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Comments Off on What Would You Prefer To Eat ?

What Would You Prefer To Eat ?

| Articles | December 31, 2013

We’ve entered the Twilight Zone when it comes to the multitude of diets being promoted today. Starting with the Atkins Diet, then the South Beach Diet, now the Hamptons Diet and more. All higher in protein, lower in carbs, but the dissimilarity should be quality of carbs, not singling out one nutrient entirely. If you are on the Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet or any other deviation of a high protein/low carb diet simply adjust from eating low quality carbs like refined flour and sugar products (think if it comes in a box, it’s likely low quality) to eating more whole food products like fresh vegetables and fruits – yes fruits.

Judge your own diet

The traditional Atkins Diet doesn’t sponsor much fruit (too high sugar) but think about that for one minute. An apple is a good food, a bowl of Apple Jacks cereal may not be on an equal level. One is highly processed sweetened by added white sugar and corn syrup, and one is natural, plucked from a tree and sweetened by the sun. Which would you choose? Don’t shun fresh fruit for the sake of following your low carb diet to the letter.

Eliminating healthy, wholesome foods is not the best way to learn to eat better, but severely cutting back on the frequency of eating highly processed foods is. I saw a site which called it GM or MM: God Made or Man Made. If you think of those terms when you go to choose your foods, it starts to make more sense. No one says you shouldn’t eat chips, or whatever strikes your fancy, but make them a treat – and eat the GM foods more often.

Common Sense Diet

Common sense will answer the question about what to eat. If you are on Atkins, South Beach or any distinction of low carb diet, avoid processed foods, not natural foods. Stop using “instant” breakfast, and cook whole rolled oats for instance. Sure you might have to get up 10 minutes earlier, oh well. You’re worth it!

You can still stay on a higher protein food plan, but this one minor adjustment will allow you to continue with your eating plan for a lifetime, rather than a short-time.

Addiction to Fruit

The person who refuses to eat fruit because they believe it is too high in sugar, probably does eat cookies, crackers and sugary cereals. They might even drink artificially flavored and sweetened drinks, but they refuse to eat a natural food, grown from our earth? That makes no sense, if you think about it. Did our planet develop and thrive based on processed foods? No, of course not. They are very recent in the evolution of our world. Very recent. In fact, we’ve had processed foods less than 200 years while our planet is millions of years old.

With the high incidence of obesity, and our high consumption of processed foods, it’s hard not to draw the conclusion that one causes the other. You won’t hear big industry stating that case because our economy depends on us buying the products being produced by the companies that employ us. You’ll never see it reported that “scientists discovered refined flour kills,” even if it were proven true because it doesn’t support our way of life. We need industry.

Witnessing the epidemic of food illnesses such as Mad Cow, and now Bird Flu, I can envision a society without the mass produced meat industry. It will come to pass – nothing but your local farm will be allowed to sell meat because the big farm industry cannot guarantee safety of the food supply. Meat will become much more expensive because when they can no longer mass produce it, there is nowhere for prices to go but up. So do we whine and cry and moan about our misfortune or do we start to think of meat as something to savor and enjoy like the Sunday roasts we had years ago? We never ate meat every day then – and we weren’t so fat either. We simply didn’t eat as much processed foods. Most of us had moms at home cooking us dinner, making our lunches and even fixing our breakfasts.

Yes, progress marches on, but when it comes to your body, common sense rules the day. The Common Sense Diet! Try it on for size today.

Comments Off on What Works for Oral Health?

What Works for Oral Health?

| Articles | December 30, 2013

Recently, within the last seven days actually, I purchased a HydroFloss. A what? Well, it is sort of like a high powered waterpik that uses magnetized water.

Why? For starters, I’m tired of my dentist complaining about my gingivitis which has now become mild to moderate periodontal disease. Will a HydroFloss change that? I honestly don’t know, yet. Based on what I’ve read about them, it may be possible. I’m a skeptic by nature though, but I’m also curious enough to try out different things. Sometimes that strategy works for me and sometimes it doesn’t.

