By Walter Sorochan
Posted June 22, 2012; updated March 9, 2016; June 29, 2020 Disclaimer; The information presented here is for informative and educational purposes only and is not intended as curative or prescriptive advice. The statements of this web-site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Nothing stated here should be considered as medical advice for dealing with a given problem, or to diagnose / treat / prevent / cure any disease.
Update June 29, 2020: 60 Minutes reviewed all the hype about probiotics and concluded that almost all the commercial probiotic supplements have no evidence that they really work. Dr. Patricia Hibberd reviewed hundreds of studies in the medical literature about probiotics. She concluded that there is not enough high quality research to recommend off-the-shelf probiotics at this time. But there are hundreds of researchers working on how probiotics may help humans. Lapook: Probiotics really work? 2020
Probiotics involve bacteria. It may be a surprise to learn that the human body is made up of 90% bacteria and 10% human cells. Different bacteria have adapted to live in different places of the body. Most of these bacteria live harmoniously with us. We give the bacteria a place to live and they return the favor to us by maintaining order and keeping harmful bacteria and other invaders from disrupting the digestive system. Andrews: Probiotic food Market Research: boosting immunity Pearl: immune-dif connection Holvik: immunity But our interest in bacteria in this article is how we can restore in the bacteria residing in the large intestine or colon.
Bacteria in the Large intestine
Researchers since 2000 have discovered that there are over 500 good and bad bacteria living in the large intestine or colon. Axe: Best probiotics 2016 Monastyrsky: restoring good health If the normal balance of 80 - 85% good and 15 - 20 % bad bacteria is disrupted, then the bad bacteria multiply and can cause many of our illnesses and diseases. Each person's mix of bacteria varies. Today, most of us show the reverse ratio; therefore, it’s no coincidence that the incidences of chronic and degenerative diseases have multiplied dramatically since World War II. Common everyday symptoms of not feeling good [ intestinal dis-balance of bacteria ] are bloating, abdominal cramping, constipation and diarrhea.
The good and friendly bacteria in the large intestine are essential to good health. It is in the gastrointestinal tract, or GI tract, that good bacteria help the body systems work. [ illustration on right Andrews: Probiotic food ]. Market Research: boosting immunity Pearl: immune-dif connection Holvik: immunity
Beneficial bacteria found in the large intestine, as intestinal flora, are often referred to incorrectly as probiotics. Probiotics...is an umbrella term given to any live microorganisms that is beneficial to its host. The term probiotics is misused by marketers!
There is no legal definition of the term "probiotic." Guarner: International review probiotics 2008 Probiotic means “pro life.” Probiotics is the use of 'cultivated' live bacteria to restore the balance of depleted similar bacteria in the large intestine or colon; resulting in beneficial effects for humans.
Besides helping us to digest our food, probiotics also: Axe: Best probiotics 2016
List of Friendly bacteria: There is a lot of misinformation and hence, confusion about which organisms are probiotic. Below is a partial list based on a review of related literature.
Partial List friendly bacteria
Stressors disrupting normal colon flora:
-- poor dietary habits
It is apparent that many of our behaviors and good intentions can disrupt the bacterial balance in the digestive system. Our lifestyle also often compromises our immune system. Mazmanian: symbiosis health and disease Pearl: immune-dig connection Ewers: Inflammation
How Does the Human Body Get Probiotics?
Basis for selecting good Probiotic
There are no universally established and/or enforced standards for content and label claims on supplement products. Guarner: International review probiotics 2008 Here are some guidelines that can help. Not all of the probiotic-containing products found on store shelves provide the health benefits they claim. You need to read the labels and do your homework. Look for the following label information: Axe: Best probiotics 2016
1. bacterial type: listing the [minimum] amount per billion bacteria of each individual strain: Taylor: Probiotics
Probiotics must be alive when consumed and able to reach the large intestine alive to have an effect. The required amount of probiotics must be present at the time of consumption and not when the product was made. Many supplements will not include all of the bacteria listed in the list above. You may have some slack in this list but research is definitely not available at this time to verify the bacteria needed in a master supplement.
