The Good Bugs

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When Little Miss Muffet sat connected her tuffet eating her curds and whey, she whitethorn person been doing much than filling her tummy.

"Curds" is an aged connection for yogurt, and grounds is mounting that immoderate of nan germs contained successful yogurt tin forestall and dainty diarrhea. They whitethorn besides easiness different ailments of nan intestinal tract, and immoderate researchers now advocator utilizing these beneficial germs -- "probiotics" -- arsenic medicine.

"They're not arsenic tried and existent arsenic Pepto Bismol," says Gary Elmer, Ph.D., a professor of aesculapian chemistry astatine nan University of Washington. "But probiotics are worthy a try."

The digestive tract is location to much than 400 type of bacteria. Researchers judge that astatine slightest immoderate of these autochthonal bugs crowd retired invading organisms that origin illness, by utilizing resources that nan bad bugs request and producing chemicals that termination them. Eat much of nan adjuvant bacteria, nan mentation goes, and you tin stave disconnected tummy problems.

"It seems to activity pinch nan body's earthy defenses to forestall nan overgrowth of a bad bug," says Sherwood Gorbach, M.D., a professor of organization wellness and medicine astatine Tufts University successful Boston.

Bacteria arsenic Medicine

Gorbach discovered Lactobacillus GG, 1 of nan astir thoroughly studied probiotics. Research shows it importantly cuts nan complaint of galore types of diarrhea, peculiarly nan type that develops aft a personification has taken a people of antibiotics. The narcotics often swipe retired each bacterium successful their path, bully and bad, altering nan earthy equilibrium of nan digestive tract.

Lactobacillus GG is 1 of a fistful of probiotic germs strains disposable complete nan antagonistic successful capsule form. It soon whitethorn beryllium disposable successful yogurt.

Don't Count connected Yogurt

Raw aliases unpasteurized yogurt -- Miss Muffet's curds -- is loaded pinch bacteria. But astir commercialized yogurt is pasteurized, a process that kills bacteria. Though a fewer investigators person recovered committedness successful pasteurized yogurt pinch unrecorded germs added, astir investigation has focused connected capsules containing circumstantial strains of bacteria. "It is mostly agreed that a probiotic must beryllium tin of colonizing nan intestinal tract to power quality health," says Gorbach. "This request disqualifies galore of nan strains presently utilized successful fermented dairy products."

If you person diarrhea, are astir to return antibiotics, aliases scheme to recreation to a processing country, advocates opportunity there's nary harm successful trying probiotics. "I wouldn't hesitate astatine all," says Gorbach. "There's nary downside." But to debar harm to your wallet, take supplements containing germs that person been shown to person affirmative results. In summation to Lactobacillus GG, these see Lactobacillus johnsoni, Lactobacillus reuteri, and Bifidobacterium.

Published February 10, 2000

Source Healthy Living
Healthy Living