The Power of Probiotics

Why Probiotics?

Where are Probiotics?

Which Probiotics are Best for Me?

Probiotics are living microorganisms which provide extraordinary health benefits by competing with harmful microbes and by boosting the immune system.

Probiotics live naturally in many fermented foods such as yogurt, aged cheeses, kimchi and pickles. When targeting a specific illness, a probiotic supplement may be more effective.

Different probiotic strains have been sucessfully deployed in allergies, eczema, immune disorders, acute and chronic infections, irritable bowel, hypertension, high cholesterol and in preventing some cancers. Arthritis, autism, cystic fibrosis and obesity are among the exciting new areas of research where probiotics are proving beneficial.

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Mission Statement

Our mission: be healthy in body, mind and spirit. And with the help of our growing knowledge of probiotics- the amazing microbes within - more of us and our children and their children will enjoy the pleasures of great health.

Why probiotics, you may ask. Why lavish so much time and attention on a bunch of bugs--though they are beautiful--ones most people don’t even know exist?

Well, for one, probiotics probably saved my father's life. Here's the story

Probiotics in the News

Probiotics under the Microscope

Research on probiotics is streaming in at a fast pace thanks to foundation grants and industry money. Every day, pieces of information add to this exciting wing of microbiology: Some studies will come up short while others will show great promise for a particular strain of bacteria in a very specific disease. All the research, all the time--that's what you'll find in this section.

April 7, 2014

Probiotics Role in Colic Disputed

In a recent study with 167 infants, a strain of L reuteri showed no benefit over placebo in breastfed infants and formula fed infants with colic. These findings which appear here in the British Medical journal differ from smaller trials gaining traction where recommendations support probiotic use to calm a colicky baby.

March 10, 2014

Startups for the Probiotic Sector

Strains of lactobacillus were taken from kimchee and used as starters for yogurt. Two of the strains L. plantarum SY11 and L. plantarum SY12 held up well to acidity similar to gastric acid as well as to an artificial bile acid. In addition they were resistant to antibiotics and showed strong attachment to intestinal walls. Read more here in Food Science and Technology.

March 1, 2014

Probiotic Policy Updates

Major advances in probiotics research over the past decade are starting to yield results in the shape of informed recommendations. A group of key researchers in the field led by Mary Ellen Sanders published a paper outlining these truths which include a call for greater awareness from policy makers and fewer regulatory roadblocks. Read more here in Annals of the New York Academy of Science.

February 9, 2014

Breast Still Best

Breast milk is teeming with nutrients,immune compounds and good bacteria. Infant formula companies are rushing to add probiotics to their recipes for the best health of baby.Which bacteria are optimum is still a question and further research may get bottle formula closer to the real thing. Read more here in Current Opinion in Biotechnology.

January 27, 2014

Autism Talks Back

Alessio Fasano, director of the Mucosal Biology and Immunology Research Center and the Center for Celiac Research at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, wrote an excellent article a while back titled "Guidance on Probiotics." In it, he discusses how recent research on rodent studies on probiotic assist with autism plays out for humans. Read the article here on the AutismSpeaks website.

January 6, 2014

Probiotics Linked to Obesity

Microbes influence energy metabolism. The precise mechanisms are being clarified. One recent study from Korea found that probiotics may interfere with endotoxin levels, thus lessening the dysbiosis associated with obesity. Read the abstract in Clinical Nutrition.

December 28, 2013

Autism Changes Improved with Probiotics

A fascinating new study suggests that core behavioral changes in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be corrected by probiotic bacteria. The repair appears to work via the gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction which is linked to ASD. Read more here in Cell or from California Institute of Technology.

December 11, 2013

Probiotics Improve Immune Markers

Sajida H Ismail at Baghdad University in Iraq wondered if probiotic supplementation would affect immunological signposts in adult males with type 2 diabetes. The scientist found beneficial changes including elevation of lymphocytes, RBC count and Hb concentration in Type 2 diabetic patients. "These results suggest presence of a higher state of immunologic alertness, and that probiotics could, in the future, be utilized together with the routine anti- diabetic therapy." Read the paper here...

November 29, 2013

Probiotics in Beans

When we think helpful bacteria we usually concentrate in the dairy section of the supermarket: yogurt, kefir, buttermilk and the like.
But Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium Bifidobacterium sp and Lactobacillus sp were found in seeds of lentils, peanuts and mung beans. Colony count was observed by researchers at Amity University in India. The authors concluded that germination may be a way to enhance strains of bacteria in the gut. Read more here..

November 9, 2013

Probiotic Action in Anxiety Depends on Diet

A Western-style diet high in fat and refined sugar increased anxiety-like behavior and decreased memory function in mice with underlying low grade inflammation. Adding a probiotic, L. helveticus changed gut morphology and host behavior but were dependent on on the diet of the mouse and gut inflammatory state. The combination of a western
diet plus L. helveticus in healthy individuals may actually
increase anxiety and stress markers. Read more about this interesting work from Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology, University of Alberta in Canada.

October 22, 2013

Legal Matters

Probiotic products are of great interest to commercial parties as well as to pure scientific research. Regulatory powers and manufacturers have their hands full as new products come to market. Find out how this process takes place and different considerations involved. Read more here in Science.

October 14, 2013

Probiotics in Type 2 Diabetes

Microbiota associated with chronic inflammation can contribute to the onset of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). This review summarizes the current knowledge concerning the altered microbiota in pathogenesis of T2DM and relationship with its related complications, and points to potential intervention strategies. Read more in Food Science and Human Wellness.

October 8, 2013

Italian Cheese Gets Even Better

Fiordilatte cheese was treated with with an edible sodium alginate coating as carrier of probiotic (Lactobacillus rhamnosus) and prebiotic fructo-oligosaccharides substances (FOS). Results showed lactic acid bacteria survived during tested storage and that there was a slight microbial effect against Pseudomonas spp. and Enterobacteriaceae that improved the final taste of the product and prolonged its shelf life.
Read more in Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies.

September 29, 2013

Probiotics in Obesity

Antibiotics and probiotics modify the gut microbiota and this depends on the strain. In human beings, as in animals, specific probiotics are associated with weight gain or loss. Improved understanding of the ability of specific probiotics to harvest energy from the host diet might lead to development of new treatments for obesity and malnutrition. Read more in Lancet Infectious Diseases... .

September 17, 2013

Share the Health

A new study in Science reveals how human microbiota can change the phenotype of germ-free mice. Twins with discordant obesity donated microbiota and mice with the lean microbes prevented the higher body mass in room mates with an obese twin's microbiota.

September 9, 2013

More News on Probiotics in IBS

In irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nearly 35% contract it after an infection of the gut. It appears then that bacteria are implicated.How probiotics treat those symptoms runs the gamut from restoring balance to correction of lactose intolerance to local changes in the immune system and more. Read this excellent review from Valencia, Spain here.

September 2, 2013

Probiotics in GI Cancers

Some gastrointestinal (GI)cancers may be one day be prevented and eventually treated with the help of gut microbiota. This paper reviews knowledge of the involvement of gut microbiota in GI tumorigenesis, including its underlying mechanisms. Read more about some of the fascinating literature to date in Cancer Letters from Romania.

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