Defend Yourself, With Probiotic Blends TM Maximum Defense TM Probiotics Supplement
Clinical research has implicated bacterial dysbiosis(bacterial imbalance) in a number of diseases of inflammation, the bowel or involving skin or connective tissue. Some of the proposed diseases are as follows: Atopic Eczema, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and Arthritis. If the true source of these disease lies in intestinal imbalance, providing appropriate microflora could be affective in treating these diseases. Read below or click the links on the top left hand side of the page to view some of the conditions you can Defend Yourself TM from.
Poor GI (Gastrointestinal Tract) Health
A healthy intestine is characterized by the proper balance of both beneficial and non beneficial micro-flora. It is estimated that our intestinal micro-flora should by comprised of 85% beneficial bacteria and 15% pathogenic bacteria. It has been estimated that the human intestines is home to more than 100 trillion bacterial cells made up of more than 400 different species. The most common residential species found comprising our intestinal tract within western societies includes bacteroides, eubacteria, peptostreptococci, bifidobacteria, enterobacteria, streptococci, lacto bacilli, clostridia and staphylococci. 1, 2 The intestines of man and animal alike have populations of both beneficial (eg. E. faecium - M74®, L. paracasei F19®,, B. bifidum, L.acidophilus, L. casei and pathogenic or bad microorganisms (eg. Salmonella typhimurium, Staphlococcus aureus, E. Coli and Colstridium perfringens) present. A constant struggle for dominance wages between these two groups of micro-flora. As long as an appropriate balance of approximately 85% good to 15% harmful bacteria remains in tact, optimum GI health should be experienced.
The primary purpose of the GI Tract is to digest and absorb nutrients enabling the body to perform all other necessary functions of survival. The GI Tract also functions as a barrier protecting against outside antigens found in food and in the form of other microorganisms. Immunophysiologic regulation in the gut is dependant upon the establishment of indigenous microflora.3 Protection from potentially harmful agents are dependant upon many factors, including gastric acid, saliva, peristalsis, mucus, and specific intestinal micro-flora. 4 Because some bacteria are harmful while others are beneficial it is paramount that the appropriate bacteria reside in the GI Tract. The balance of heath can shift one direction or another with the self same shift from beneficial to harmful bacterial colonization.
Definition and Causes of Constipation
Constipation is passage of small amounts of hard, dry bowel movements, usually fewer than three times a week. People who are constipated may find it difficult and painful to have a bowel movement. Other symptoms of constipation include feeling bloated, uncomfortable, and sluggish.
What Causes Constipation?
To understand constipation, it helps to know how the colon (large intestine) works. As food moves through it, the colon absorbs water while forming waste products, or stool. Muscle contractions in the colon push the stool toward the rectum. By the time stool reaches the rectum, it is solid because most of the water has been absorbed.
The hard and dry stools of constipation occur when the colon absorbs too much water. This happens because the colon's muscle contractions are slow or sluggish, causing the stool to move through the colon too slowly.
Probiotics such as E. faecium - M74®, L. paracasei - F19®, L. acidophilus produce lactic acid which speeds up peristalsis (distinctive pattern of smooth muscle contractions that propels foodstuffs distally through the esophagus and intestines) in turn speeding the transient time through the intestines and helping to eliminate constipation. A research study listed in journal MICROBIAL ECOLOGY in Health and Disease Supplement 3/2002 - Lactobacillus F-19(Lactobacillus paracasei - F19®) – Closing the Broken Circle states: There was a tendency for higher frequencies of stools and less hardness of stools in the treatment group….. without increase in flatulence. This is just one of many research studies showing the efficiency of LAB(Lactic Acid Bacteria) on constipation.
Digestion is the process of breaking down food into a form where micro-nutrients can be released and absorbed. During this digestion process our body processes enzymes that help to break food down into smaller and smaller particles. It must also work symbiotically with the enzymes present in the food as well as with intestinal micro-flora residents. Without out this symbiosis occurring proper digestion is incomplete. Our bodies cannot completely digest food absent from the outside help of food enzymes and beneficial bacteria. Once the food has become partially digested the complete digestion is brought about by colonies of friendly bacteria such as L. acidophilus.
For example a person who is lactose intolerant can be aided by the production of lactase an enzyme produced by Lactobacilli species which aids in the digestion of lactose. Some Lactobacilli species can aid in the digestion of over 18 different forms of carbohydrates.
By lining the wall of the intestines probiotic bacteria also aid in the absorption of digested food. Not only must food be properly digested it must also be properly absorbed to be of any nutritional value to the body.
Another important aspect of proper digestion is the elimination of food sources for pathogenic bacteria. Improper digestion leaves partially digested food particles floating free, providing food for harmful bacteria; which in turn assimilate that food and create harmful toxins to our bodies. Through the complete digestion of food this cycle is broken and the toxins are not longer present in the body.
