probiotics

  1. Do YOU need a probiotic? Here’s what the SCIENCE says!

    They’ll DISMISS you… and they’ll DISRESPECT you.

    And they’ll do it in a single word!

    Ask a mainstream doc… even a supposed expert… about a natural therapy

    And they’ll look down their nose at ya and sniff “unproven.”

    The goal isn’t just to get off the topic. It’s to make you feel like such a dum-dum… that you’ll never ask again!

    Well, friend, a new report shows who the REAL dunces are when it comes to one of today’s hottest natural therapies.

    I’m talking about a natural way to PREVENT… FIGHT… and ELIMINATE…

    • cold
    • flu
    • UTIs
    • constipation
    • mood disorders
    • …and more

    You can see why they don’t even want to DISCUSS it! It’s a direct THREAT to the mainstream’s business model.

    So, instead of an adult conversation about the science, they pretend there’s just no science out there at all.

    Now, the new study busts that myth wide open… and shows how probiotic supplements have WAY MORE science behind them than MANY of today’s leading drugs!

    The TRUTH about probiotics – and the SCIENCE behind them

    You’d have to be under a rock… or maybe behind a yogurt container… to NOT know about probiotics by now.

    They’re EVERYWHERE! I mean, people are REALLY into probiotics right now.

    And that has the mainstream absolutely LIVID.

    So, they drop the “U” word… declaring them “unproven” and, as I shared with you earlier this year, even claiming that they should only be taken as part of clinical trials.

    They ASSUME that’ll be the end of it….

    Because you wouldn’t DARE to question them… WOULD YOU???

    But that’s NOT the end of it.

    Scientists are now PUSHING BACK with a new study -- one that shows how probiotics are officially PROVEN!

    The new report doesn’t look at specific conditions… specific strains… or specific benefits. It just looks at the TOTALITY of the research.

    See, the mainstream CONSTANTLY claims that there’s just not a lot of research out there… and that we need to “wait for more studies.”

    But it turns out there are more than 1,600 clinical trials on probiotics…

    And since 2010, there have been some 100 new studies assessing these “good bacteria” supplements EVERY SINGLE YEAR.

    That’s about TWO a week!

    They found that two of the most POPULAR strains are also among the most widely STUDIED:

    1. Lactobacillus rhamnosus in 146 studies
    2. Bifidobacterium animalis in 55 studies

    Now, I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that probiotics are the be-all, end-all for anything.

    But from what I’ve seen, they sure can help – and in a lot of ways.

    They get the most attention for conditions like gas, bloating, constipation and such… but they can also do so much more.

    There’s evidence they can PREVENT UTIsBOOST immune functionENHANCE mood and memory

    And even BLOCK colds and flu, which’ll no doubt come in handy as autumn returns.

    I’d recommend starting with a general full-spectrum blend for overall good health.

    However, if you have any specific issues you’re looking to control, talk to a naturopathic doc about the best option for you.

    In Your Corner,

    Dr. Allan Spreen

  2. New probiotics guidelines are a SMEAR campaign – to STOP you from taking them!

    They’re spittin’ mad now… steamed at YOU.

    The crime?

    You had the NERVE to take matters into your own handsPROTECT your own health… and TRY something they don’t like.

    Americans are turning to probiotics -- including some you can find in things like yogurt and sauerkraut (just don’t eat them together, blech) as well as from supplements.

    Good reason for it, too. Promising studies show these all-natural bacteria can help:

    • IMPROVE digestion
    • PREVENT antibiotic side effects
    • BOOST immune function
    • FIGHT OFF colds and flu
    • STOP urinary tract infections

    There’s even evidence some can help with moodmemory… and more.

    So yeah, the mainstream hates it because anytime YOU can improve yourself on your own… you don’t need THEM.

    And when you don’t need them… they lose dollars.

    That, my friend, is that REAL reason for a new report you may have just seen SLAMMING probiotics.

    Here’s the skinny behind their “sour grapes” mentality… and how to choose the right ones for the job.

    The trick to taking probiotics effectively

    The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) is out with new guidelines for taking probiotics

    And, their conclusion can be summed up in a word.

    DON’T!

    The new guidelines claim that for the MOST part… in MOST cases… MORE research is needed.

    And that’s just to figure out how SOME probiotics might do SOME things for SOME people SOME day.

    They claim probiotics MIGHT help prevent C. diff infection after antibiotics use… and MAY have some other specific and limited functions… but for now?