I’ve had a lot of problems with dentists over the years. I don’t believe that all dentists are completely honest. In fact, I had a dentist tell me that I had a ‘trouble spot’ that she wanted to drill into. I went to another dentist who didn’t appear to detect any problem or any ‘trouble spot’ at all. That was after waiting six months. If there was a problem that was going to get worse, it certainly didn’t do so.

Another time, a dentist cheerfully suggested a root canal for a pain I was having in a tooth. I declined. In less than two weeks, that pain went away and never came back, without a root canal being done. That was about 14 years ago. I’ve heard stories from people who went to a dentist to be told that they had several cavities. Upon visiting a different dentist they were told they had none!

I find this trend disturbing. I go to a dentist to maintain my teeth and gums and to make sure that I keep the teeth with minimal damage to the gums. So when unnecessary procedures are recommended, I find it a little annoying. I should be able to trust my dentist but instead, I view her much like I view a car dealership when taking my car in for service. Watch the wallet or get taken. I shouldn’t have to feel that way about my dentist. But I do.

One of the best sales presentations I have ever seen was that of a dental hygienist. She wanted to sell me a ‘root scaling and planing’. During this procedure they anesthetize your gums and use metal instruments to scrape and scale along the root to remove plaque under the gumline.

I bet it hurts a lot when the anesthesia wears off. I was told this was the ‘only’ way to get rid of plaque under the gums. Since I declined the procedure, they wanted me to sign a waiver in case I lost my teeth as a result of not undergoing their prescribed treatment. I viewed this as another scare tactic. It also motivated me to find another solution.

Like I said before, I have only had my HydroFloss for a week, but I like the results I’m seeing so far. When finished using it, I feel like my gums have just had a good massage and it only takes a few minutes to go over my entire gumline.

I asked my dentist what she thought about the HydroFloss. She wasn’t convinced that it was any better than a waterpik. I decided to try it. If my dentist doesn’t like it, it might actually be good for me.

I’m not interested in losing my teeth due to gum disease. I have always kept good care of my teeth. It seems that brushing and flossing are just not enough for most people to avoid periodontal disease or gingivitis. Brushing too hard can erode the gumline, precisely what I wish to avoid. I reason that if I followed the same old advice, I would get the same results.

As for the HydroFloss, I believe I’m seeing a difference already, but I can’t be sure. There are no double blind studies being conducted on my body. My results are subjective. But I think I’ll know for sure in about a month. For now, I’m impressed.

If you have any questions about what your dentists finds or suggests, you may want to get a second opinion. That doesn’t hurt!

This article is for information purposes only. It is not meant to offer advice, diagnosis, prevention or treatment of any health condition. Please see your dental or health care professional for proper advice, care and treatment.

Comments Off on What Women Should Know About Birth Control Pill

What Women Should Know About Birth Control Pill

| Articles | December 29, 2013

Many years back, some men and women were not quite open on the discussion about sex or birth control. As the society becomes more liberal these days, people are now more open-minded when it comes to the issues and talks about sex. In fact, topics, concerns, and controversies about sex are featured almost everywhere Magazines, newspapers, books, Internet, radio, and even on the television.

One of the most popular topics on sex is about birth control methods or contraception. These are basically devices, actions, and medications that are meant to avoid or decrease the possibility of pregnancy. Birth control methods may vary into physical and behavioral forms. For physical forms of contraception, these include the barrier, hormonal, intrauterine, and sterilization methods. On the other hand, behavioral forms of birth control are lactational, abstinence, and fertility awareness.

Most women today prefer to use birth control pill as means of contraception. Generally, there are two types of oral contraceptive pill for females that are widely available in the market today. These are the combined oral contraceptive pill, which contains both progesterone and oestrogen, and the progesterone pill that contains only progesterone.