Probiotics in any form should not be mixed with or taken with chlorinated water, as the chlorine will kill the bacteria. The same observation may be true for those ingesting iodine and silver supplements.
Capsules have a built-in defense against moisture, oxygen, and other harmful contaminants. Capsules are also the preferred form of probiotics supplements for the same reasons they are the preferred form of other supplements and medicines—they require no measuring, travel well, and are easy to use. Chewable tablets are often the best choice for children and the elderly. Vegetarians and vegans will also favor chewable tablets over capsules, whose coating is often made from gelatin, an animal product.
What Are the Benefits of Using Probiotic Supplements?
There is a lot of new information about the benefits of probiotics and natural colon bacteria. For more information go to: Probiotics, bacteria and immunue system links
The value of probiotics is becoming more widely accepted by the medical community. Guarner: International review probiotics 2008 Reid: Probiotic uses in medicine 2003 Minocha: Probiotics & preventive health Guilliams: Probiotic Use in Clinical Practice 2011 In the foreword to Probiotics: Nature’s Internal Healers, Dr. Michael McCann writes, “Probiotics will be to medicine in the twenty-first century as antibiotics and microbiology were in the twentieth.” As more research is conducted, it is becoming clear that probiotic supplements are not just an option for a healthy lifestyle, but a necessity.
Despite all of these well known and thoroughly studied facts, the American medical establishment adamantly refuses to recognize the role of intestinal flora in health and longevity.
Using Probiotics to Fix a broken digestive system
Use probiotics to re-balance the bacteria in the large intestine. This is a tricky fix as there may be many factors contributing to the bacterial disbalance at the same time. Not only do we need to restore the good and bad bacteria inside our body with probiotics but also control the environment outside us. Doing both at the same time can muddy the progress of the fix and can be counterproductive. Buying the hype advertized supplemental probiotics and ingesting same may not be the best way to fix a broken digestive system!
So lets start with the food you eat and try to restore the good and bad guys in the gut and thereby restore at least part of our immune/digestive system. Most of us will probably have more control of the internal body ecosystem than our external environment.
What you put into your mouth may help determine the type of bacteria that thrive in your gut, according to a new study. Enserink: Bacteria are what you eat Researchers have found that a person's intake of meat, fat, carbohydrates, and alcohol appear to influence the type of bacteria that will set up shop in their intestines—but the study also suggests that dietary changes won't quickly replace one microbial population with another. Bork: Bacterial balance & health Jones: 3 types of gut Another overlooked factor is eating a diet that can affect the growth of intestional flora.
Finally, it is difficult to know whether the probiotic supplement you ingested is really helping you! Your medical doctor and health insurer are usually reluctant to check with a blood or fecal monitoring test. So .... your next best way to monitor the benefits of ingesting a probioitic supplement is how you feel. Do you feel bloated, diarrhea, constipated, or have gas or stomach cramps? Do you get sick often? Use common sense!
Finding good probiotics can be a problem
There are no universally established and/or enforced standards for content and label claims on supplement products. Guarner: International review probiotics 2008
Of the hundreds of probiotic products in the supermarket today, only “15-20 have clinical studies behind them." Axe: Best probiotics 2016 Finding documented information about supplemental probiotics is difficult and often impossible. Dash: Criteria for Probiotics Fitzpatrick: probiotic survey Canada Swartzburg: best probiotic supplements The reasons for this should be obvious. Research about colon bacteria and how the many different species [ genera ] function is in its infancy. Just what is the research link between microbial strains and affect on the human body? Although scientists have begun to identify the good and bad guys in the GIT, they are at the same time trying to verify the link between bacteria, disease and health and also determine whether certain bacteria cause a disease [effect]. Research is escalading faster than scientists can present it to the public in words that the public understands. Consequently, there is very little transparency about probiotics information and comprehensible, documented research that simple folk can use as a guide. How can there be "real" standards for selecting probiotic products that work when the microbial scientists are in the early stages of unraveling the gut flora? Yet that is what some marketers selling probiotics, with good intentions, have tried to do.
