Probiotics are a very popular topic nowdays, especially now that we have Jamie Lee Curtis as the Activia (A Dannon brand of yogurt) spokeswoman touting the benefits of probiotics for bowel irregularity. The use of probiotics has gained interest and support among those who seek natural methods or preventing and / or combating chronic illnesses.
Probiotics, literally meaning pro life, is the name given to a group of live beneficial microorganisms found today in many foods as well as in supplement form. Examples of probiotics include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidum bacterium and Bifidus regularis. Our bodies are already comprised of the beneficial microorganisms found in probiotics but external factors often significantly reduce or eliminate these microorganisms.
Antibiotics, meaning against life, have been praised as a miracle of modern medicine but they destroy not only microorganisms that threaten the body's health but also those which help maintain health. Overuse of antibiotics gives rise to a condition known as dysbiosis. Dysbiosis is a condition in which the micro flora of the intestinal system is out of whack and the correct balance of microorganisms is compromised.
Dysbiosis is what gives rise to candida overgrowth also known as candidiasis. When beneficial microorganisms are destroyed the balance between bacteria and yeast (Candida albicans) becomes distorted. Candida albicans is typically a beneficial part of the body's intestinal micro flora but without the proper amount of beneficial bacteria it becomes an opportunistic microorganism releasing toxins and causing symptoms throughout the body.
Although probiotics do not kill Candida albicans they do help to repopulate the intestinal system with beneficial microorganisms. By repopulating the intestinal system with these beneficial microorganisms the population of candida is kept at bay. Today probiotics are found in many foods. The most well known food that contains probiotics is probably yogurt. Eating plain unsweetened yogurt may be a good way for many to consume probiotics daily. Unfortunately, if you are battling candidiasis you are probably following the candida diet and while some can tolerate yogurt on the diet many can not. In this case supplements may be beneficial.
There are so many different forms of probiotic supplements on the market today so the question becomes which one is the best? When choosing a probiotic supplement it is important to evaluate the product thoroughly. Make sure to choose a product with the largest number of microorganisms. A good baseline number is 1 billion live bacteria per serving but the higher the better. Choose products with an enteric-coating, which will help ensure that the probiotic makes it through the stomach and into the intestinal system. You will notice that probiotics are stored on both the shelf and in the refrigerator.
The refrigerated varieties may be more expensive but are usually worth the expense because more bacteria will survive in the refrigerator than on the shelf. If you are suffering from candidiasis adding probiotics to your candida diet regimen may be beneficial in combating candida. For more information on candidiasis treatment through supplements and the Candida Diet visit Yeast Free Living.