Is all the hype around implementing fermented foods and probiotics as part of a healthy lifestyle true?
In fact, why not start of 2013 with a New Year’s Resolution with a simple (yet weird) action that has a profound effect on your health and weight, and easy to stick with!
I’m suggesting for you to…eat more bugs!!
How is this easy??
Because these little critters come in the form of a high-quality and therapeutic grade supplement (careful of the unregulated dead guys you buy off the shelf and not individualized for your needs) or in yummy foods such as fermented veggies and kefir!
These critters are probiotics (pro=for, biotics=life).
These microorganisms reside in your digestive tract and outnumber your cells 10:1. They have a variety of impacts on health.
Below is a summary of various articles I collected last month that provide a glimpse behind the power of the probiotic!
What Are Probiotics?
As mentioned, probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that reside throughout your body. According to Dr. Mercola:
Microorganisms are often feared as dangerous; however, fermented foods are among the healthiest foods. The beneficial bacteria in these foods are very potent detoxifiers, capable of drawing out a wide range of environmental toxins, including pesticides and and heavy metals
….Benefits of Fermented Foods with Powerful Microorganisms:
· Alleviating digestive disorders – the flora in living cultured foods form a “living shield” that covers your small intestine’s inner lining and resists pathogenic organisms like Escherichia coli, Salmonella and an unhealthy overgrowth of yeast
· Strengthening immunity with increased antibodies that fight off infectious disease
· Helping pregnant and nursing mothers transfer beneficial bacteria to their infants
· Effectively impacting the behavior of children with autism,ADD/ and ADHD
· Regulating weight and appetite by reducing cravings for sugar, soft drinks, bread and pasta — all foods I strongly advise against
Mercola, J. Two “Forbidden Foods” That Can Give You Instant Energy. Mercola.com. December 31, 2012. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/12/31/top-10-healthiest-foods.aspx?e_cid=20121231_DNL_art_1
How Good & Bad Bugs and Bacteria Take Over Your Body
Bugs multiply by the company they keep, so let’s provide them with good company!
Researchers have discovered that bacteria communicate with each other using a chemical language called “quorum sensing.” As it turns out, every type of bacteria make and secrete small molecules. When a bacterium is alone, these molecules simply float away. But when there’s a large enough group of bacteria, these secreted molecules increase in proportion to the number of bacteria emitting them. When the molecules reach a certain amount, the bacteria can tell how many neighbors it has, and suddenly all the bacteria begin to act as a synchronized group, based on the group behavior programmed into its genes.
But that’s not all. Not only do bacteria communicate in this way between their own species; they’re all “multi-lingual,” and can determine the presence and strength of other bacterial colonies!
Essentially, they can count how many of its own kind there are compared to the amount of another species. They then use that information to decide what tasks to carry out, depending on who’s in a minority and who’s in the majority of any given population of bacteria.
This information can have any number of implications for science and medicine. For example, they’re already working on a new generation of antibiotics that can jam the sensing mechanism of a specific pathogen rather than killing it. They’re also considering creating pro-quorum sensing drugs that can boost the communication between beneficial bacteria to make them operate more efficiently.
Mercola, J. New Discoveries About How Gut Bacteria Can Have Profound Implications for Your Health. Mercola.com. 12/29/12. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/12/29/probiotics-for-good-digestive-health.aspx?e_cid=20121229_DNL_art_1
The Many Benefits of Probiotics
Here are some of the few benefits highlighted last month:
1. Probiotics Yield Less Infections in Kids, Study Says
Children aged 3 to 5 years were recruited and randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups to receive placebo (n = 92), Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM (NCFM) (n = 77), or a combination of L acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07 (NCFM+Bi-07) (n = 79). Probiotics were consumed daily at a dose of 1010 colony-forming units for 6 months from November to April. The study was performed in Shanghai, China, and approved by the local authorities.
RESULTS: The incidence of fever was reduced by 63% in the NCFM+Bi-07 group and by 48% in the NCFM group. Cough was reduced by 54% in the NCFM+Bi-07 group and by 42% in the NCFM group. Runny nose was reduced by 44% in the NCFM+Bi-07 group and by 9% in the NCFM group; the latter result was not significant. Antibiotic use was reduced by 80% in the NCFM+Bi-07 group and by 68% in the NCFM group. Children in the placebo group had, on average, 6.5 days with symptoms, those in the NCFM group had 4.5 days with symptoms, and those in the NCFM+Bi-07 group had 3.4 days with symptoms.
