Probiotics: the future of medicine?

by Casey Foster, DC

Probiotics are best described as sources of good bacteria for the body and gut.  Our digestive system contains a range of different organisms operating with our body to properly process the foods that we intake in order to get the most nutritional value from them.  Without these bacteria (gut flora) we would be unable to process many foods and nutrients found in our foods.

As with many things in life there is a very delicate balance between good vs bad bacteria in our digestive tract.  There are bad bacteria like E. Coli and Shigella, that can wreak havoc if left unchecked.

That is where probiotic foods and supplements come in.  These are concentrations of good bacteria and they can be taken by almost anyone.  Common foods that contain probiotics include yogurts, certain cheeses, and certain breads.  They help to make sure that the bad bacteria don’t win and throw the balance of our gut off.

Doctors of all types regularly recommend probiotic supplements when taking antibiotic medications 1, those with Diverticulitis 2, and Crohn’s disease 3.

Also many people with autoimmune diseases benefit from probiotic therapy.  While still new there is evidence that autoimmune diseases may start with abnormal gut bacteria 4.

Lastly there is evidence that altered gut bacteria balance may make weight loss more difficult or even impossible.  Recently studies have shown that obese mice can be made thin by transferring gut bacteria from skinny mice. So why not change your gut bacteria on your own with probiotics?

Citations:

1-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22570464

2-http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/diverticular-disease

3-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1856223/

4-http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/021313p38.shtml

Dr. Casey Foster is a chiropractor at Foster Chiropractic with an interest in quality of life improvement through natural, organic means.  He actively treats patients of all activity levels and ages to ensure proper health. He can be reached at 502-509-3121, by email info@fosterchiropracticoffice.com, or through his website at http://www.fosterchiropracticoffice.com

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