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Probiotics

Also indexed as:Intestinal Flora, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus, Lactobacillus casei
Probiotics: Main Image

Probiotic bacteria favorably alter the intestinal microflora balance, inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, promote good digestion, boost immune function, and increase resistance to infection.1, 2 People with flourishing intestinal colonies of beneficial bacteria are better equipped to fight the growth of disease-causing bacteria.3, 4Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria maintain a healthy balance of intestinal flora by producing organic compounds--such as lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and acetic acid--that increase the acidity of the intestine and inhibit the reproduction of many harmful bacteria.5, 6 Probiotic bacteria also produce substances called bacteriocins, which act as natural antibiotics to kill undesirable microorganisms.7

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Colic
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner3 stars[3 stars]
Research suggests probiotics may benefit babies with colic who are breast-fed or fed milk-based formula.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Refer to label instructions 3 stars[3 stars]
A daily drink containing probiotics significantly reduced IBS symptoms in one study.
Tooth Decay
Add 5 to 10 x 105 CFU per ml to milk or formula3 stars[3 stars]
Supplementing with probiotics may inhibit cavity-causing bacteria.
Vaginitis
Apply a daily topical preparation or a suppository containing live cultureas Lactobacillus acidophilus Vaginal Application3 stars[3 stars]
A topical preparation or suppository containing live Lactobacillus acidophilus may help relieve symptoms and prevent recurrent infections.
Yeast Infection
3 capsules or 1/4 tsp powder, taken by mouth three times daily, or use powder in douche or vaginal suppositories dailyas Lactobacillus acidophilus3 stars[3 stars]
Supplementing with probiotics may prevent the overgrowth of yeast organisms.
Allergies and Sensitivities and Food Allergies
2.6 billion organisms per day for infants2 stars[2 stars]
Probiotics such as Lactobacillus GG may improve digestion in people with food allergies, helping the intestinal tract control allergen absorption and changing immune system responses to foods.
Athletic Performance
Fermented milk containing 6.5 billion live Lactobacillus casei Shirota organisms, twice a day for 16 weeks 2 stars[2 stars]
In a double-blind trial, supplementation with a probiotic preparation reduced the frequency of upper respiratory tract infections in training athletes during the winter.
Canker Sores
Apply powdered culture topically several times daily and orally take 1.5 billion colony-forming units two times daily 2 stars[2 stars]
Topical and/or oral use of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus may help people with recurrent canker sores.
Common Cold

(Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis Bi-07 )
A total of 1,010 colony-forming units per day for the combination 2 stars[2 stars]
In a double-blind study conducted in China, children who received probiotics for six months had a significantly lower incidence of cold symptoms compared with children who received a placebo.
Common Cold and Sore Throat
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
A double-blind trial showed that daily supplementation with with a probiotic may decrease the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections in children.
Constipation
6.5 billion colony-forming units of Lactobacillus casei Shirota 2 stars[2 stars]
Research has shown that the probiotic strain Lactobacillus casei Shirota may help relieve chronic constipation after two weeks of supplementation.
Crohn's Disease
At least 250 mg of Saccharomyces boulardii taken three times per day2 stars[2 stars]
In double-blind research, diarrhea caused by Crohn's disease has partially responded to supplementation with the probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii.
Diverticular Disease
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
In a double-blind study of patients with diverticular disease in remission, supplementing with a probiotic significantly decreased the number of people who suffered a recurrence of symptoms or a flare-up of acute diverticulitis.
Eczema
10 billion colony-forming units daily of lactobacillus-type bacteria2 stars[2 stars]
Pregnant women and newborns who take probiotic supplements may reduce risk of eczema in early life.
Gingivitis
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
In a double-blind study, the use of probiotic lozenges resulted in a modest improvement in certain measures of periodontal disease.
Halitosis
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
Preparations and gums containing probiotics have shown some promise for improving halitosis.
Hay Fever
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
In one trial, supplementing with Bifidobacterium longum strain BB536 during the pollen season significantly decreased symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, nasal blockage.
HIV and AIDS Support
Take under medical supervision: 1 gram three times per day of Saccharomyces boulardii for diarrheaas Saccharomyces boulardii2 stars[2 stars]
In one trial, Saccharomyces boulardii helped stop diarrhea in HIV-positive people.
Immune Function
10 billion colony-forming units a day of acidophilus or bifidobacteria-only for intestinal infections2 stars[2 stars]
Probiotics help stimulate the intestine's immune system and slow the growth of infectious organisms.
Infection
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
Lactobacillus acidophilus produces acids that kill invading bacteria. These and other probiotics inhibit the growth of potentially infectious organisms and have been shown to be effective against some infections.
Ulcerative Colitis
10 to 600 billion colony-forming units per day of probiotic bacteria, or 250 mg of Saccharomyces boulardii three times daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with probiotics has been shown to help people with ulcerative colitis.
Urinary Tract Infection
1 billion colony-forming units of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14, twice a day 2 stars[2 stars]
Double-blind research found that probiotics may help prevent UTI recurrence.
Vaginitis
Take a supplement providing 10 billion of each twice per dayas Lactobacillus rhamnosus G R-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 Oral2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with probiotics may help prevent recurrences of bacterial or candidal vaginitis.
Chronic Candidiasis
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Lactobacillus acidophilus is a type of probiotic that appears to help re-establish proper intestinal flora and prevent yeast overgrowth.
Stress
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Probiotic supplements may help counteract stress's detrimental effect on the balance of intestinal bacteria.

Copyright 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

 
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