Women use birth control pills for various reasons aside from the main purpose of preventing pregnancy. Some use them to abate menstrual cramps and others use them to ease menstrual flow. However, the use of birth control pill requires proper prescription from a gynecologist.

The following are the things women should consider before taking in birth control pills:

1. Ask your gynecologist for a birth control pill prescription.

There are some birth control pills in the market today that are very costly. With this, it is best to consult a gynecologist first before purchasing any type of oral contraceptive. Doctors know which type of birth control pill suits their patients’ condition as well as stated budget. Encountering unexpected side effects can also be avoided when an oral contraceptive is prescribed by a gynecologists.

2. Carefully track your intake of birth control pill.

It is quite easy to get off track on the intake of birth control pills. If a woman missed one day of taking pills, it can mess up the entire monthly cycle. Remember that menstruation will not start even if one resumes to take the medication. Hence, it is very important to keep track of the intake of the birth control pill.

3. Ask for a birth control pill that gives good side effects.

There are some birth control pills available today that give good effects to the body. Some oral contraceptives contain formulas that help smoothen women’s skin. There are also birth control pills that induce users to gain weight, thus, helping those who want to gain a few pounds have the body weight they want to maintain.

Other benefits of taking birth control pill are reduced risk of developing ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, anemia, and pelvic inflammatory diseases. However, some of the noted negative side effects of taking birth control pills are severe coughing, severe headache, depression, blurred vision, as well as abdominal pain.

Comments Off on What Will A Chaw User Learn From A Dentist Dallas TX Area?

What Will A Chaw User Learn From A Dentist Dallas TX Area?

| Articles | December 28, 2013

The first thing that a chaw user will learn from his Dentist Dallas Tx area isn’t really news: he needs to quit chewing! What he will learn that he may not already know are the staggering statistics for various diseases that are directly contributed to this habit. Tobacco in any form contributes to the increased risk of developing cancer of the mouth, nasal cavities, larynx, pharynx esophagus stomach, liver, kidney, bladder and more. Cancer of the mouth is particularly difficult to treat and may require disfiguring surgery. Chewing tobacco, or chaw as it is often called, also contributes to periodontal disease which causes a large percentage of preventable tooth loss in adults. The use of all tobacco products contribute particularly to the development of cancers of the head, neck and mouth.

Each year about 30,000 people learn that they have mouth and throat cancer. Statistical incidence of tongue and throat cancer among chewing tobacco users is dramatically higher than it is for even the most addicted of smokers. Prolonged contact of the mutagens in chewing tobacco with gingival and mouth tissues makes the use of this product far worse than that of other tobacco products. Most users are aware that there is some risk from chewing tobacco but they probably aren’t fully aware of the staggering numbers.

Similarly, many chaw users have accepted the cancer risks but may not be at all knowledgeable about the increased risks of periodontal disease and tooth loss associated with this product’s use. The use of smokeless tobacco can result in:

– Small white precancerous patches or mouth sores called leukoplakia

– Bleeding and receding gums

– Tooth decay and tooth loss

Many are actually using chewing tobacco as a means to avoid smoking without realizing that the risks of chaw are far worse. To make matters worse there appears to be an even greater risk of periodontal disease and cancer when both tobacco and alcohol are used. Typically, users of one are users of the other. In addition, the use of smokeless tobacco can narrow your blood vessels putting strain on your heart, increase your heart rate, give you high blood pressure, cause irregular heart beat, and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Most folks shrug off the risks of these highly addictive behaviors with a simple “something will get you” attitude. But the truth is that there are many people who survive these diseases. For them there is more of an “I wish I would have listened when I was younger” attitude. Early detection is crucial to surviving these diseases. Avoiding them is of course the best approach, however.

What a dentist Dallas Tx or anywhere will do is examine his tobacco users more carefully for precancerous lesions and discolorations. This is often the first person including the patient to notice the telltale signs of these cancers. People who are considered to be more at risk for the development of these cancers are likely to have more rigorous examinations than many.

Comments Off on What Wheel Chair is Right for Me?

