Other Enemies to Beneficial Bacteria
Antibiotics are not the only threat to beneficial bacteria. Other factors that can deplete beneficial bacteria levels include poor diet, stress, disease, food allergies and sensitivities, high levels of toxins, too much sugar or refined carbohydrates, alcohol abuse and tobacco use. When attempting to restore a healthy balance of intestinal flora, consider how these factors apply to you and take action to address them. Manage stress, cut back on refined carbohydrates and get tested for food allergies. Even simple changes can have a profound effect on your gastrointestinal health and overall well-being.
Which Bacteria Are Most Beneficial?
Hundreds of species of bacteria inhabit the body, but only a handful of these species are beneficial. The following probiotics offer you the most health benefits.
Lactobacillus acidophilus. Out of about 200 strains of acidophilus, the most beneficial are the NAS and DDS-1 strains. Both protect against the pathogens. Bacillus subtilis, Serratia marcescens, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Sarcina lutea, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus lactis. The NAS and DDS-1 strains of acidophilus have also been shown to inhibit fungal growth, relieve chronic constipation and diarrhea, increase the production of lactase and improve the absorption of nutrients (especial calcium). Other lactobacillus strains that can benefit intestinal health include Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus johnsonii.
Bifidobacterium bifidum. This important probiotic inhabits the large intestine of adults and aggressively destroys pathogens. B. bifidum helps produce B vitamins and inhibits the bacteria that convert nitrates into cancer-causing nitrites. Interestingly, B. bifidum may be most beneficial for those whom acidophilus supplements don’t help. Many experts consider B. bifidum to be preferable to acidophilus for children and adults with liver disorders.
Additionally, a growing body of research indicates that the “super-strain” B. bifidum Malyoth offers widespread health benefits, detoxifying the liver, preventing nutrient malabsorption and B-vitamin deficiencies, regulating waste production and preventing diarrhea and constipation.
Lactobacillus bulgaricus. L. bulgaricus plays a supporting role, helping other probiotics effectively colonize the gut. One of the most notable strains of L. bulgaricus, LB-51, has received praise for its ability to treat a range of digestive problems. LB-51 has also proven to be effective in destroying harmful bacteria and stimulating immune response. Research also indicates that LB-51 helps to maintain a clean intestinal tract, thus alleviating constipation and diarrhea.
Lactobacillus GG. Many experts believe that Lactobacilus GG (LGG) is superior to L. acidophlus in its ability to fight gastrointestinal disorders. In fact, the beneficial attributes of LGG have more scientific support than those of acidophilus and other probiotics. One reason may be that LGG is derived from the sterile form of a bacteria that grows in the human intestine, whereas acidophilus comes from a bovine source. Because of its human origin, LGG may be better equipped to survive in the gastrointestinal tract and vagina.
Advantage of USANA Probiotic is that its delivery system ensures that the bacteria will be stable at room temperature for over a year.