Gas and Bloating
Through the proper digestion and elimination of food; gas and bloating can be minimized. Maldigestion can cause belching, flatulence, bloating, heartburn, as well as serious nutritional deficiencies leading to weight gain and all kinds of digestive disorders. These, in turn, may cause allergies, aches and pains, fatigue, skin problems, moodiness, etc. Consumption of beneficial microorganism can help to eliminate these symptoms by aiding in proper digestive function.
Pathogenic & Opportunistic Bacteria
The term, "competitive exclusion", is used to describe the process by which beneficial bacteria exclude bad bacteria or pathogens. It implies the prevention of entry and establishment of a bacterial population into the gut. To succeed, the good bacteria must be better suited to establish or maintain itself in that gut environment.
Microflora is a vital part of both the digestive process and in the resistance to, even the exclusion of, pathogenic organisms. Our bodies are continually exposed to a competitive flora of beneficial bacteria as well as harmful bacteria from many different sources within our environment. This continually exposure can lead to colonization of unwanted, transient bacteria that can be found all around us. We encounter these contaminants in the air, from close contact with sick individual; and at times even in our food and water supply. By utilizing a probiotic supplement, beneficial intestinal flora can be established which help to protect us from certain harmful microorganisms such as: Salmonella, H. pylori, clostridiae, and certain strains of harmful ecoli just to name a few. For instance probiotics have been found to be helpful in the treatment and prevention of yeast infections, as well as travelers and antibiotics induced diarrheas, all of which find their causal agents being harmful pathogenic bacterias. Further, there is an increased production of volatile fatty acids (VFA) and lactate in recipients, which assist in lowering the pH in the intestinal tract. This combination of low pH and high VFA concentrations creates an environment unfavorable to unwanted bacteria. Another factor to consider, in the mode of action, is the production of antibacterial substances. These include ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, bacterial enzymes, bacteriophages, and bacteriocins, all identified as substances that can inhibit enteropathogens.
The normal bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract are well known for helping maintain a healthy, GI Tract. It is important that these bacteria be established and well maintained. If the digestive bacteria are not well maintained, the risk of infection and disease is greatly increased.
MORE than half of us will be affected by diverticulitis - a disease of the colon where small pouches (diverticula) bulge out through its walls and become inflamed.
Diverticulitis is common in developed nations, and is more likely to occur as we age. We don't know the precise cause, although a low-fibre diet is implicated as the condition is rare where a high-fibre diet is the rule. Diverticulitis becomes a problem when the diverticula get infected and inflamed, causing pain and a mixture of diarrhea, constipation and bloating.
Current treatments are designed to clear infection and reduce inflammation using antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. However, a recent scientific review has suggested "good" bacteria may be effective at controlling symptoms of diverticulitis and preventing its recurrence.
Colonising the gut with probiotic bacteria can prevent potentially harmful bacteria from increasing and thereby reduce the chance of infection. Probiotics compete with and inhibit growth of harmful bacteria, preventing them from taking hold and spreading. They probably also help the lining of the gut to strengthen and protect itself.
What causes diarrhea?
Diarrhea may be caused by a temporary problem, like an infection, or a chronic problem, such as an intestinal disease. A few of the more common causes of diarrhea are:
• Bacterial infections. Several types of bacteria, consumed through contaminated food or water, can cause diarrhea. Common culprits include Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, and Escherichia coli.
• Viral infections. Many viruses cause diarrhea, including rotavirus, Norwalk virus, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus, and viral hepatitis.
• Food intolerances. Some people are unable to digest some component of food, such as lactose, the sugar found in milk.
• Parasites. Parasites can enter the body through food or water and settle in the digestive system. Parasites that cause diarrhea include Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica, and Cryptosporidium.
• Reaction to medicines, such as antibiotics, blood pressure medications, and antacids containing magnesium.
• Intestinal diseases, like inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease.
• Functional bowel disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, in which the intestines do not work normally.
People who visit foreign countries are at risk for traveler's diarrhea, which is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or, sometimes, parasites. Traveler's diarrhea is a particular problem for people visiting developing countries. Visitors to the United States, Canada, most European countries, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand do not face much risk for traveler's diarrhea
How probiotics help:
Beneficial bacteria such as Entercoccus Faecium M-74® can compete with harmful bacteria through competitive exclusion and the production of bacteriocins. Some probiotics have been shown to successfully help in the prevention and recovery from rotavirus. Some individuals are unable to digest component of food, such as lactose, the sugar found in milk thus leading to diarrhea. Certain probiotics create the enzyme lactase which aids in the digestion of lactose which may lead to the elimination of the source of this particular form of diarrhea.