    Nahhhhhh.

    They say you should ONLY use them as part of a clinical trial!

    Here’s the REAL problem with probiotics, at least as far as the mainstream’s concerned…

    And it’s NOT that they DON’T work.

    It’s that they DO!

    Just realize that probiotics aren’t a “one size fits all” kind of therapy.

    There are many different bacterial species out there -- and they each can support your health in different ways.

    Not all of them fall under the jurisdiction of gastroenterology, either.

    So, if you’re looking for a specific benefit, you do have to break out the Google for a little investigative work.

    Here’s what ELSE the mainstream CAN’T STAND about probiotics…

    They’re also cheap and easy to get!

    That makes it just about impossible to keep people from TRYING them out… and SEEING the results for themselves.

    Now that the cat’s outta the bag, the AGA is busy doing damage control.

    They’re saying that new research can lead to “next-generation” probiotics -- and that THOSE are the ones you should wait for.

    Well, I know what that’s all about…

    I’d bet anything that the probiotics they’ll get behind will be OVERPRICED, PATENTED forms of the bacteria.

    Then, they can finally earn some coin selling them via prescription and at a massive markup. 

    Don’t give into this nonsense. If you’re interested in probiotics, go ahead and give them a shot.

    Just watch out for Big Food companies slapping a “WITH PROBIOTICS!” label on junk food in hopes of boosting sales.

    Either get them from a supplement or right from the source -- especially yogurt (just eat real, fresh yogurt and not the icky-sticky-gooey “fruit on the bottom” junk).

     

    In Your Corner,

    Dr. Allan Spreen

  3. Get off laxatives quickly and painlessly – probiotics regulate bowels

    I read a statistic recently that said at least 75 percent of men and women living in nursing homes take laxatives to regulate their bowels. This is a huge mistake. When you take a laxative on a regular basis, you can develop "colonic dysmotility." Translation? Your bowel stops doing its job. To be more specific, peristalsis stops. This is the wavelike motion your bowels perform to push waste out of your body. But once it stops, it‘s tough to get going again. So you take another laxative. It‘s a brutal cycle that many seniors fall into, even those living independently. Now here‘s the good news... Even if you take laxatives regularly, there is a way out. Israeli scientists found that men and women who take one natural agent significantly reduced their laxative use.

    Seniors let go of their laxatives

    For the study, researchers recruited 215 men and women ages 65 and over. They divided the seniors into two groups. One group took a probiotic containing billions of viable bacteria for 45 days. The other group took a placebo for 45 days. You can guess what happened. Laxative use decreased by 26 percent among the men and women taking probiotics (compared to the placebo group). The volunteers who suffered from diarrhea also saw improvement. In fact, theses folks reduced their episodes of diarrhea by 60 percent (compared to the placebo group). Clearly, probiotics can help regulate your bowels. Look for a capsule that contains billions of units of several different strains of helpful bacteria.
  4. The Secret Story behind the Hydroxycut Recalls