CONCLUSIONS: Daily consumption of NCFM and Bi-07 and of NCFM alone significantly reduced the incidence and duration of respiratory tract infection symptoms in children. The combination of the 2 probiotics tended to perform better than the NCFM alone.
Leyer, G, Ouwehand, A. & Carcano, D. PROBIOTICS REDUCE INCIDENCE AND DURATION OF RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTION SYMPTOMS IN 3- TO 5-YEAR-OLD CHILDREN. (abstract).Pediatrics Vol. 121 No. Supplement 2 January 1, 2008. pp. S115 (doi: 10.1542/peds.2007-2022JJJ). http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/121/Supplement_2/S115.2.abstract
2. Probiotic May Modulate “Bad” Cholesterol
Study Highlights: A new probiotic lowered LDL “bad” cholesterol and total cholesterol in patients with high cholesterol. The probiotic reduced molecules known as cholesterol ester saturated fatty acids, which have been tied to dangerous plaque buildup in the arteries.
American Heart Association Meeting Report:
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 5, 2012 — Two daily doses of a probiotic lowered key cholesterol-bearing molecules in the blood as well as “bad” and total cholesterol, in a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012.
Probiotics are live microorganisms (naturally occurring bacteria in the gut) thought to have beneficial effects; common sources are yogurt or dietary supplements. In previous studies, a formulation of the bacteria, known as Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242, has lowered blood levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
Such treatments are drawing increasing medical attention as researchers unravel how supplementing gut bacteria (microbiome) with probiotics can play a role in health and certain chronic diseases such as heart disease, said Mitchell L. Jones, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study and a research assistant in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal.
American Heart Association. Daily doses of a new probiotic reduces ‘bad’ and total cholesterol. Abstract 11348. November 05, 2012. http://newsroom.heart.org/pr/aha/daily-doses-of-a-new-probiotic-239562.aspx
3. Probiotics & Healthy Immune Response in Allergic Mice
An abstract on less allergic responses in rats who take their L.reuteri probiotic:
OBJECTIVES: We tested the hypothesis that regulatory T cells play a major role in mediating L. reuteri-induced attenuation of the allergic airway response.
METHODS: mBALB/c mice were treated daily with L. reuteri by gavage. Flourescent-activated cell sorter analysis was used to determine CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+)T cell populations in spleens following treatment with L. reuteri or vehicle control. Cell proliferation assays were performed on immunomagnetic bead separated CD4(+)CD25(+) and CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells. CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells isolated from, ovalbumin naive, L. reuteri treated mice were transferred into ovalbumin-sensitized mice. Following antigen challenge the airway responsiveness, inflammatory cell influx and cytokine
CONCLUSIONS: These results strongly support a role for nonantigen-specific CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells in attenuating the allergic airway response following oral treatment with L. reuteri. This potent immuno-regulatory action may have therapeutic potential in controlling the Th2 bias observed in atopic individuals.
Karimi K, Inman MD, Bienenstock J, Forsythe P. Lactobacillus reuteri-induced regulatory T cells protect against an allergic airway response in mice. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2009 Feb 1;179(3):186-93. doi: 10.1164/rccm.200806-951OC. Epub 2008 Nov 21.
4. Bifidobacterium breve Probiotic May Help Excrete BPA
Good bugs positive protective effect for us from deleterious environmental exposure:
Bisphenol A (BPA), a putative endocrine disruptor, may be taken up by humans via the diet and have adverse effects on human health. In this study, we evaluated whether the probiotics, Bifidobacterium breve strain Yakult (BbY) and Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota (LcS), could exert a protective effect against dietary exposure to BPA. A group of rats fed on a diet containing 5% BbY or 5% LcS showed three advantageous effects compared to the control group; (i) the area under the blood concentration-time curve of BPA after its oral administration was significantly decreased, (ii) the amount of BPA excreted in the feces was significantly greater (2.4 times), and (iii) the percentage of BPA bound to the sediment fraction of the feces was significantly higher. These results suggest that BbY and LcS reduced the intestinal absorption by facilitating the excretion of BPA, and that these probiotics may suppress the adverse effects of BPA on human health.
Kenji Oishi, Tadashi Sato, Wakae Yokoi, Yasuto Yoshida, Masahiko Ito, Haruji Sawada. Effect of probiotics, Bifidobacterium breve and Lactobacillus casei, on bisphenol A exposure in rats. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2008 Jun;72(6):1409-15. Epub 2008 Jun 7. PMID: 18540113. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bbb/72/6/72_70672/_pdf
So, bottom’s up (or bugs up?)!