Probiotics For Digestive Health | Barron Report

Date: 02/18/2018    Written by: Jon Barron

The Probiotic Miracle

When you are healthy, over 100 trillion microorganisms, from some 400 different species, flourish in your intestinal tract, aiding in digestion, absorption, and the production of significant amounts of B vitamins and enzymes. But more importantly, they crowd out all harmful bacteria -- allowing them no place to gain a foothold.

Probiotics from Baseline Nutritionals

Unfortunately, the levels of beneficial bacteria decline dramatically as the human body ages. Some of the reasons for this decline include:

  • Over time, the colonies of friendly bacteria just naturally age and lose their vitality.
  • Disruptions and changes in the acid/alkaline balance of the bowels can play a major role in reducing the growth of beneficial bacteria. In addition, these changes tend to favor the growth of harmful viral and fungal organisms as well as putrefactive, disease-causing bacteria.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like Advil, Motrin, Midol, etc. are destructive to intestinal flora.
  • Chlorine in the drinking water not only serves to kill bacteria in the water; it is equally devastating to the colonies of beneficial bacteria living in the intestines.
  • Radiation and chemotherapy are devastating to your inner bacterial environment.
  • Virtually all meat and chicken and dairy that you eat (other than organic) is loaded with antibiotics, which destroy ALL of the beneficial bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract.
  • A diet high in meats and fats, because they take so long to break down in the human body, promotes the growth of the harmful, putrefying bacteria.
  • Constipation, of course, allows harmful bacteria to hang around longer, which allows them to proliferate.
  • Cigarettes, alcohol, and stress are also major culprits -- as are some antibiotic herbs, such as goldenseal (if taken in sufficient quantity).
  • And if you've ever been subjected to a round of "medicinal" antibiotics, you can kiss your beneficial bacteria good-bye. The problem is that antibiotics indiscriminately destroy both bad and GOOD bacteria -- allowing virulent, mutant strains of harmful microorganisms to emerge and run rampant inside the body. Antibiotics (both medicinal and in our food supply) are the #1 culprit in the overgrowth of HARMFUL pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract (a condition called dysbiosis) that may be at the root of many autoimmune disorders and certain cancers.

The Bottom Line to Strengthen Your Immune System

A properly functioning intestinal tract is one of your body's first lines of defense against invaders and a healthy immune system. In a healthy colon there are, on average, anywhere from 100 billion to 1,000 billion beneficial bacteria per milliliter (about 1/5 of a teaspoon) that literally consume harmful bacteria and other invaders. In the typical American, because of poor diet and neglect of the colon, the beneficial bacteria count may be as low as 4 or 5 per milliliter. Just compare 1,000 billion to 4, and you'll have an understanding of the scope of the problem. Many researchers now believe that declining levels of friendly bacteria in the intestinal tract may actually mark the onset of chronic degenerative disease and a suppressed immune system. Our goal is to strengthen the immune system.

The Benefits of a Healthy Intestinal Tract

The benefits of a probiotically optimized intestinal tract include:

  • Lowered cholesterol
  • Inhibition of cancer
  • Protection against food poisoning
  • Protection against stomach ulcers
  • Protection against lactose intolerance and casein intolerance
  • Enhanced immunity
  • Protection against many harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi
  • Protection against candida overgrowth and vaginal yeast infections
  • Prevention and correction of constipation and diarrhea, ileitis and colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and a whole range of other digestive tract dysfunctions
  • Improvement in the health and appearance of the skin
  • Better nutrition from improved absorption and the internal generation of B vitamins.
  • Protection against vaginosis and yeast infections

A Key to Good Health: Probiotics

There can be no true health or recovery from disease unless you have colonies of over 100 trillion beneficial microorganisms flourishing in your intestinal tract, from your mouth to your anus, aiding in digestion, absorption, the production of significant amounts of vitamins and enzymes, and working to crowd out all harmful bacteria -- allowing them no place to gain a foothold. SUPPLEMENTATION WITH A GOOD PROBIOTIC IS MANDATORY TO RAISE YOUR BASELINE OF HEALTH AND STRENGTHEN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM.

Probiotic Benefits: The Best Formulas

A good probiotic formula is absolutely essential for long-term intestinal health, and long-term parasite control. When choosing a probiotic, look for the following characteristics:

  • Not all strains of beneficial bacteria are created equal. For each type of bacteria, there are recognized super strains. Choose a formula that uses only recognized super strains of beneficial bacteria -- clearly identified as such on the label or in the company literature.
  • Make sure the probiotic formula you choose includes the all-important supernatant -- the medium the culture was grown in. The supernatant, contains a multitude of beneficial byproducts of the growth process, including: vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants, and immune boosters.
  • Then there's the question of how many live microorganisms are left in your formula when you actually use it. Pick up any probiotic formula, look at the label, and you'll see something like: "Contains 13 billion live organisms per capsule at time of manufacture." And that's the problem: "at time of manufacture."

