Probiotic Complex Benefits
Probiotics have been used to enhance human health for hundreds of years. Even before people knew what the human microbiome was, they were using beneficial microorganisms to ferment the foods they ate. Now that we know the benefits, we understand how important it is to keep our gut flora healthy and in numbers that are adequate to maximize this mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship.
The term “gut-brain axis” refers to the communication and coordination that occurs between the ENS and the CNS. Gut flora is involved in this process as well because it plays a role in the biochemical signaling of the axis. A healthy community of microbiota is vital to the proper functioning of the gut-brain axis. Inadequate gut flora has been linked to both an inability to function well during times of stress and several neurological disorders. For this reason, many probiotics are also considered to be nootropics, or cognitive enhancers, as well.
Lactobacillus acidophilus –
- Lactobacillus acidophilus – The most frequently used probiotic, this microbe has many uses. It is used to treat lactose intolerance and high cholesterol. It can also relieve abdominal bloating and gas and promote the production of vitamin K. It is efficient at competitive inhibition because of its ability to produce both lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide, which creates an uninhabitable environment for unhealthy microorganisms.
Lactobacillus plantarum –
- Lactobacillus plantarum – This species has one of the biggest known genomes of lactic acid bacteria, which makes it an extremely versatile and flexible microorganism. It is also unique in that it makes antibiotics that can selectively target unhealthy bacteria. It also makes lysine, which is an essential amino acid that humans need to get from their diets because they’re unable to make it.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus – L. rhamnosus
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus – Unlike the others, this bacterium is a transient instead of a resident human microbiota. This means that once consumed, it conveys its benefits on its human host as it’s passing through the digestive tract, but it doesn’t attach to a mucous membrane and colonize the gut. It is eliminated along with the food that is eaten with it. L. rhamnosus can fight urinary tract and respiratory infections as well as reducing anxiety.
Bifidobacterium breve –
- Bifidobacterium breve – This anaerobic bacterium is a member of the genus that is the most abundantly found in the lower intestines of breastfed babies. This species is believed to be involved in their early immunity. All ages benefit from its abilities to bind strongly to the mucous membranes of the lower intestine and colon and to help treat ulcerative colitis.
Lactobacillus salivarius –
- Lactobacillus salivarius – This bacterium is particularly useful at eliminating harmful bacteria that can migrate out of the gastrointestinal tract and attack other systems of the body, as occurs with pancreatic necrosis. This migration, which is referred to as translocation, happens when an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the small intestine allows them to seep out and invade elsewhere.
Bifidobacterium lactis –
- Bifidobacterium lactis – This is one of the most adaptable hardest working probiotic microorganisms in the human body. It is a lactic acid bacterium that can fight lactose intolerance as well as boosting the function of the immune system. It is one of the microorganisms used in treating ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
Lactobacillus casei –
- Lactobacillus casei – Found in both the mouth and intestines, this bacterium can tolerate a wide range in both pH and temperature. It is often given with Lactobacillus acidophilus, which benefits from its presence. It is known to increase immunity, reduce allergies, improve cholesterol, and improve digestion. It is often used in the fermentation of foods.
Lactobacillus paracasei –
- Lactobacillus paracasei – Commonly used in fermenting milk products, this lactic acid bacterium is known for boosting immunity, digestion, and energy levels. It also helps to relieve constipation and may decrease insulin resistance. Eight different strains of this bacterium are found in the human microbiome.
Streptococcus thermophilus –
- Streptococcus thermophilus – This lactic acid bacterium is used widely in the dairy industry, and has been used to make yogurt since the early 1900’s. It is believed to aid in the prevention of such infections as C. diff colitis and pneumonia. It also may improve allergies, cholesterol, and cardiovascular health.
Bifidobacterium longum –
- Bifidobacterium longum – This microorganism is found in greatest numbers in the lowest end of the gastrointestinal tract. It is considered one of the most important members of the human microbiome because it performs several functions. It keeps the digestive tract healthy by keeping out unhealthy microbes. It also helps optimize liver function, helps reduce cholesterol, and contributes to the body’s immune function.
Probiotic Complex Dosage
Take 1-3 capsules per day with water, preferably on a empty stomach. Start with 1 capsule per day to start and gradually increase.
Probiotic Complex Mode of Action
Most species of human microbiota are members of a genus called Lactobacillus, which produce lactic acid and can survive in a low pH environment. However, their preferred pH level, 4.5, is less acidic than the stomach, which tends to range between 1.5 and 3.5. When taking probiotics of this genus therapeutically, their ability to survive digestion can be enhanced by taking them with sugar, which can be added to the supplement, during production, or the diet. These microorganisms live mostly in the digestive, urinary, and genital systems.
Unlike drugs, probiotics don’t have a half-life because they are living organisms that will continue to be effective as long as they are living and stay within the body. While some find an environment that is particularly suited to their survival and stick around, functioning and replicating, others merely pass through the digestive tract, conferring their benefits as they go. Our bodies host hundreds of trillions of bacteria, so it would be very difficult to overdose on probiotics. However, if you consume more microbiota than your body can support then they may not survive.
Probiotic Complex Side Effects & Toxicity
Increased gas or bloating might occur while taking probiotics.
Before beginning a new treatment, make sure the consulting practitioner has your complete medical history, particularly regarding allergies. Before taking probiotics, talk to your practitioner if you have diarrhea lasting more than a couple of days, recurring vaginal infections, a weakened immune system, or recurring UTI’s.
Probiotic Complex Research
Inflammation can be a big problem in the body and is a contributing factor in many health concerns. Allergies, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and autoimmune disorders all include it as one of their main symptoms. Research has shown the ability of probiotics to regulate the function of cytokines, which are involved in the initiation of inflammation, demonstrates that they can be of great use in treating a wide variety of inflammatory diseases.
There are several factors believed to lead to irritable bowel syndrome. These include bacterial overgrowth, inflammation, and imbalance within the brain-gut axis. Much research into probiotics as a treatment for this has been conducted due to their known influence in these areas. Research has shown probiotic supplements have shown improvement in these symptoms, particularly those in the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium genera.