So it should not be surprising that the astute consumer is bewildered about probiotics. How does one make an informed decision about probiotics when reliable reference to background information about different microbes is difficult or impossible to find? This is an information vacuum. On the one hand, probiotic product marketers make unsupported claims about the benefits of probiotics. Many of the products currently on the market are not clearly tied to research documenting beneficial effects. On the other hand, researchers need to translate technical microbe information into simple easy to understand terms! Just simple words and readily available probiotic information on the internet would be a help! We also need a probiotic information clearing center!
Many supplements state on the label how many billions of probiotics they contain but actually labels are slightly missing the point. For example, given the right probiotic foods, those bacteria will multiply many times over in just a few days. Hence, one may not have to continue ingesting probiotic supplements for a month or longer.
Another issue is to provide the variety of species or genera of good bacteria. If you don’t have an ‘original’, you can’t make copies.
But first --- the most crucial issue is getting these live bacteria past the acid stomach which can kill them off, and into the large intestine where they can do their job. This is not as simple as it sounds. Many potential probiotic bacteria are killed off long before they ever reach the large intestine. Indeed, implicit in the definition of a probiotic is that it should be a bacterium from a strain proven to survive transit through the gut and proven to have a beneficial effect in the large intestine, in clinical trials. Such documented information is lacking in commercials and labels.
Lacking good independent probiotic information makes buying supplemental probiotics a problem! You don't know if the brand you buy will really work. You also don't know whether the probiotics you ingest ever reach their destination. At this time, there is no monitoring test to determine this. The label product information and claims espoused by marketers is usually not supported by documentation. In a 2003 study, Belgian researchers examined the probiotic bacteria of 25 dairy products and 30 powdered products that were used as nutritional supplements. And the results were stunning! More than a third of the powdered products contained no living bacteria whatsoever - unlike the dairy products, which contained up to a billion living microorganisms per milliliter. In identifying the bacteria, the researchers found that only 13 % of the products contained all bacteria types included on the label. Meanwhile, in one third of all the products, the researchers found other bacteria not listed on the label. Belgian research 2008 The message from this Belgian research is that you need to do your homework on the probiotic you intend to buy.
In spite of the short-comings about probiotics, good probiotics should be safe to take.
Having a good guide to help you purchase probiotics would be helpful. But even such general guides are difficult to follow and understand. Mercola: 13 % good bacteria Dash: Criteria for Probiotics These well intended guides read more like personal opinions than scientific documents.
What to Expect when you take probiotics
You may initially feel gassy or bloated when you first start taking probiotics. This is usually caused by the die-off of harmful bacteria. The bloating typically goes away after a few days. Drinking enough water, consuming adequate fiber, a healthy diet and bowel regularity really helps you purge properly and limit this die-off effect. If bloating and gas continue or are severe, you may benefit from a colon cleanse. And monitor your bowel movement whether your movement is hard [constipated] or soft. Consult your informed medical therapist for this help.
Remember, if the probiotic supplement does not contain proper probiotic strains, right potency, right formula, is not living bacteria and is not acid and bile resistant, it will offer no health benefits. Store your supplement in the refrigerator. And keep in mind that once the probiotics are inside your large intestine, then you need to eat a constant healthy diet to provide good food for the bacteria.
Once you are eating the right foods it should be possible to maintain a healthy bacterial balance in your gut without the use of probiotics.
Probiotics have even expanded into products for pets. Many of the same factors that affect the human digestive tract also cause changes in the gastrointestinal health of dogs and cats.
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"Probiotic beauty --- clean up your skin? Although as a concept it’s still in the early stages, the idea is that probiotics (beneficial bacteria) and prebiotics (essential fuel for the beneficial bacteria) can help improve the balance of bacteria in your skin, in the same way they are known to improve the balance of bacteria in your digestive system. Research published in the British Journal of Dermatology suggested that eczema and the associated itching improved after patients were treated with a probiotic cream. And, just this month, the Journal of Dermatological Science devoted coverage to a small study that seemed to show that, using prebiotics, it is possible to reduce the levels of acne-causing bacteria without harming the good bacteria."
