Just want to share some info about Importance of PROBIOTICS for You. :)
This info I copied from two articles of J. E. Williams, OMD, FAAIM and Dr. Mercola.
If you want to find the link then just copy couple of sentences from this article and place in google search and then you will see that page. :)
..You probably don't think about your gut very often but this may make you start - the bacteria in your bowels outnumber the cells in your body by a factor of 10 to one. This gut flora is a major player of your immune system, which of course, is your body's natural defense system that keeps you healthy. In other words, the health of your body is largely tied into the health of your gut, and it's hard to have one be healthy if the other is not.
One of the reasons why your gut has so much influence on your health has to do with the 100 trillion bacteria--about three pounds worth--that line your intestinal tract. This is an extremely complex living system that aggressively protects your body from outside offenders.
For the natural health conscious, probiotics factor high on their list of supplements. And, most of these people know that probiotics, or friendly bacteria that live in the gut, play important roles in digestive function, including assimilation of nutrients from foods and supplements. However, the beneficial functions of probiotics do not stop at a happy gut; they also support a health immune response. This is because probiotics inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria by producing organic acids, hydrogen peroxide, and unique natural Antibiotic substances. In turn, these process and neutralize toxic compounds.
There are studies that illustrate the effectiveness of probiotics in supporting a healthy immune response. For instance, a Scandinavian study has shown that those who supplement with probiotics before surgery are less likely to have postoperative infections. In fact, the use of Antibiotics to treat all hospital-based infections decreased for those taking probiotic supplements. Furthermore, a healthy gut in which there are robust probiotic populations prevents colds and flus. A study in China showed that school-aged children who supplemented with probiotics suffered from upper respiratory infections 34% less than children who did not.
Despite what these studies show, simply adding a probiotic supplement is not enough to stay healthy if you have low levels of probiotic species or imbalances of friendly to potentially harmful bacteria. Normalizing probiotic populations requires time and the right ingredients. First, you need a product that contains active, live probiotic species. If you haven’t had a stool test, where you can find out which species you need to supplement, a broad spectrum of probiotic species is best. Second, you need enough of them. On average, 5 billion active organisms are sufficient. However, if you have low levels (determined by stool testing), you need more – at least 25 billion, twice daily. Thirdly, they have to get past stomach acid and the upper intestinal digestive enzymes, which can destroy bacteria on contact. No one has tested the absolute best time to take probiotics, but my clinical experience suggests that taking them immediately before meals helps move them past the stomach and through the small intestine faster. Others say between meals; but, though I did recommend that approach for many years, I now question whether it makes good sense to have live bacteria sitting in the stomach for hours – exposed to a bath of gastric acid. For practical purposes, taking them with food makes sense, too.
To help build strong probiotic colonies, you also need the right substrate of fiber and prebiotics, a category of nutrients that support the growth of healthy microflora. Probiotics are not digestible carbohydrates that stimulate growth and activity of beneficial microorganisms in the gut (probiotics). They found naturally in oats and some fruits and vegetables (bananas, garlic, onion, asparagus, leeks, honey, and artichokes) and in breast milk. The ailments that probiotics are said to benefit range from infection-caused diarrhea, inflammatory bowel diseases and irritable bowel syndrome to asthma, allergy and Type I diabetes. Getting enough soluble fiber is also important. You need at least 20-25 grams daily, and more if you have digestive concerns.
Probiotics Become Increasingly Important as You Age. Previous research has shown that around age 60, there is a significant drop in the number of bacteria in your gut. According to Dr Sandra McFarlane from the microbiology and gut biology group at the University of Dundee, people over 60 typically have about 1,000-fold less "friendly" bacteria in their guts compared to younger adults, and increased levels of disease-causing microbes, making them more susceptible to gastrointestinal infections and bowel conditions like IBS.
Researchers have also discovered that the absence or presence of gut microorganisms during infancy permanently alters gene expression. Through gene profiling, they discerned that absence of gut bacteria altered genes and signaling pathways involved in learning, memory, and motor control. This suggests that gut bacteria are closely tied to early brain development and subsequent behavior. In a similar way, probiotics have also been found to influence the activity of hundreds of your genes, helping them to express in a positive, disease-fighting manner.
Many common leafy greens are also excellent sources of probiotics. The best greens for increasing probiotics include chlorella, wheat grass, and spirulina. The advantage of getting these disease-fighting bacteria from green sources is that these foods are also extremely high in immune system-stimulating vitamins, minerals and nutrients. They also aid in detoxing the body.
According to Dr. Mercola on his website, one serving of fermented vegetables has 100 times more beneficial bacteria than an entire bottle of a high potency probiotic product!
Sugar nourishes pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and fungi in your gut, which may actually harm you more than its high in whole raw foods and fermented or cultured foods) is that it allows your beneficial gut bacteria to flourish, and they secondarily perform the real "magic" of restoring your health. There are other studies that show optimized gut flora can help prevent type 1 diabetes.
Malabsorption of Sugar causes the wrong type of fermentation in the gut with symptoms of gas, bloating, pain, diarrhea or constipation. It also disrupts colonization of probiotics and favors potentially pathogenic microorganisms like yeast and fungi. It is well known that lactose can cause this effect, but other sugars, including sucrose and fructose, cause similar problems. When attempting to recolonize the gut, cut back on the simple sugars, or better yet, eliminate them entirely for a few months.
KEY POINTS FOR PROBIOTIC REPLACEMENT THERAPY
• Take a probiotic product containing live species.
• Take enough: 5 billion for general health, up to 50 billion for replacement.
• Take just before or with meals.
• Provide enough fiber and prebiotics.
• Cut back on all sugars.
• Eat a wide range of fermented foods.
• Be regular by taking them daily for at least one year.
The probiotic product you take needs to guarantee precise identification of species and number of units. Advanced probiotic manufacturers use DNA-based technology and PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to identify bacteria types. The combination of viable bacteria that adhere to and colonize the gut with a low sugar, high fiber, plant-based diet is necessary in repairing the gut. Getting the right bacteria to recolonize your gut is not easy. It takes time, up to a year or longer to make progress. However, your health depends on it, and it will be worth the time and effort for improved immunity and digestive health.
Ps: also those who do Not have appendix anymore MUST take probiotics. Google in the net Why. :)
Also read in the net about how milk products and GLUTEN containing products cause LEAKY GUT and thus Autoimmune illnesses (The Autoimmune Solution book could help in it too)... Read in the net why it is Better soak nuts, legumes and grains in water for proloneged time and antinutrients in them which prevent proper absorbtion of the nutrients and why it is Always a Good idea to Limit them.. About Dangers of Fructose (15-25g a day Max).. Do Educate urself coz asking a doctor is Not a guarantee that he/she knows it all! :)