    The die-off rate for probiotics can be astounding. Most formulas will experience a die-off approaching log 3 within just 60 days of manufacture. That means that the 13 billion you see on the label may be down to 13 million, or less, by the time you use it. Heat and moisture accelerate the process, which is why most manufacturers recommend keeping your probiotic supply refrigerated.

There are many beneficial bacteria that can be contained in a good probiotic, but two are preeminent. To maximize the probiotic benefits, look for a formula based on these two:

  • L. acidophilus resides primarily in the small intestine and produces a number of powerful antimicrobial compounds in the gut (including: acidolin, acidolphilin, lactocidin, and bacteriocin). These compounds can inhibit the growth and toxin producing capabilities of some 23 known disease-causing pathogens (including: campylobacter, listeria, and staphylococci), as well as reduce tumor growth and effectively neutralize or inhibit carcinogenic substances.

    It's also important to note that L. acidophilus is the primary beneficia bacteria in the vaginal tract. When the presence of the acidophilus is compromised, this allows the bad guys such as Gardnerella vaginalis or E. coli or Chlamydia to take over.
  • Many researchers believe that declining levels of bifidobacteria in the large intestine actually mark the eventual onset of chronic degenerative disease. Bifidobacteria benefit the body in a number of ways. They consume old fecal matter, have the ability to remove cancer-forming elements (or the enzymes which lead to their formation), and protect against the formation of liver, colon, and mammary gland tumors.

More is not always better. Too many beneficial bacteria in one formula may find the bacteria competing with each other before they can establish themselves in separate areas of the intestinal tract. On the other hand, there are several other bacteria that are extremely beneficial in any probiotic formula.

  • L salivarius helps digest foods for a healthy intestinal tract and makes vital nutrients more assimilable. It also works to eat away encrusted fecal matter throughout the entire colon; it helps repair the intestinal tract by providing needed enzymes and essential nutrients; and it adheres to the intestinal wall, thereby forming a living matrix that helps protect the mucosal lining.
  • L. rhamnosus is powerful for immune system support. It can increase the natural killing activity of spleen cells, which may help to prevent tumor formation. It boosts the ability of the body to destroy foreign invaders and other harmful matter by three times normal activity; and has been shown to increase circulating antibody levels by six to eight times.
  • L. plantarum has the ability to eliminate thousands of species of pathogenic bacteria. It also as extremely high adherence potential for epithelial tissue and seems to favor colonizing the same areas of the intestinal tract that E. coli prefers -- in effect, serving to crowd E. coli out of the body. At one time, plantarum was a major part of our diets (found in sourdough bread, sauerkraut, etc.), but is now virtually nowhere to be found.
  • Note: a good probiotic formulation will usually contain fructooligosaccharides (FOS) which help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria. For some friendly bacteria, such as the Bifidus, FOS can increase their effectiveness by a factor of 1,000 times or more!!

Guidelines For Taking Probiotics

One final note: start slowly. When you first start using a probiotic supplement, there is a chance that you will precipitate a die-off of bad bacteria in your intestinal tract. This can lead to gas, stomach rumblings, and cramping for up to three weeks.

Still interested in more information on probiotic benefits? Review the following Newsletters:


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    Submitted by Susan on
    September 5, 2016 - 9:41pm

    I am a 62 yr. old woman, formally diagnosed with primary Sjogren's Syndrome (autoimmune disorder). My opthamologist is quite insistent that I take 100 mg. doxycycline, on a daily basis, to reduce corneal inflammation. He wants me to take this antibiotic for the rest of my life! Initially, I did NOT take any probiotics. One month after I started the medication, I developed a full-blown yeast infection. Once the infection cleared up and I restarted the antibiotics, I started taking probiotics. Now, in spite of my eye doctor's protests, I'm only taking the doxycycline every other day. My question is: How many BILLION of probiotic supplements should I take each day? (When asked, my eye doc said that he had no idea.) I buy a product that recommends a daily dosage of 20 billion probiotics per day.

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    September 7, 2016 - 1:58pm

    Ah, if only it were that simple. I recommend to read this article again, especially the last part.  Note where he says "More is not always better. Too many beneficial bacteria in one formula may find the bacteria competing with each other before they can establish themselves in separate areas of the intestinal tract. On the other hand, there are several other bacteria that are extremely beneficial in any probiotic formula...."  and then he lists them.  Make sure you have multiple strains in full dosage amounts.  

