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Probiotics For Life

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The key to good health is to boost levels of probiotic or beneficial bacteria strains in the body while at the same time minimizing the proliferation of unhealthy bacteria. It's that simple.

The key to good health is to boost levels of probiotic or beneficial bacteria strains in the body while at the same time minimizing the proliferation of unhealthy bacteria. It's that simple.

Cleansing regimens sometimes used to reach this goal may deplete beneficial bacteria that are crucial to the body's protective gastrointestinal (GI) microflora. When beneficial bacteria levels are deficient, the body is vulnerable to the detrimental microorganisms it encounters - bacteria, virus, fungi, and yeast. Probiotics need to be replenished following any internal cleansing regimen.

Prescription drugs pose another challenge to GI microflora. When antibiotics are used to kill harmful microbes, they also kill the beneficial bacteria needed to protect the body's immune functions. Good absorption and overall health depend on restoring optimal levels of beneficial bacteria every day.

Six Steps to Finding an Effective Probiotic

The natural way to increase beneficial bacteria in the microflora is to supplement the diet with probiotic strains of human origin, including such species as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifido-bacterium bifidum, found on the lining of the digestive tract.

1. Efficacious bacteria strains

Quality probiotic products employ pure beneficial bacteria strains, selecting the most potent and specific beneficial bacteria strain to achieve maximum results. Each product label must list genus, species, and strain; for example, L. acidophilus NAS strain. Avoid products that do not clearly specify strains.

Specific probiotic super strains, such as L. acidophilus DDS-1, L. acido-philus NAS, and Bifidobacterium bifidum Malyoth, have been proven to produce hydrogen peroxide, which has demonstrated the ability to inactivate harmful bacteria in vitro. Hydrogen-peroxide-producing strains inhibit the growth of yeast.

2. Protective supernatant

Researchers acknowledge that the bacterial culturing medium - the supernatant - is as significant to effectiveness as the probiotic strain itself. Products containing a protective supernatant provide a natural buffer to help beneficial bacteria survive gastric juices that normally would destroy their healthful properties.

3. Quality manufacturing

It is crucial that manufacturing processes protect rather than harm the beneficial bacteria. Probiotic products subjected to damaging manufacturing techniques lose their protective supernatant. To guard natural enzymes and essential byproducts, processing must not employ chemical agents, ultrafiltration, or centrifugation.

Quality manufacturing processes retain and freeze-dry the entire bacterial mass, including the supernatant. Look for a probiotic manufacturer that is certified Drug-GMP (Good Manu-facturing Practice) to ensure the entire production process is monitored for quality.

4. Special packaging

Viable probiotic supplements must be protected from exposure to moisture, heat, and light - the enemies of beneficial bacteria. Dark glass bottling and tin lids provide the greatest protection against these elements. Damaging amounts of moisture can even seep through the best grade of plastic.

5. Refrigerated product handling

o be sure you purchase a viable, guaranteed-potent probiotic, select only products that are refrigerated. Be cautious of a common industry claim that some probiotic products do not need refrigeration. Even the hot lights of nonrefrigerated retail shelves will damage probiotic products.

6. Truth in labelling

Look for guaranteed potency through an expiration date printed on the label. Many product labels list high amounts of bacteria cells, but true potency is cited in colony-forming units.

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