How To Use Probiotics For Infection Treatment

 
18-Nov-2011 by

Probiotic yoghurt

Everyone has suffered from some form of infection at some point of their life. Infections are a source of great unease and discomfort, and the antibiotics consumed to cure it come along with their fair share of side effects. What if I told you that there is an all natural way not only to cure but also prevent infections? Yes, Probiotics for Infection Treatment! Recent developments in the world of science have been progressing day by day in establishing probiotics as a remedial measure for infections.

 

How Probiotics Help Treat Infection

Infection can be bacterial, fungal or viral and can inflict any part of the human body; the respiratory tract, urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract, etc. Probiotics role is to replenish the beneficial microorganisms in the gut that would eventually help counter the pathogenic (disease causing) microbe. The primary role of probiotics is to bolster overall body immunity, thereby ensuring eradication of infections. Studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in prevention and reducing the severity of infections like cold, flu, winter infections, urinary tract infections, diarrhea, yeast infection, and necrotizing enterocolitis.

Traditional role of probiotics was to treat gastrointestinal infections caused by infectious agents, like viruses. Certain strains of Lactobacillus reduce food poisoning by salmonella. The benefits of probiotics expand beyond the intestinal tract, they help prevent respiratory infections like cold and flu, and have been found to be extremely beneficial in treatment of swine flu. Probiotics also help prevent vaginal infections and bladder infections. As antibiotics are ineffective against yeast infections commonly occurring in these organs, probiotics offer a safe and effective way of prevention and cure of such infections.

The Immune system of the elderly is compromised due to age-related decline in the body's natural defenses, particularly the degradation of the gut microflora. Probiotics are immunomodulatory agents that strengthen systemic immune system via the intestinal immune system in the elderly reducing their susceptibility to infections.

Minor Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) can be treated using probiotics, but its exact mechanism of action is still under study. Lactobacilli bacterial strains as especially helpful in preventing infections of the urinary and genital tracts. Necrotizing enterocolitis is a disease that occurs in premature infants causing abdominal distension, bloody stools, lethargy and tenderness over the abdomen can prove to be fatal. Preventive supplementation of probiotics reduces the risk of occurrence of this disease in infants.

 

How To Use Probiotics To Treat Infection

  • Efficacy of probiotic therapy is dose and strain dependent; ideally a minimum of 5 to 10 million live microorganisms belonging to 2 to 3 strains are introduced in to the system
  • Choice of probiotics is dependent on the purpose, thus food babels should be read carefully to find out exactly which microbes and expiration date of the product before consumption.
  • Probiotics should be taken on a regular basis to prevent infection.
  • Probiotics can be consumed in daily diet in the form of diary products like acidophilous milk, kefir, cultured milk, cultured buttermilk, and yogurt.
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  • Probiotics can also be added to daily diet by incorporating soy, rice or coconut milk with live microbes, pickled vegetables (Raw kimchi, sauerkraut or pickled beets, carrots or other vegetables), hummus, tempeh, formulated health bars, miso, cereals, and certain probiotic salad dressings.
  • Probiotics are also available as a wide variety of dietary supplements in capsule, tablets or liquid forms for easy use.
  • Probiotics work best when used in conjunction with prebiotics.

 

Best Probiotics for Infection

Some probiotics that have been found to be effective against infection are Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, L. casei DN, L. gasseri PA, L. acidophilus, L. reuteri, L. bulgaricus, Bifidobacterium longum SP, B. bifidum MF, B. infanti, B. lactis, B. bifidum, B. longum, and Saccharomyces boulardii.

Some of the commonly available probiotic products are Acidophilous milk, Probiotic yoghurt, ThreeLac, Choice Super 8 High Potency Probiotic, Advanced Adult Probiotic, Yakult, Align, Activia yogurt, EcoVag, etc.

 

Things to Remember while Using Probiotic Therapy

Although probiotics counter infections, but they should not be given to people with compromised immunity like HIV patients. Probiotics can help cure minor infections, and also help alleviate side effects of antibiotics when taken in the right dose along with adequate rest, healthy diet and hydration.

 

To experience the wide range of health benefits that probiotics have to offer consume them on a regular basis, and bid goodbye to common infections!

 

Image Credits: sambelle.pbworks.com

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