What Wheel Chair is Right for Me?

| Articles | December 27, 2013

The wheel chair you pick out, should ultimately be based upon several things:

How long you’re going to be in a wheel chair.

Your health and physical well-being.

How often you must travel.

Cost.

Generally speaking, if you are in decent enough condition to be able to propel yourself around in a wheel chair and you expect that being in a wheel chair will be a temporary thing, then buying a manual wheel chair might be the right way to go. Compared to electric wheel chairs, manual wheel chairs are cheaper and usually lighter.

On the other hand, if you are confined to a wheel chair or will be for a very long time, then an electric wheel chair may be the perfect route for you. Think about this: If you have little upper body strength and your body is not “able” enough, trying to self-propel yourself around in a manual wheel chair will make life miserable. Why exhaust yourself trying to get around if your body is not up for it? That’s what makes electric wheelchairs a good option.

Now there are other factors to take into consideration when choosing a wheel chair that’s right for you. They are:

Seat Size: This is absolutely critical to your quality of life when choosing a wheel chair. You ideally want to have the wheel chair user sit on a measuring tape to inches to allow for heavy clothing such as winter coats. Also, if possible, have the wheel chair user sit upright in the chair, then measure from the back of the seat to about two inches behind their knees.

You’re doing this because you want to be sure the seat is long enough to provide proper leg support without rubbing or irritating the back of their lower legs.

Keep in mind, that for a person 5’4″ and taller, the standard 19″ to 21″ seat height will work well for them, unless they’re using a wheel chair seat cushion.

If the wheel chair user is 5’4″ and shorter, then the hemi seat height of 17″ to 18″ seat height will usually be ideal for them.

And for the person who’s 4’11” and shorter, the super hemi seat height of 14″ to 16″ is usually what you’ll want.

Then there’s the footrest of the wheel chair to take into consideration. It’s important to know that the more the wheel chair footrest sticks out, the harder it is to maneuver the wheel chair. And some footrests are better quality than others. It’s inevitable that a wheel chair user will bump into objects and when that happens the footrest will usually be the part that takes the most punishment. Here are two types of footrests to choose from:

Standard Footrest: If the wheel chair user doesn’t need their legs elevated, but need the footrest to swing out of the way to get in and out of the wheel chair then you might want what’s called the “Swing-Away Footrest.” Keep in mind these footrests do not have calf pads to support the leg.

Elevating Legrest: If the wheel chair user has issues with their legs such as swelling then then this type of footrest may be ideal for them. This footrest does have calf pads.

Finally, there are the armrests of the wheel chair to take into consideration. There are two types: Desk Length Arms, which are ideal for getting close to desks and tables. There’s also Full Length Arms, which are good for the user to push themselves up from the wheelchair, or if extra arm support is required. Please note Full Length Arms take roughly 2 inches off the seat width.

One last consideration of armrests is that for people taller and shorter than the average person, you ideally want to look into adjustable arms to compensate for height requirements.

Comments Off on What To Remember When You Buy Drugs Online

What To Remember When You Buy Drugs Online

| Articles | December 26, 2013

As with any other technological development embraced by the business world, there are positive and negative aspects to the

Internet. The same holds true whenever someone tries to buy drugs online. Websites that are set up as Internet-based pharmacy

operations can be both advantageous and dangerous to the consumers who go to them with their business. Since there are

currently only a few regulatory boards with any international jurisdiction, it is often up to the consumers themselves to

keep themselves safe from being exploited or manipulated by an unscrupulous website or online business. However, there are a

number of positive traits that most online pharmacies have in common, which do bear consideration.

For starters, the typical consumer would find that prices are cheaper when they buy drugs online. There are a number of

factors that can contribute to this lower price, such as lower cost in other countries and a lower operational cost compared

to brick-and-mortar drug stores. For those who want even more economical options, they might be pleased to find that a number

of online pharmacies sell generic versions of a number of medications that are brand-name only in some territories. This can

be useful if a person needs a specific medication, cannot afford the brand-name variety, and live in a country where the

generic version is unavailable outside of the Internet.

