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Build Up Your Immunity with Probiotics
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|Build Up Your Immunity with Probiotics
Probiotic bacteria favorably alter the intestinal microflora
balance, inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, promote good
digestion, boost immune function, and increase resistance to infection.
People with flourishing intestinal colonies of beneficial bacteria are
better equipped to fight the growth of disease-causing bacteria.
Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria maintain a healthy balance of
intestinal flora by producing organic compounds—such as lactic acid,
hydrogen peroxide, and acetic acid—that increase the acidity of the
intestine and inhibit the reproduction of many harmful bacteria.
Probiotic bacteria also produce substances called bacteriocins, which
act as natural antibiotics to kill undesirable microorganisms.
Where are they found?
bacteria present in fermented dairy foods—namely live culture
yogurt—have been used as a folk remedy for hundreds, if not thousands,
of years. Yogurt is the traditional source of beneficial bacteria.
However, different brands of yogurt can vary greatly in their bacteria
strain and potency. Some (particularly frozen) yogurts do not contain
any live bacteria. Supplements in powder, liquid extract, capsule, or
tablet form containing beneficial bacteria are other sources of
How much is usually taken?
amount of probiotics necessary to replenish the intestine varies
according to the extent of microbial depletion and the presence of
harmful bacteria. One to two billion colony forming units (CFUs) per
day of acidophilus is considered to be the minimum amount for the
healthy maintenance of intestinal microflora. Some Saccharomyces boulardii research has used 500 mg taken four times per day.