    Submitted by Wesley on
    October 7, 2016 - 1:06am

    Can any particular probiotic strains interfere with certain enzymes (or vice versa), if dosages are taken simultaneously?

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    October 15, 2016 - 1:25pm

    If you’re talking about the enzymes and probiotics typically found in supplements, then no, there is no problem. Enzymes and probiotics are two different supplements that can be taken together to support digestion and address different digestive issues.  Friendly bacteria (probiotics) and enzymes are both located in the digestive tract. In fact, healthy bacteria in our body produce certain enzymes to assist with digestion. Sometimes supplementation of both enzymes and friendly bacteria are needed to provide optimal digestion and intestinal wellbeing.  For example, during times of stress and illness, enzymes and friendly bacteria are reduced in the body.  Bottom line: the combination of standard supplemental enzymes and probiotics is a safe approach for digestive care.

    Submitted by Sam jones on
    May 16, 2017 - 2:30pm
    Essex ,

    The last paragraph! That is what ive been experiencing since a few days after i stopped taking antibiotics. I was getting worried thinking this cant be normal and read a lot of people saying theyve had to learn to live with ibs symptoms where they have to run for the bathroom and are scared to leave the house! I had runny stools with werd toxic coloured liquid around it whilst taking antibiotics and soon after i finished them had a lot of gas and a few times constipation at the same time, causing major bloating that stretches my still open wound from where they took out my Appendix which had ruptured. I was on 2 iv antibiotics a couple times a day for the time i was in hospital, after surgery, (4 days) and 2 different antibitotics or a week afterwards. During aking the antibiotics i had the liquid toxic coloured bowel movements, but a couple days after finishing those my gut has been producing more gas and have been experiencing conatipation most of the time, which is uncomfortable being so skinny as im quite easily bloated, which can happen quite extremely if my guts prosucing a lot of gas, which verges on pain, especially wince the 6 inch wound ia still healing from the surgery.
    ... I digressed and repeated myself i think. But anyway, that laat paragraph makes me think ill wait a few weeks because im not experiencing te prolonged severe ibs symptoms some iseem to experince, so hopwfullymy good bacteria arent completely shot and are making a comeback.. Been taking probiotic twice a day but will look into atrain probiotica pills to get more past the atomach acid but that last paragraph has given me a more positive outlook

    Submitted by Sam jones on
    May 18, 2017 - 7:56am

    Excuse my bad typing at the end there, i was rushing an typing on a touchscreen phone.. Ive been taking actimel probiotic yoghurts a couple times a day but if my bowels continue to act strangely for more than a couple more weeks ill be getting some multi strain probiotic capsules i think.
    An update on my symptoms, gas production has subsided the past couple days but conatipation has continued but has been less the past 24hours, even turned runny at one point. Have read about 'bowel adhesiona' though and hoping nothing like that is causing the odd bowel activity..

    Submitted by durbandon on
    February 19, 2018 - 8:09am
    Durban ,

    I found this most interesting. I regularly eat yogurt because I was under the impression that it would cause cause the growth of intestinal bacteria that produce B vitamins.(I realize the cheap ones are pasteurized.) I have always considered doctors who prescribe antibiotics negligent for not prescribing B vitamin supplements. I am now 82 years old and that includes all the doctors that have ever given me an antibiotic. I noticed you did not mention B vitamins in your article. Am I wrong?

    Submitted by Iris Antin on
    February 20, 2018 - 4:44pm
    SILVER SPRING , Maryland

    How do you feel about using homemade kiefer?

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    February 22, 2018 - 5:33pm

    Each batch will be different, but generally you will get some healthy strains of bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Streptococcus thermophilus in homemade kiefer, but you just won't get the others listed in this article.

    Submitted by Mallory Arnold on
    September 11, 2018 - 4:46am
    East sussex, England ,

    I have been making Kefir with live grains and fresh organic unhomogenized whole milk for over a year now, to try and improve gut flora as I suffer from IBS. I restrict sugar and wheat products and processed food where possible, and the cramping has gone, bowel movements are normal, but still lots of gas!Also, at approx. 20 pounds overweight, my weight loss efforts seem to have stalled, which is the opposite effect I expected from the kefir regime. I use the 5-2 method and lost 10lbs last year as a result, all of which I have regained since starting the kefir. Should I abandon the kefir or is it of benefit in other ways?

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    September 11, 2018 - 5:50pm

    See our answer about Kefir in the above comment.  Thanks!


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