When Bugs Can Be Good For You!

Superbugs to the Rescue!

Not all probiotics are the same.  Simply put, it is best to trust the professional opinion of your trained health care provider. Health care providers with specific training and education in the uses and types of various probiotics should be consulted to decide upon the strength, combinations and protocols for probiotic supplementation. Be careful!  Most physicians, including gastroenterologists, know little or nothing at all about probiotics and the extensive research that demonstrates their tremendous health potential. It’s important that you respectfully question your health care provider regarding their specific training in nutrition. All too often physicians feel that they must know all and commonly do not admit the gaps in their knowledge. It is also important that you maintain a proactive stance regarding your own health researching and running what you have learned by a qualified health professional to screen for accuracy. Now, let’s talk about probiotics!!

What are probiotics and how do they work?

 

Probiotics are bacterial or fungal organisms that are used clinically to help establish a more desirable intestinal milieu. Most commonly, clinicians to help reestablish small intestinal colonization use bacterial probiotics of various varieties. Proper bacterial colonization of the small intestine with various probiotics are absolutely critical for maintaining normal small and large intestine function and also play a role in biological response modification of the immune system and inflammation control. Probiotics also produce short chain fatty acids when they act upon dietary fiber; butyric and caprylic acids are the major short chain fatty acids are fuel sources for replacement of intestinal enterocytes. Probiotics also produce B-vitamins and vitamin K.

 

Are probiotics necessary for a healthy diet or healthy digestion?

 

Yes. Probiotics are needed to maintain the small intestinal cellular integrity and function. Loss of probiotic balance may result in ,or from, malabsorption syndromes, various degenerative conditions including autoimmune disease and various inflammatory disorders.  Loss of probiotic intestinal balance may result in increased small intestine permeability and malabsorption.  Increased intestinal permeability can lead to a condition known as dysbiosis manifesting as in imbalance in gastrointestinal microflora, disruption of local and potentially systemic immune functions and increased cytokine activity potentiating inflammatory activity within the intestines and extraintestinally.

 

Over 70 different naturally produced antibiotics  are produced of the genus Bacillus  including Paenibacillus and Brevibacillus, B. subtilis being the major producer of these substances, but is by no means the only species to produce antimicrobial substances.

 

 

What are your recommendations for how dietitians can best educate counsel clients about probiotics?

 

Clinical nutritionists trained as either CCNs, CNSs are probably the most qualified to discuss the health benefits of probiotics. Dietitians are not generally cognizant of the use of nutritional supplements including probiotics. Although this may seem strange, but unless the dietitian has specific training, dietetic programs are based on mainstream, governmental-type of nutritional recommendations…and they are far behind the current research.  I always emphasize to my patients that probiotics are essential for overall health and wellbeing.

 

Considering that over 70% of the bodies immune system is located within the small intestine, probiotic imbalance may have far reaching implications in any part of the body and thus the reestablishment of healthy probiotic balance can help maintain and restore health.  Probiotic supplementation orally can help restore intestinal function, and also act extraintestinally, meaning that they can improve a large variety of biological functions outside of the gut.

 

 

Should any safety considerations be taken into account regarding probiotics consumption?

 

Probiotics should NOT be taken within one hour pre- or post-antibiotic therapy. They should also be used with caution in those on the anticoagulant medications Coumadin (Warfarin).  If a patient has been taking probiotics, and then is prescribed anticoagulant medications, can continue to take probiotics, but should not increase the dosage of the probiotic without medical advice and supervision; otherwise, significant and unpredictable effects upon the INR (International Normalization Rate) may result. The INR may be lowered inappropriately when reduced coagulation is desired as endogenous vitamin K produced by intestinal probiotics may interfere with Warfarin anticoagulant effects.

 

Excessive consumption of probiotics may produce gas and bloating, but these symptoms are often not serious and resolve with either discontinuation of the probiotics or lowering of the initial dose. Patients with severe immunodeficiency may need to take caution when supplementing with probiotics, as there is a small potential for infection. However, the preponderance of medical literature conducted by this author on both the Cochrine and National Library of medicine database, reveals that the risks are extremely low and far more studies show benefits for those with severe immune deficiency as well as for a large number of degenerative health conditions.

 

 

Probiotic Product Categories

 

Yogurts/frozen yogurt

 

What bacteria strains do these products typically contain?

 

Dairy yogurt is a culture mix of several forms of fermented bacterial products including, Lactobacillus delbrucekii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophiles bacteria. Manufactures of dairy yogurt sometimes also add lactobacilli and bifidobacteria.

 

 

What ailments might these products be good for? Is there research to back this up?


  • Antibiotic resistant diarrhea  (Clostridium difficile)
  • Blood pressure
  • Celiac disease
  • Chronic pouchitis
  • Constipation
  • Dental caries
  • Eczema
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Identical questions as above
  • Intestinal neoplasia
  • lactose intolerance
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Oral thrush
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome
  • Urogenital problems as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infection
  • Vitamin production

 

 

 

*Anything clients should look for or otherwise note when buying this products?

 

Consumers are gravitating towards organic yogurt products.  It is not common for food products such as yogurts or frozen yogurt products to indicate the probiotic bacterial counts.

 

Would you recommend such products to clients? If so, are there any particular products you would recommend and why?

 

I do recommend Stony Farms Yogurt and Brown Cow.  These brands are organic and/or provide yogurt derived from free range fed cows.  I emphasize to my patients that food products do not contain therapeutic types and/or amounts (colony counts) of healthy probiotics.  Considering that probiotics have proven benefits helping to maintain and establish appropriate small and large intestinal functions (including inflammation and immune regulation) probiotics represent relatively inexpensive and extremely safe preventative, natural agents.