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Dunn Rob, "Scientists Discover That Antimicrobial Wipes and Soaps May Be Making You (and Society) Sick," Scientific American, July 5, 2011. Dunn: soap kills good bacteria "But what do antibiotic wipes and soaps do? Amazingly, no one really knows."
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Foster: Real gut
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Goitrogens: Goitrogenic foods are foods that interfere with iodine absorption. Goitrogens are common in vegetables: cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower. However, warnings that these foods are the cause of hypothyroidism are probably exaggerated. First, the goitrogens are destroyed when these foods are cooked. Goitrogenic Foods to avoid eating
Guarner Francisco, and international review team, "Probiotics and prebiotics," World Gastroenterology Organisation, May 2008. Guarner: International review probiotics 2008
Gut-brain signaling, The Citizen's Compendium. Gut-brain signalling
Gut flora "Most bacteria belong to the genera Bacteroides, Clostridium, Fusobacterium, Eubacterium, Ruminococcus, Peptococcus, Peptostreptococcus, and Bifidobacterium. Other genera, such as Escherichia and Lactobacillus, are present to a lesser extent. Species from the genus Bacteroides alone constitute about 30% of all bacteria in the gut, suggesting that this genus is especially important in the functioning of the host. The currently known genera of fungi of the gut flora include Candida, Saccharomyces, Aspergillus, and Penicillium." Gut flora
Hadhazy Adam, "Think Twice: How the Gut's "Second Brain" Influences Mood and Well-Being," Scientific American, February 12, 2010. Hadhazy: Gershon GI tract & immunity "95 percent of the body's serotonin is found in the bowels."
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Jones Nicola, "Gut study divides people into three types," Nature, April 20, 2011. Jones: 3 types of gut Bacterial populations fall into three distinct ecolosystem classes that could help to personalize medicine. Peer Bork, who led the study at EMBL: "our gut flora can settle into three different types of community -- three different ecosystems."
Peer Bork’s group at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Germany, discovered that humans can be classified based on three distinct gut microbiomes. The research team analyzed genomic data obtained from human fecal matter (the least invasive (and least glamorous) method to analyze bacteria living in your guts) derived from people living in Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, Japan and the U.S. and discovered that three different clusters could be distinguished such that irregardless of sex, weight, height, age or geographic location, the balance of gut bacteria could be separated into 3 different groups-each differing in the bacterial contents that lived in their gut.
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Manimozhiyan Arumugam, others & Peer Bork, "Enterotypes of the human gut microbiome," Nature June 2011, 473,174–180. Manimozhiyan-Bork: 3 types bacteria 2011 "we identify three robust clusters (referred to as enterotypes hereafter)"
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Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried, Germany, "Natural intestinal flora involved in the emergence of multiple sclerosis," Max-Plank Gesellschaft, October 27, 2011. Max Planck Institute: gut flora & MS "Precisely which bacteria are involved in the emergence of multiple sclerosis remains unclear; possibly clostridiums."
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Mazmanian Sarkis K., "Evolutionary Mechanisms of Host-Bacterial Symbiosis during Health and Disease," California Institute of Technology, October 10, 2010. Mazmanian: symbiosis health and disease “The potential of beneficial microbes appears to be limitless” and that “this symbiotic relationship between the human body and microbes [is] a gold mine of potential therapies for a number of illnesses.”
Mercola J., "Beneficial Bacteria (Probiotics) May Halt Allergies In Babies," Mercola.com, April 14 2001 Mercola: Allergies & probiotics
Mercola J., "One Third of Probiotics 'Good Bacteria' Products, Like Acidophilus, Found to be Worthless," Mercola.com, July 11 2001. Mercola: 13 % good bacteria
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MetaHIT is a EURO funded project with affiliations to International Human Microbiome Consortium (IHMC). Director Dusko.Ehrlich, "Metagenomics of the Human Intestinal Tract," Report August, 2011. MetaHIT Report MetaHIT is a project financed by the European Commission under the 7th FP program. The consortium gathers 13 partners from academia and industry, a total of 8 countries. Its total cost has been evaluated at more than 21,2 million € and the funding requested from the European Commission has been set with an upper limit of 11,4 million €. The project will last from January 1, 2008 until June 30, 2012.