The immune system consists of organs and several cell types. Antigen interaction with these cells induces a cellular immune response mediated by activated cells and a humoral immune response mediated by antibodies. The cellular interactions are enhanced by adhesion molecules, and the activated cells release different cytokines. These complex cellular interactions induce a systemic immune response.
a.Stimulating of the immune system
Bacteria attach themselves to the cells of the intestinal wall producing 'cytokine'. Cytokines are proteins that stimulate the multiplication of the specific and non-specific cells of the immune system.
b.Strengthen the immune system*
Many studies, both in vitro and in vivo, have demonstrated that friendly bacteria Lactobacilli (in particular L. acidophilus) are not just normal inhabitants of the intestinal tract. The bacteria Lactobacilli also play an important role in stimulating the immune system, inhibiting pathogens and lowering colon cancer risks.
c.Inhibition of pathogens
Friendly bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus help inhibit the growth of pathogens. When friendly bacteria attach themselves to the cells of the intestinal wall, they generate lactic acid and bacteriocins. These substances inhibit the growth of pathogens.
Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest significant amounts of lactose, the predominant sugar of milk. This inability results from a shortage of the enzyme lactase, which is normally produced by the cells that line the small intestine. Lactase breaks down milk sugar into simpler forms that can then be absorbed into the bloodstream. When there is not enough lactase to digest the amount of lactose consumed, the results, although not usually dangerous, may be very distressing. While not all persons deficient in lactase have symptoms, those who do are considered to be lactose intolerant. Common symptoms include nausea, cramps, bloating, gas, and diarrhea, which begin about 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating or drinking foods containing lactose. The severity of symptoms varies depending on the amount of lactose each individual can tolerate.
Some causes of lactose intolerance are well known. For instance, certain digestive diseases and injuries to the small intestine can reduce the amount of enzymes produced. In rare cases, children are born without the ability to produce lactase. For most people, though, lactase deficiency is a condition that develops naturally over time. After about the age of 2 years, the body begins to produce less lactase. However, many people may not experience symptoms until they are much older.
Between 30 and 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant. Certain ethnic and racial populations are more widely affected than others. As many as 75 percent of all African Americans and American Indians and 90 percent of Asian Americans are lactose intolerant. The condition is least common among persons of northern European descent.
Production of the enzyme lactase by certain beneficial bacteria may help in the digestion of lactose thereby decreasing or eliminating the symptoms of lactose intolerance.
Antibiotic Induced Imbalances
Also known as Antibiotic-induced dysbiosis - Antibiotic treatment may destroy beneficial bacteria in the colonic epithelium, creating an environment for pathogenic organisms to flourish. This imbalance is called dysbiosis. This imbalance can lead to diarrhea, or other more serious conditions such as colitis, crohn’s disease, or even colon cancer as a result of the production of carcinogens by harmful bacteria due to intestinal imbalances.
Probiotics can be helpful in treating these conditions by helping to restore microflora to its proper balance; thereby eliminating the harmful effects of pathogenic bacterias.
Intestinal Dysbiosis (Microflora Imbalance)
Clinical research has implicated bacterial dysbiosis(bacterial imbalance) in a number of diseases of inflammation within the bowel or involving skin or connective tissue. Some of the proposed diseases are as follows: Atopic Eczema, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis. If the true source of these disease lies in intestinal imbalance, providing appropriate microflora could be affective in treating these diseases.
Candida / Candidiasis*
Candida is a yeast that lives in the human digestive system. It has the ability to change from a yeast and become a fungus. As a fungus it functions similarly to any other fungi such as athletes' foot fungus, etc. Candida is kept under control, i.e. at low level, by the friendly bacteria that live in the digestive tract. The friendly bacteria feed on Candida, so a balance in the body is maintained. Unfortunately, antibiotics, birth control pills, cortisone and chemotherapy kill these friendly bacteria as do street drugs, alcohol, and most junk foods.
Once the friendly bacteria have been destroyed, the yeast begins to grow abundantly and literally takes over the digestive system and at times affecting the entire GI Tract from top to bottom. Taking friendly bacteria such as Probiotic Blends TM Maximum Defense TM can help to keep the GI Tract properly balanced and protected from pathogenic bacteria.
Malabsorption is the state of impaired absorption of nutrients in the small intestine. It has many different potential causes. Specific causes lead to different patterns in malabsorption. It may involve fat and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K); it may also affect vitamin B12, folic acid, iron, protein and carbohydrates.
During the digestive process food is broken down into a form where micro-nutrients can be released and absorbed. Enzymes help to break food down into smaller and smaller particles. The GI System must also work symbiotically with the enzymes already present in the food being digested as well as with the intestinal micro-flora residents. Without out this symbiosis occurring proper digestion is incomplete. Our bodies cannot completely digest food absent from the outside help of food enzymes and beneficial bacteria. Once the food has become partially digested the complete digestion is brought about by colonies of friendly bacteria such as L. acidophilus.