 

 

When purchasing probiotics individuals should choose a product with a composition of mixed probiotics with similar bacterial concentrations as those below:

 

A typical multi-strained product may contain these microorganisms: Lactobacillus acidophilus 1.15 billion; L. Rhamnosus 1.15 billion; L. Rhamnosus (Type B, Bifidus) 775 Million; S.lactis 275 Million; bifidobacterium longum 275 Million; B. Bifidum 275 Million; Streptococcus thermophiles 150 Million.  These organisms colonization of the intestinal tract is enhanced when bottled in a base of FOS or fructooligosaccharides.  However, research that I have uncovered and confirmed clinically, shows that levels of probiotic supplementation in the 220 billion range often produces even more profound health benefits. See Recolonize and Superbugs at: www.blooddetective.com for more information on these two special products produced by Dr. Michael Wald.

 

 

Who Should Take Probiotics?

 

I recommend probiotics to each and every one of my patients. Probiotics are among the safest supplements on the market with one of the highest potential for benefit over a wide range of health issues.  The research suggests that a combination of probiotics is overall the best approach unless a particular health condition seems to benefit from a specific strain of probiotic.  I have produced a combination probiotic called Superbugs and a high dose probiotic for more resistant clinical conditions called Recolonize.  Both of these products are safe for children and adults and should be taken with foods. The only caution is to take these probiotics one hour or more either before or after antibiotics. Depending upon the antibiotics mechanism of action upon the bacterial infection of concern, the antibiotics therapeutic effect may be reduced when it potentially acts upon the infectious bacterial. However, generally speaking probiotics do not interfere with most antibiotics, but as a precaution I advise my patients to take the probiotics away from their antibiotics.

 

 

Kefir milk products

 

What bacteria strains do these products typically contain?

 

What bacterial strains do these products typically contain? Kefir is a symbiotic combination of lactic acid bacteria resulting from the acid-alcoholic fermentation of milk and yeast.  Species contained in Keifer include Lactobacillus Kefiri, Lb. kefiranofaciens. Leuconostoc menenteroides, Lactoococcus lactis

 

 

What ailments might these products be good for? Is there research to back this up?


  • Antibiotic resistant diarrhea  (Clostridium difficile)
  • Blood pressure
  • Celiac disease
  • Chronic pouchitis
  • Constipation
  • Dental caries
  • Eczema
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Identical questions as above
  • Intestinal neoplasia
  • lactose intolerance
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Oral thrush
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome
  • Urogenital problems as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infection
  • Vitamin production

 

 

 

Anything clients should look for or otherwise note when buying this products?

 

I prefer to recommend organic and/or free range brands.

 

Would you recommend such products to clients?

 

If so, are there any particular products you would recommend and why?  I recommend Kefir products produced by the company Lifeway because they are organic and low fat.

 

Supplements

Some Kefir products contain a variety of probiotic supplements most of which have an evidence-base for potential in helping a variety of health conditions.  Keifir products may contain the following:

  • Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis
  • Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris
  • Lactococcus lactis subsp. diacetylactis,
  • Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris
  • Lactobacillus kefyr (thermophilic)
  • Saccaromyces unisporus

Health Conditions that may benefit from probiotics found in Kefir supplements include:

 

 

  • Antibiotic resistant diarrhea  (Clostridium difficile)
  • Blood pressure
  • Celiac disease
  • Chronic pouchitis
  • Constipation
  • Dental caries
  • Eczema
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Identical questions as above
  • Intestinal neoplasia
  • lactose intolerance
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Oral thrush
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome
  • Urogenital problems as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infection
  • Vitamin production

 

 

 

Supplements, such as capsules, liquids, powders, and tablets

These forms of supplementation can contain any number of combinations potencies of probiotic species.  Kefir food products do not indicate the colony counts of the various beneficial bacteria.

 

What bacteria strains do these products typically contain?

  • Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis
  • Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris
  • Lactococcus lactis subsp. diacetylactis,
  • Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris
  • Lactobacillus kefyr (thermophilic)
  • Saccaromyces unisporus

 

What ailments might these products be good for? Is there research to back this up?

 

 

  • Antibiotic resistant diarrhea  (Clostridium difficile)
  • Blood pressure
  • Celiac disease
  • Chronic pouchitis
  • Dental caries
  • Eczema
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Identical questions as above
  • Intestinal neoplasia
  • lactose intolerance
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Urogenital problems as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infection
  • Vitamin production

 

 

 

Anything clients should look for or otherwise note when buying this products?

 

Would you recommend such products to clients? If so, are there any particular products you would recommend and why?  Kefir Starter produced by GoneGreen because it is tasty and loaded with a wide variety of beneficial probiotic organisms.

 

Granola bars/cereals

 

What bacteria strains do these products typically contain?

Two cereal products that contain probiotics are Kashi Vive Probiotic Digestive Wellness Cereal and YogActive Cereal. Each of these products contain L. acidophilus.

 

 

Credentials

Dr. Michael Wald nicknamed the Blood Detective for his keen ability to solve difficult clinical issues, is a double board certified nutritionist, a certified dietician-nutritionist and a certified nutritional specialists. Having completed medical school and Chiropractic College, Dr. Wald brings a unique wealth of perspective to his patients, books and media appearances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on November 15, 2013 and filed under General Health.