Minocha Anil, "Probiotics for Preventive Health," Nutr Clin Pract APRIL-MAY 2009 vol. 24 no. 2 227-241. Minocha: Probiotics & preventive health
Randomized, double-blind studies have provided evidence of the effectiveness of probiotics for preventing various diarrheal illnesses as well as allergic disorders. Evidence for their efficacy for use in the prevention and treatment of bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections is also mounting. In addition, probiotics may be useful for preventing respiratory infections, dental caries, necrotizing enterocolitis, and certain aspects of inflammatory bowel disease. Data also suggest that probiotics may promote good health in day care and work settings, and may enhance growth in healthy as well as ill and malnourished children.
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"In controlled clinical trials probiotic bacteria have demonstrated a benefit in treating gastrointestinal diseases, including infectious diarrhea in children, recurrent Clostridium difficile-induced infection, and some inflammatory bowel diseases. This evidence has led to the proof of principle that probiotic bacteria can be used as a therapeutic strategy to ameliorate human diseases. The precise mechanisms influencing the crosstalk between the microbe and the host remain unclear but there is growing evidence to suggest that the functioning of the immune system at both a systemic and a mucosal level can be modulated by bacteria in the gut."
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Primal Defense: Two of the soil organisms in Primal Defense are Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus lichenformis. In studies conducted in Germany at the University of Berlin’s Max-Volmer Institute, both were shown to inactivate human immunodeficiency, herpes simplex (HSV-1 and HSV-2), simian immunodeficiency, feline calicivirus, murine encephalomyocarditis, and other lipid envelope viruses—along with mycoplasmas, fungi and bacteria. They do so by producing a potent chemical called surfactin, a detergent-like substance that dissolves the lipid membranes of lipid envelope viruses, thereby rendering them completely inactivated.
Probiotics means "for life." The joint Food and Agriculture/World Health organization defines probiotics as "live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host." Market Research: boosting immunity Probiotics are not the same thing as prebiotics -- nondigestible food ingredients that selectively stimulate the growth and/or activity of beneficial microorganisms already in people's colons. When probiotics and prebiotics are mixed together, they form a synbiotic.
"Gut bacteria also: •help synthesize B and K vitamins
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Reid Gregor, Jana Jass, M. Tom Sebulsky, and John K. McCormick, "Potential Uses of Probiotics in Clinical Practice," Clin Microbiol Rev. 2003 October; 16(4): 658–672. Reid: Probiotic uses in medicine 2003
Reinberg Steven, "Stomach Bacteria Might Trigger Rheumatoid Arthritis," Bloomberg Businessweek Executive Health, June 17, 2010. Reinberg: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Report of a Joint FAO/WHO Expert consultation on evaluation of health and nutritional properties of probiotics in food including powdered milk with live lactic acid bacteria, Cordoba, Argentina, October 1-4, 2001. Report: evaluation probiotics
Reuter Gerhard, "The Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium Microflora of the Human Intestine: Composition and Succession," Current Issues in Intestinal Microbiology 2001. 2(2): 43-53. Reuter: Microflora human intestine
Rinehart Alexander, "Small Bowel Bacterial Overgrowth Syndrome," MJ Nutrition Center, January 25, 2011. Rinehart: SBBO
Round JL, Lee SM, Li J, Tran G, Jabri B, Chatila TA, & Mazmanian SK., "The Toll-like receptor 2 pathway establishes colonization by a commensal of the human microbiota," Science 2011. Round: microbe clonization 2011 The host immune system, via Toll-like receptor (TLR) recognition, can differentiate pathogenic and commensal bacteria. This landmark article for the first time determines how microorganisms tailor host immune cell activation in order to establish symbiotic colonization of determined niches in the gut in a mutualistic fashion.