The convenience and anonymity of the Internet also lend themselves well to being used by consumers. Some might find it

difficult to work up the physical effort needed to get to an actual pharmacy, or live in an area that does not have one

within a reasonable distance of their home. In such cases, access to the Internet so they can buy drugs online is convenient

and, in some extremely odd cases, may actually be the only viable option. The anonymous nature of the Internet also helps

protect patient privacy, since people don’t have to show their face to place an order. Some people find it uncomfortable to

purchase medicine from a real pharmacy because they don’t want others to know they need certain medications. The Internet

helps alleviate this problem by virtue of its highly anonymous nature.

However, there are a few caveats to this situation. One concern is that even though the prices of the drugs themselves are

lower, whenever you buy drugs online, you end up paying other fees. Typically, the customer will have to shoulder the

shipping fee for the drugs. Some pharmacies add a percentage of the fee to the cost of the drugs per order, while others will

openly charge their customers the shipping fee. There may also be other fees involved in using an online pharmacy, such as a

registration fee or, for some sites, a consultation fee. Prices are also subject to change, usually without warning and with

much more frequency than their brick-and-mortar counterparts.

Another concern regarding online purchases is in the security of the customer’s financial information. Websites will only

typically take orders after a credit card number has been provided. Some websites may not have adequate measures to make sure

that your financial information is not obtained or misused by anyone. This same problem can extend to personal information,

such as your name and address, which you need to provide when placing the order.

Comments Off on What to Look for when Choosing a Cosmetic Dental Practice

What to Look for when Choosing a Cosmetic Dental Practice

| Articles | December 25, 2013

There is one thing that holds true no matter the country you live in; a fear of dentists, no matter their type, is deep within the majority of us, and there seems to be very little we can do about it. The mere thought of a masked individual sticking their hands in our mouths, with or without the high-pitched, spinning sound of a drill, is enough to make even the most courageous among us as squeamish as a baby. So the attempt to search for a cosmetic dentist, even with the striking outcome we know awaits us, can be more dreary than looking for any other type of doctor.

Knowing what you should be looking for in a cosmetic dental practice will greatly assist in this pain-staking process. Aim to look for your most needed traits and attributes first in a prioritized order.

For instance, if you are deathly afraid of the dentist chair, be sure that your cosmetic dentist offers relaxation options for you, other than full anesthesia. Many dental offices now offer DVD’s for your viewing pleasure, CD’s for you to listen to, as well as many other options like aromatherapy, each set to relax you in the most comfortable way possible.

Of course, safety is on the minds of everyone, as well as the use of the most up-to-date technology available. Less invasive options for the latest in dental procedures is a win-win situation for everyone involved in the cosmetic dental industry.

And you mustn’t forget about the range of services offered within one cosmetic dental practice. Make sure that you are able to have a consultation describing exactly what you would like to/need to have done while being accommodated by the same practice. If you are in need of porcelain veneers and dental implants, be sure that they are both offered.

What about options? Wouldn’t you like to have a few which you have the ability to choose from? Differing options will most definitely mean differing costs, and since you are the one paying the charges, you shouldn’t have to be limited to just one choice.

Any cosmetic dental practice that does not have a list of prices at your disposal at any given time can leave the door wide open for a bunch of pricey surprises when the work has been finished. “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it” is not an excuse within this growing industry, and you really shouldn’t have to ask for it.

As for the location of the practice, as long as you can find it or know where it is already, it’s really not a major concern. Sometimes a bit of privacy doesn’t hurt, especially if it’s something as important as creating a new, winning smile.

Comments Off on What to Look for in an Effective Heroin Treatment Program

What to Look for in an Effective Heroin Treatment Program

| Articles | December 23, 2013

Trying to find a heroin treatment program can be one of the most disconcerting pastimes. There are so many from which to choose. All you have to do is Google the term “heroin addiction” and you will be presented with more than 10 million options. So, where do you start?