By lining the wall of the intestines probiotic bacteria also aid in the absorption of digested food. Not only must food be properly digested it must also be properly absorbed to be of any nutritional value to the body.
Good digestive health is vital in obtaining optimum benefits from the food we eat. Proper digestion requires that sufficient enzymes be produced by the body. The breaking down of food such as protein, carbohydrate and fat into smaller absorbable units is performed by digestive enzymes. There are specific digestive enzymes that break down protein (called proteases), carbohydrate (amylases) and fat (lipases). The proper digestion and absorption of protein and fat are extremely important to ensure uptake of nutrients essential to general immune function, wound healing, maintenance of cellular vitality, etc.
Possible causes of maldigestion are bad food choices, anxiety, stress, enzyme deficiency, and many others. Junk food, for instance, irritates the digestive organs and reduces digestive speed and efficiency. Research indicates that today most people have weak digestion and poor intestinal flora. Maldigestion can cause belching, flatulence, bloating, heartburn, as well as serious nutritional deficiencies leading to weight gain and all kinds of digestive disorders. These, in turn, may cause allergies, aches and pains, fatigue, skin problems, moodiness, etc.
To avoid these health problems, we can help our digestive system by avoiding unhealthy foods, by consuming an adequate amount of dietary fiber, by supplementing with friendly probiotic bacteria that help protect our intestinal flora.
Clinical Study view - One Year application of probiotic strain Enterococcus faecium M-74® decreases serum cholesterol levels
During the course of this one year study it was discovered that the administration of Enterococcus faecium M-74® was associated with the reduction of serum cholesterol concentration by 12%(majority of reduction being LDL(bad cholesterol) while HDL(good cholesterol) remained virtually unchanged) after 56weeks. The crescent amount of facts on this issue gives us solid reason to assume that probiotics will find their place as therapeutic alternative in human medicine. (Link to document)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Studies show some natural alternatives relieve symptoms for irritable bowel syndrome.Many people turn to natural treatments to relieve symptoms because there is no one treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) that works for everyone, and because scientists have yet to pinpoint the exact cause of the condition. Studies of some natural alternatives have had promising results, but none are proven.
Irritable bowel syndrome is not a disease. As the name implies, it is a syndrome -- a group of symptoms that fit a pattern. The main symptoms of IBS are problematic bowel movements, gut pain, and bloating. Some people who suffer from IBS have constipation, others have diarrhea, and some have both.
Before it was called IBS, the syndrome was usually known as "spastic colon." There is nothing physically wrong with the intestines of people with IBS, but the contractions that move food through the digestive tract may be disturbed. With IBS the nerves and the muscles in the bowel are extra sensitive. It's also thought that IBS sufferers may be particularly sensitive to the rumbling and burbling that goes on in the bowel during digestion. What you eat may play a role, too.
IBS symptoms that stem from pathogenic bacteria, bacterial imbalances or poor digestion of food may be eliminated through the consumption of probiotics.
Probiotics may be important in the control of food allergies because of their ability to improve digestion, by helping the intestinal tract control the absorption of food allergens and/or by changing immune system responses to foods. For example production of the enzyme lactase by certain beneficial bacteria may help in the digestion of lactose thereby decreasing or eliminating the symptoms of lactose intolerance.
Increased Risk of Cancer
Probiotics such as E. faecium M74® reduce the average activity of beta-D-glucuronidase which is, an enzyme produced by colonic microflora and involved in Phase II liver detoxification. Elevated beta-glucuronidase activity is associated with an increased risk for various cancers, particularly hormone-dependent cancers such as breast, prostate, and colon cancers.
Enzyme and Vitamin Shortages
Probiotics produce enzymes such as lactase which can help eliminate lactase shortages within the body. Probiotics also produce certain vitamins needed by the body including folic acid, vitamin B6, niacin and vitamin K. Bifidobacteria use the fiber from foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains to make short-chain fatty acids, including butyrate. Butyrate is an important source of energy for the cells lining the colon and as a result help to promote colon health.
Not only are probiotics vital in the production of certain nutritional essentials they also help to increase the amount of nutritients through improved digestion and absorption.
1 Na idu AS, Bidlack WR, Clemens RA. Probiotic spectra of lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 1999;39(1):1-126.
2 Kopp-Hoolihan L. Prophylactic and Therapeutic use of probiotics: A review, Journal of The American Dietetic association 2001; 101; 229-2341, 2r
3 Isolauri E, Sutas Y, Kankaanpaa P, Arvilommi H, Salminen S. Probiotics: effects on immunity. Am J Clin Nutr 2001 ;73(suppl) :444S-50S
4 Sanderson IR, Walker WA. Uptake and transport of macromlecules by the intestine: possible role in clinical disorders(an update). Gastroenterology 1993;105:622-39