According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there is encouraging evidence from the study of probiotics formulations:
- To treat diarrhea (this is the strongest area of evidence, especially for diarrhea from rotavirus).
- To prevent and treat infections of the urinary tract or female genital tract.
- To treat irritable bowel syndrome.
- To reduce recurrence of bladder cancer.
- To shorten how long an intestinal infection lasts that is caused by a bacterium called Clostridium difficile.
- To prevent and treat pouchitis (a condition that can follow surgery to remove the colon).
- To prevent and manage atopic dermatitis (eczema) in children.
The NIH cautions that more information is needed on the safety of probiotics, especially for young children, elderly people, and people with compromised immune systems.
A Word About Diet
Loaded with highly processed foods, the typical American diet is not kind to your gut. The empty calories, almost void of nutritional value or fiber, do nothing but harm to your health.
Fuel your body properly by focusing on natural foods that are packed with nutrients, not empty calories. Whole grains, vegetables, and fruits should top the list. Shoot for a rainbow of colors and remember Ms. Watson’s helpful hint: potatoes don’t count as a main veggie! Restrict your intake of saturated fat, salt, refined grains, and added sugars.
Probiotics can be found in foods like kefir (a fermented milk drink) and yogurt and, according to Ms. Watson, there is heavily documented use of fermented foods and cultured dairy products for therapeutic purposes.
What goes in must come out, and if you’re not careful about that first part, the second part will have you paying a very high price.
Treat your body as if it has to carry you throughout your life… because it does.
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Ann Pietrangelo is the author of “No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis,” a memoir. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and The Author’s Guild, and a regular contributor to Care2 Healthy & Green Living and Care2 Causes. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo