantis should be given to all babies.

As I always suggest, consult with your physician and inform him or her of all supplements you are taking including probiotics and read the labels.

Avoid purchasing probiotic supplements that are synthetic or that contain synthetic additives like maltodextrin, a genetically modified corn sweetener that is nondigestible.

If you begin taking a probiotic and develop excessive sinus drainage, headaches, bloating, diarrhea, gas or constipation, I would recommend that you stop taking it immediately.

Also, it is important to be aware of long-term dangers of taking a probiotic. Not only do probiotics break up animal meats and proteins but also the protein and meat in our own bodies. Probiotics break down our own healthy tissue and cells and can cause the body to cease production of stem cells.

Lastly, probiotics destroy white and red blood cells, which can lead to a lowered immunity in the body. A healthy substitute for probiotics, known as the lily of the desert, is aloe vera.

Thought for the week: The best way out is always through.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, email her at doc.phyl@yahoo.com. This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.

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