Rubin Jordan, "Beyond Probiotics," Rubin: Probiotic healing
Scher, Jose U., Ubeda, Carles, Pillinger, Michael H., Bretz, Walter, Buischi, Yvonne, Rosenthal, Pamela B., et al; Characteristic Oral and Intestinal Microbiota in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): A Trigger for Autoimmunity? [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 2010;62 Suppl 10 :1390, DOI: 10.1002/art.29156. Scher: RA & microbes
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), "Autoimmune Diseases Facts." SCCA: autoimmune diseases
Serotinin & Sunlight: Low exposure to sunlight can deplete serotonin. Serotonin deficiency is related to Seasonal Affective Disorder, which includes feelings of sadness or depression during the winter months or in the evenings. Light plays a crucial role in serotonin production. Sunlight makes serotinin
Smith Michael, “Gerd linked to microbe changes,” Medpage Today, August 04, 2009. Smith: GERD linked to probiotic This study found that esophageal disease is associated with large-scale changes in the microbes that colonize the esophagus, although it is not yet clear whether the effect is a cause or an effect of GERD. The study was supported by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Stevenson Heidi, "New Study Reveals That Antibiotics Damage Our Immune System," GAIA Health, April 24, 2011. Stevenson: antibiotics cause chronic diseases 2011
"The study concludes that the use of antibiotics must be causing chronic diseases." A new California Institute of Technology [Caltech] study has shown that our intestinal bacteria determine which bacteria are beneficial and which are pathogenic. Even more significantly, it is the gut bacteria that trigger an immune response, not the immune system itself. This indicates that science and medicine need to completely rethink the current view of how the immune system operates.
Swartzburg Rick editor, "Probiotic supplements," Probiotic.org. Swartzburg: best probiotic supplements
Tannis Allison, "Probiotic Rescue - How can you use probiotics to fight cholesterol, cancer, superbugs, digestive complaints and more, John Wiley & Sons, 2008. Tannen: Probiotic rescue
Taylor John R., and Mitchell, Deborah. The Wonder of Probiotics. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2007. Taylor: Probiotics "recommends a supplement with at least five of twelve particular probiotic species. The first of those is Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1, the basis for any probiotic program. The others include Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacteria bifidum, Bifidobacteria longum, Bacillus coagulans, Bifidobacteria infantis, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus salviarius, Lactococcus lactis, Enterococcus faecium, and Streptococcus thermophilus."
Teraguchi, S, Ono , J . et al. "Vitamin production by Bifidobacteria originated from human intestine" [Thiamine , riboflavin , pyridoxine , niacin, folacin , vitamin B12, vitamin C] . Nippon Eiyo Shokuryo Gakkaishi [Journal of the Japanese Society of Nutrition and Food Science] 37(2): pp 157-164,1984 (language : Japanese with summary in English) "Research by Japanese scientists has demonstrated that vitamin C is generated from healthy human intestinal flora." Teraguchi: Bifidobacteria makes vitamins Teraguchi: Vit from human bacteria
Tlaskalová-Hogenová Helena, "Review: The role of gut microbiota (commensal bacteria) and the mucosal barrier in the pathogenesis of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases and cancer: contribution of germ-free and gnotobiotic animal models of human diseases," Cellular & Molecular Immunology, January 2011, 8, 110–120. Tlaskalová: role of gut microbes in diseases 2011 "Although the most important findings in this fascinating field are still to come, it is clear that our bacterial companions affect our fates more than previously assumed."
UCSD UCSD: lines defense
Upadhyay Nitesh, and Varsha Moudgal, "Probiotics: A Review," JCOM February 2012, Vol. 19, No. 2. Upadhyay: Probiotic review 2012
VRP Staff, "Three Ways to Keep Your Colon Healthy," Health News, November 03, 2009. VRP: healthy colon
Walker Morton, "Jordan Rubin's amazing journey, Cure for Crohn’s Disease, sickness to health," Walker: Cure for Crohns Disease
HSO = Homeostatic Soil organisms: These are beneficial microbes found in pristine soils that are as necessary for health. Homeostatic soil organisms are super probiotics (the opposite of antibiotics). They restore balance to an autointoxicated gastrointestinal tract in a specific manner. Upon being swallowed, the HSOs™ activate and bring about gut restoration by attaching themselves to the intestinal mucosa. On the gut wall they reproduce to form colonies along the course of "receptor sites" which had previously been established by harmful bacteria and other pathological microorganisms. These pathogens are crowded out or eaten up by the probiotics so that symptoms of illness they had been producing tend to terminate eventually. The time factor for symptomatic healing is dependent upon the volume of pathogens lodged at the gut's receptor sites. No matter what the number of bad bacteria or other pathogens, HSOs™ implant themselves and bring about gut restoration.
