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The Scoop on Poop and Probiotics

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.

For more information visit:

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

Read more: Alternative Therapies, Diet & Nutrition, General Health, Health, Women's Health, , , , , , , ,

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87 comments

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7:39PM PDT on Sep 6, 2014

ty

2:54PM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

Thank you---I love kefir and yougurt and eat/drink them often!

2:36PM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

Interesting article with lots of useful information. Thank you.

2:21PM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

I eat kimchee, very good tasting. Good necessary article. Thank you.

1:43PM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

Thank you for an interesting article.

2:18AM PST on Jan 25, 2014

I should add that a growing number of experts are urging us to make and use our own fermented foods to help balance our gut microbiota. Try listening to this week's The Splendid Table podcast with host Lynn Rossetti Kaspar interviewing one of these expert chefs (Noma) on the techniques and benefits of fermented foods. It's outstandingly clear, surprisingly simple, and simply entertaining.

2:08AM PST on Jan 25, 2014

The only problem with taking probiotics is how expensive they are and how tiny a dose we get even from the highest-dose probiotic products, in comparison to the vast numbers of microbes in our guts. If we want to tip the balance we may need to do microbiome transplants. Another way, according to scientific experiments, is to switch to a vegan diet for as little as a few days, which can transform the proportion of beneficial to bad microbiota very quickly. Wish I didn't need animal protein because of my food sensitivities. let everyone become more aware of how our bodies react to foods and other factors & we will become more capable of regulating our nutrient intakes for health.

6:22AM PDT on Nov 1, 2013

ive been irregular for a couple of months now, and have had good days and bad...was going along fine with nice firm movements, but now most of them seem to be soft. i added metamucil, started eating more fiber, etc, that seems to help, but the pro biotic i take, seems there is a laxative type effect as the movements are still soft, compared to the firm ones i used to have....is this normal?

6:00AM PDT on Mar 17, 2013

This should not be uncomfortable subject because it's so important. (Dr. Oz has helped greatly by making it open topic on his show. lol. Wasn't so long ago that it was shocking to say "pregnant" - sssshhhhh you were "in a family way".) This is helpful article - thanks. I have been buying a commercial yogurt with probiotics but trying to find better alterative.

11:06AM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

Adding probiotic's to any diet is beneficial to overall health.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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