Your choices include medical rehab, psychiatric/psychological counseling and any other option that falls between these two divergent options. One handles the physical and the other handles the mental.

The biggest problem with the medical route is that, in most case, methadone or some other drug is used to get an addict off heroin. It has been found, however, that methadone and these other drugs can be far more addictive and much more difficult to “give up”. Besides the obvious negative in using methadone as a solution for heroin treatment, what about the mental aspects of the addiction?

That’s the other side of the coin – handling the mental aspect. By the time heroin addiction is entrenched in the addict, he has become physically and mentally dependent on it.

Great, but with so many options available, how do you know which is the right one? What do you look for when having to choose a heroin treatment program that will fully resolve the addiction problem and bring a loved one back from a life of hell for him or her self and worry for you?

It’s bad if they don’t get a fix and its bad if they do – and things only gets worse and can even lead to death. Something has to and can be done about it. There’s no middle of the road on this issue and the treatment program cannot just address one side of the problem.

When getting onto a heroin treatment program, you want to be sure that the addiction never returns. To give you a bit of “inside” information, here’s what happens in the body.

Any toxin, and this includes heroin, that can’t be dispelled through the body’s normal channels of elimination, get surrounded by a little bit of fat and is “stored” in the fatty tissue of the human body and everyone has it, no matter how skinny or fat they are.

This would be fine, except that when the person gets a bit tired, stressed, hasn’t eaten properly or at all, exercising, has been in the sun too long or under extreme temperature changes, which register as stress to the body, the body draws energy from the fat reserves and, in doing so, unleashes small bits of the toxins (heroin particles) that were stored.

When these particles enter the blood streams they can make an addict feel the same way he did while on heroin. The person can feel exactly the same, including the cravings. This can happen days, weeks, years, even decades later and it can start the cycle of addiction all over again.

Getting heroin treatment should definitely include addressing the physical aspects of the addiction and no heroin treatment program would be complete without also addressing and resolving fully the mental aspect. You have to address the problem the heroin addict was trying to resolve when he or she started down that road.

It, therefore, goes without saying that a complete heroin treatment program would include getting the person’s body cleaned up and getting the mental aspect fully cleaned up so that he or she can have a future and you can be free of worry.

Comments Off on What to Look for in an Anti-Aging Formula

What to Look for in an Anti-Aging Formula

| Articles | December 23, 2013

There’s little doubt that our society puts a premium on looking young. But appearances aside, life expectancies are increasing, but it’s not enough to live longer lives – we want to live better lives. The good news is that it’s not a matter of quantity versus quality; indeed, there’s no reason why we can’t be active and healthy throughout our later years. The key, though, is finding the right anti-aging formula that will both stop and reverse the aging process.

Important Differences

There are any number of antioxidant products on the market, but not all of them are created equally. An anti-aging natural supplement, for example, is far better than supplements that use artificial ingredients. Similarly, anti-aging products that are used externally, such as creams and lotions, are far less effective than those that work on the cellular level. This is because the first signs of aging aren’t visible to the eye; rather, aging takes place deep inside the body. By the time you experience signs and symptoms, cell damage has already occurred.

The Right Combination

A good anti-aging formula won’t consist of only one ingredient. Instead, an anti-aging supplement will contain a combination of vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, herbs, minerals, and antioxidants that will attack the roots of the aging process. This combination should work to improve a number of the body’s systems. For example, since sleep has important restorative qualities, the supplements you choose should improve the quality of your sleep. Because mental alertness is critical to quality of life, the product should work to improve memory and brain function. Likewise, because free radical damage impairs the immune system and can make you susceptible to any number of diseases, it’s crucial that your supplements contain an antioxidant formula that helps the regeneration and reproduction of cells.

When you stop and then reverse the damage that free radicals can cause, several of the body’s systems are positively impacted. For example, you not only boost your immune system, but you can also ensure that your nervous system remains healthy, that your hormones stay in balance, that your joints function normally, that your vision doesn’t deteriorate, and that your metabolism hums along.