    The FDA loves a good fist fight with the supplement industry. It gives everyone the impression that they are the “good guys” out to protect the consumer against “dangerous” all-natural products. And earlier this month, the FDA struck a knock-out. The all-natural dietary supplement Hydroxycut has been voluntarily yanked off the market following reports of liver damage, including one person who needed a liver transplant, and one related death. Those are serious concerns, to be sure. But nevertheless, I’d like to put this whole fiasco into perspective.
    Comparing apples to oranges?
    Iovate Health Sciences Inc. made more than 750 different Hydroxycut products. They were used primarily to promote weight loss and used by body builders to refine muscle tone. Millions of consumers in more than 70 different countries used these products. Last year alone, Iovate sold more than 9 million boxes of the stuff. So Iovate Inc. has sold millions and millions of products. And they’ve been linked to 23 adverse events (such as elevated liver enzymes and jaundice) and 1 death over the last seven years. Am I missing something? I don’t mean to sound glib, but that just doesn’t sound like overwhelming evidence considering the amount of the stuff sold. So that got me wondering: How does Hydroxycut compare to popular prescription drugs? For example, what kind of “adverse events” get reported about an FDA-approved drug like Chantix (Varenicline)? Chantix is a prescription drug aimed at helping you quit smoking. It’s been on the market for three years and has been used by more than 6 million people. But according to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, there were 910 adverse events linked to Chantix in the second quarter of 2008 alone. What kinds of adverse events are we talking about? Well, as the ISMP report states, “From May 2006 through December 2007, the FDA received 227 domestic reports of suicidal acts, thoughts or behaviors, 397 cases of possible psychosis, and 525 reports of hostility or aggression. These totals included 28 cases of suicide and 41 mentions of homicidal ideation, 60 cases of paranoia, and 55 cases of hallucination.” In 2008, the Federal Aviation Administration had seen enough of Chantix. It banned airline pilots and air-traffic controllers from using the drug. And yet, with just 23 adverse events over a 7-year-period, the FDA urges consumers to discontinue use of Hydroxycut products “in order to avoid any undue risk.” Meanwhile, Chantix is still on the market. Go figure. And let us not forget about the dozens of prescription drugs the FDA has approved over the last 25 years that have gotten pulled from the market after raising serious safety concerns, including: Vioxx, Zelnorm, Bextra, and Baycol, just to name a few. Now, I’m not saying that Hydroxycut should stay on the market. I’d just like to keep the severity of the problem in perspective. Here’s what worries me most: For every Hydroxycut fiasco, the FDA inches another step closer to regulating supplements like drugs. And that’s not good news for anyone. Can you imagine having to go to the doctor to get a prescription for vitamin C or vitamin D for Pete’s sake? Here’s what I recommend… Taking another route all together
    In the wake of the Hydroxycut mess, you may want to consider a simpler, no-nonsense approach to weight loss that begins with a healthy diet full of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. You’ve also got to cut out the sugar and processed foods. You stick with that game plan and you’ll always come out ahead. I’m also a big believer -- as longtime Guide to Good Health readers know -- in the benefits of probiotics. These “good bacteria” (also known as intestinal flora) help regulate your digestion. Plus, Finnish scientists presented a study this month that suggests probiotics could help women manage their weight following pregnancy. In fact, researchers found that probiotic supplements containing Lactobacillus LGG and Bifidobacterium lactis were associated with a healthy BMI. Here are the study details… During the study, 256 women were randomly divided into three groups during the first trimester of pregnancy: 1. Women receiving dietary counseling and a daily probiotic 2. Women receiving dietary counseling and a placebo 3. Women receiving no dietary counseling and a placebo The regimen for each group continued throughout their pregnancy until the women stopped breastfeeding their newborns. Researchers then reevaluated the women’s weight and waist circumference after they stopped breastfeeding. So how did the women do? Researcher Kirsi Laitinen from the University of Turku in Finland told Nutraingredients-USA.com: “The women who got the probiotics fared best. One year after childbirth, they had the lowest body fat percentage." Plus -- the average body fat percentage was 28 percent in the probiotic group. The dietary counseling group had an average of 29 percent body fat. And the control group -- who received no dietary advice or probiotic supplementation -- had an average of 30 percent body fat. What I found most encouraging is that fewer women who took the daily probiotic ended up carrying fat around their midsections. In fact, 18 percent fewer in the probiotic group compared to 15 percent in the control group!
    More about probiotics
    The Finnish study is great first step in the right direction. I’d like to see many more studies down the road exploring the relationship between weight and probiotic use. For example, how do men over 55 do? And what about post-menopausal women? Do they all lose fat in their midsection too? We all know the U.S. isn’t the most health conscious of countries. But it does lead the way in developing new probiotic food products, such as cheese and yogurt products containing live cultures. But many yogurt products on the market today contain only 2 strains of healthy bacteria. Plus -- many only contain about 100 million active cultures of bacteria per serving at the time of production. Sure -- that sounds like a lot of bacteria, I know. But, ideally you should get billions of units per day. (It‘s a case where more usually is better and the risk of toxicity is virtually nil.) NorthStar Nutritionals makes a probiotic supplement called “Healthy Gut” that contains 21 billion active cultures in every capsule. While we don’t know whether it’s effective for weight management, we do know that it improves regularity and promotes healthy digestion In the meantime, help manage your weight with a healthy diet.
  5. Tis the season of antibiotics

