Use of the term ‘Probiotic’ is no longer uncommon, but some may still be asking - what does it actually mean?

Probiotics - what are they? Probiotic means ‘for life’ indicating their role in supporting health and quality of life. Probiotic supplements are live beneficial bacteria commonly recommended by health professionals to help repopulate the intestinal tract. These microorganisms play a twin role in their relationship with humans by markedly enhancing nutritional status while supporting immune system function. Various factors may reduce friendly intestinal bacteria including antibiotics, ongoing stress, medication, poor dietary choices, acute/chronic diarrhoea, extreme physical activity and more. With the high demands of our modern lives, probiotic supplements are now perceived as an integral part of maintaining optimal health.

How do we get our first probiotics? Before birth our gastrointestinal tract is sterile, free of bacterial colonies. During a natural birth a baby acquires its first friendly bacteria while passing through the birth canal. These microorganisms rapidly multiply and populate the gut. Breastfeeding provides further probiotics to the infant, introducing strains from both the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families. These become the most common strains in our digestive tract with Lactobacillus bacteria tending to aggregate in the small intestine, whilst the Bifidobacterium concentrate in the large intestine. As we grow older, at different stages of life and under different conditions, the relative presence of the bacterial species varies considerably.

What happens when we don’t have enough? Intestinal bacteria imbalance may contribute to a wide range of common problems including oral or vaginal thrush, bloating, chronic flatulence, nappy rash, colic pain and reflux in babies. Yoghurt, although a source of friendly bacteria, does not contain sufficient live probiotics in significant amounts, particularly when a deficiency in these organisms is apparent. Stomach acid is also detrimental to many strains of probiotics; therefore, using an enteric coated probiotic supplement may help ensure the right amount of bacteria reaches the intestines.

Are probiotic supplements safe? Probiotics are naturally present in the human intestine from birth. Quality probiotic supplements are safe and effective to help maintain healthy intestinal flora balance.

Do probiotic supplements need to be refrigerated? All probiotics are adversely affected by light, heat, oxygen and moisture. Unless the probiotic is a specially formulated shelf stable product (such as the Primdaophilus® Reuteri Pearls), the product needs to be refrigerated to protect the bacteria’s viability.

Nature’s Way® Primadophilus® is still leading the way in providing high quality and effective probiotics. The comprehensive Primadophilus® range provides age specific, high potency formulas in vegetarian capsules, powders or shelf stable pearls. Primadophilus® - making a promise that meets your expectations The Primadophilus® range is backed by the Nature’s Way® True Guarantee®™ which separates this product range from any other on the market. It promises

- True Potency™ - the potency claimed on the labels is guaranteed to date of expiry (not just to date of manufacture as most brands do).

- True Release™ - capsules are enterically coated to ensure the probiotics are released in the right place at the right time.

- True Identity™ - stringent laboratory testing ensures that what is stated on the label is what is found in the product.

Look for the True Potency logo on the Primadophilus® label.

This article was published in Health Herbal Magazine which is put together by Health and Herbs International.

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