Wenner Melinda, "Jeremy Nicholson's Gut Instincts: Researching Intestinal Bacteria," Scientific American.com - June 17, 2008. Wenner: researching gut bacteria
"The most well-known disease-causing gut organism is the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which can trigger peptic ulcer. In the past few years, scientists have linked obesity to the relative abundance of two dominant intestinal bacterial phyla and found that dysfunctional intestinal bacteria are associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease and some types of cancer. Nicholson even speculates that the organisms could play a role in neurological disorders, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Tourette’s syndrome and autism. “We have some evidence now that shows that if you mess around with the gut microbes, you mess around with brain chemistry in major ways,”
Wikipedia, "Bifidobacterium." Wiki: Bifidobacterium Bifidobacteria are able to prevent or alleviate infectious diarrhea through their effects on the immune system and resistance to colonization by pathogens. There is some experimental evidence that certain bifidobacteria may actually protect the host from carcinogenic activity of intestinal flora. Bifidobacteria may exert protective intestinal actions through various mechanisms, and represent promising advances in the fields of prophylaxis and therapy.
Wikipedia, Immune system. Wiki: immune system
Wikipedia Wiki: intestinal tract
Wikipedia, "List of human diseases associated with infectious pathogens." Wiki: List human disease linked pathogens
Wikipedia, "Payer's Patch." Peyer's Patch
Wong, Julia M. W., de Souza, Russell Kendall, Cyril W. C., Emam, Azadeh, Jenkins, David J. A., "Colonic Health: Fermentation and Short Chain Fatty Acids," Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, March 2006 - Volume 40 - Issue 3 - pp 235-243. Wong: fatty acids The rate and amount of SCFA production depends on the species and amounts of microflora present in the colon, the substrate source and gut transit time. Butyrate has been studied for its role in nourishing the colonic mucosa and in the prevention of cancer of the colon.
Wu Hsin-Jung, Ivaylo I. Ivanov, Jaime Darce, Kimie Hattori, Tatsuichiro Shima, Yoshinori Umesaki, Dan R. Littman, Christophe Benoist, and Diane Mathis, "Gut-residing segmented filamentous bacteria drive autoimmune arthritis via T helper 17 cells," PubMed Central, June 25, 2010 issue of Immunity. Wu: gut bacteria causing autimmune arthritis 2010
Xu J, Mahowald MA, Ley RE, Lozupone CA, Hamady M, et al. , "Evolution of Symbiotic Bacteria in the Distal Human Intestine," PLOS Biology, 2007, 5(7): e156. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050156. Xu: evolution Symbiotic gut Bacteria
Yadav Vijay K, Santhanam Balaji, Padmanaban S Suresh, X Sherry Liu, Xin Lu, Zhishan Li, X Edward Guo, J John Mann, Anil K Balapure, Michael D Gershon, Rudraiah Medhamurthy, Marc Vidal, Gerard Karsenty & Patricia Ducy, "Pharmacological inhibition of gut-derived serotonin synthesis is a potential bone anabolic treatment for osteoporosis," Nature Medicine February 17, 2010, 16,308–312. Yadav: serotonin link to osteroporosis 2010
Zimmer Carl, "How Microbes Defend and Define Us," New York Times, July 12, 2010. Zimmer: How Microbes Defend us "The Imperial College team that discovered microbes in the lungs, for example, also discovered that people with asthma have a different collection of microbes than healthy people. Obese people also have a different set of species in their guts than people of normal weight." and bacteriotherapy or fecal transplantation