    Happy 2009 everyone! The good news for ‘bah, humbugs’ like me is that the holidays are over. The bad news…it’s officially cold and flu season. So I figured I’d start out the year with a serious warning about antibiotics. New evidence links antibiotics to significant risk of liver failure. In fact, researchers at the University of Indiana found that just one course of antibiotics can cause serious damage to the liver, [including] hepatitis, and even death. So what should you do when…
    Your head starts to pound, your nose gets blocked up like Fort Knox, and coughing keeps you up at night?
    After a week of sleepless nights and groggy days, many of us head to the doctor and say ‘it’s been over a week…just give me an antibiotic.’ But if your doc’s got any sense, he’ll send you right back home to a cup of lemon tea and lots of rest. That’s because the common cold, the flu, and even most cases of bronchitis are caused by viruses, not bacteria. And an antibiotic won’t do a lick of good. Here’s one last word about viruses…
    Getting over a cold, bronchitis, or the flu can take up to two full weeks
    Give your body enough time to heal. Just because you’re going on day 10 and you’ve still got a cough, doesn’t mean you have an infection. If you’ve got a particularly nasty cold, reach for some extra vitamin C (at least 2,000 mg per day) and grapefruit seed extract. These have been proven to keep viruses and even some bacterial infections at bay.
    On the other hand, there may be times when you have no other choice but to treat an infection with an antibiotic. If this is the case, just be sure to proceed with caution.

    Antibiotics are non-selective in their elimination of bacteria in your digestive tract. That means…

    Yes, they kill the harmful bacteria causing your bladder infection, but they also kill the ‘friendly’ bacteria in your digestive tract as well. This puts you at risk for:
    • Cramping, indigestion, or abdominal pain
    • Diarrhea (caused by the lack of ‘good’ bacteria in your gut)
    • Increased vaginal yeast infections in women (caused by killing off the ‘Doderlein’s bacilli’ in the vagina that normally keep yeast in check)
    • Antibiotic tolerance (needing longer treatment courses with each infection)
    • Impaired digestion of nutrients
    • Suppressed immune system
    • Possible increased risk of breast cancer (University of Washington researchers linked high antibiotic use and breast cancer in a study of 10,000 women.)
    Plus, new evidence shows that taking an antibiotic puts you at serious risk of liver failure.
    Some of the most clear-cut risks to the liver involve patients taking Nydrazid or Laniazid to treat latent tuberculosis. Other common antibiotics used to treat urinary tract infections also seem especially apt to cause liver problems. Even Augmentin — commonly used to treat ear infections in children — we now know has been linked to liver damage.
    The next time you think about running to the doctor to get an antibiotic for bronchitis, remember this…
    Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine looked at 100 patients with drug-induced liver injury (DILI). This means that normally healthy people experienced liver damage simply by taking a drug. They discovered that antibiotics, by far, caused more DILI than any other type of drug (45 percent) with the exclusion of acetaminophen. Sure, DILI is a fairly rare condition. It accounts for only about 13 percent of all the cases of liver failure in the United States. But it’s the most deadly. While many causes of liver failure are reversible, if you experience DILI, it’s pretty much a death sentence. With that dire warning in mind, here are some warning signs to watch out for if you are currently taking or have recently taken an antibiotic and are concerned about liver failure:
    • Lack of appetite
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Unusual itching
    • Muscle or joint aches
    • Jaundice or yellowing of the eyes and skin (this is often one of the last symptoms)
    Sure, these symptoms sound kind of vague and could be attributed to lots of different ailments. But if you’ve recently been on an antibiotic, make sure to keep an eye out. If you notice any worsening of these symptoms over a period of hours or days, make sure to see your doctor right away. Now, don’t get me wrong…
    Antibiotics have saved more lives than any other type of drug. And if you have a proven infection, you’ve got to take one.
    If that’s the case, there are a few things you can do to help offset the havoc antibiotics will wreak in your gut. 1. I recommend taking a probiotic during antibiotic treatment and for a week following treatment (in fact, you should take them year round to help keep digestive tract healthy). I recommend L. acidophilus in a capsule or powder. You can even find these in Walmart nowadays. Get the strongest dosage possible (in the billions of units or CFSs). You’ll also want to make sure to take these supplements before meals and at bedtime. And don’t worry…you can’t overdose of probiotics. Any unused amounts are just flushed out of your system. 2. As a general rule, you’ll want to limit sugar and high-yeast foods like bread, beer, wine, and refined sugar products. This will help clear the infection and make you less prone to a recurrence. 3. Take a good look at the book The Yeast Connection Handbook, by William Crook, M.D. It’s an excellent resource for anyone prone to chronic infections. Here’s a link to his book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0757000606 As always, the best medicine is prevention. So take care to prevent infections with good health 365 days of the year. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2009!

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