As was mentioned earlier, appearances matter in our society. A good anti-aging formula does reverse the aging process from the inside out, which means that the effects will be both felt and seen. Over time, your skin texture will improve, melanin will be restored in graying hair, and your circulation will improve and give you that healthy glow.

Forget Overnight Miracles

Don’t trust an anti-aging formula that promises overnight results. After all, it takes the body years to age, so it only makes sense that it will take time to stop and reverse the aging process. Don’t expect instant miracles, but do know that you can expect to feel positive effects within two to four weeks, and significant improvements within one to two months.

There’s no reason that we can’t achieve both longevity and an exceptional quality of life. The secret is simply to find the right anti-aging formula with antioxidant properties that will stop and reverse the aging process.

Comments Off on What to look for in a probiotic

What to look for in a probiotic

| Articles | December 22, 2013

What you should know about probiotics

You might be surprised to learn that how you feel and even look every day is tied to your intestines. To maintain good health, your intestines must properly absorb nutrients and help eliminate waste and toxins.

Your intestines, which lie between the stomach and rectum, are part of the Gl tract or digestive system. In the small and large intestines, food is broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream, providing your celts and organs with the energy they need to function. Your intestines do this with the help of good bacteria (also called microflora).

These “good bacteria” aid digestion, promote vital nutrient production, maintain pH (acid-base) balance, and prevent proliferation of unwelcome bacteria. From the time of birth your body is inhabited by these good bacteria. Changes in diet, stress and aging and other factors can disrupt this delicate balance.

Lack of good bacteria can lead to:

Digestion issues

Poor bowel function and flatulence

A weakened immune system

Poor nutrient absorption

Low level of energy and well-being

Lack of good bacteria is so common that many health professionals recommend the use of probiotic supplements. Probiotics are good bacteria strains that limit the proliferation of unwelcome bacteria in the intestinal tract by crowding them out.

In the first decade of the twentieth century a Russian scientist, Elie Metchnikoff, suggested that the long lives of Bulgarian peasants might be a result of their consumption or fermented microorganisms which positively influenced the microflora of the colon. This discovery, together with his work in immunology, earned him the 1908 Nobel Prize for Medicine. 1 his event raised considerable interest in the study of benefits of microorganisms to humans. In 1974 the term “Probiotic” (pro – for; bio = life) was coined to describe the use of beneficial bacteria to positively influence health.

Today the scientific field agrees that probiotics offer a broad range of health benefits when taken in sufficient numbers.

Restoring the balance

————————

Conditioned as we are to think of bacteria as trouble-makers, it’s hard to accept that we may actually have too few of these organisms in our digestive system. Yet that is actually quite common. And when it happens, our bodies let us know with occasional sluggishness, irregularity, bloating, or a weaker immune system.

There is a synergistic relationship between good bacteria and our body: we provide them with a safe place to live and grow, and they help us digest, absorb our food, eliminate and maintain a healthy intestinal function. It works very well… as long as there are enough of them.

Strain specificity

——————

However, not all probiotic bacteria are identical. They differ on the basis of genus, species and strain and results. Also it has been shown that organisms must both live and colonize within the gut to induce beneficial effects. Unfortunately a lot of probiotics don’t even reach the intestine and hence offer no benefits.

Viability

———-

Probiotics are fragile live bacteria. Probiotic cultures vary and the benefit of a probiotic is not measured simply by the number of living bacteria in a pill. The beneficial effects of the presence of probiotics in the gastro-intestinal tract depend on their viability – the ability of the bacteria to survive and colonize.

In the U.S. many probiotic products arc supported by poor research, are poorly formulated, and suffer from poor quality control. Most products list bacterial genera and species but make no mention of the viability of the bacteria. Acidophilus, for instance, has only -A 53% viability, which means that only half of the bacteria you take will be able to survive.

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