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Probiotics

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

How to Use It

The amount of probiotics necessary to replenish the intestine varies according to the extent of microbial depletion and the presence of harmful bacteria. One to two billion colony forming units (CFUs) per day of acidophilus is considered to be the minimum amount for the healthy maintenance of intestinal microflora. Some Saccharomyces boulardii research has used 500 mg taken four times per day. Preliminary research suggests that combinations of probiotic strains are in some cases more effective than individual strains," but additional research is needed to confirm that possibility.87

Where to Find It

Beneficial bacteria present in fermented dairy foods--namely live culture yogurt--have been used as a folk remedy for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Yogurt is the traditional source of beneficial bacteria. However, different brands of yogurt can vary greatly in their bacteria strain and potency. Some (particularly frozen) yogurts do not contain any live bacteria. Supplements in powder, liquid extract, capsule, or tablet form containing beneficial bacteria are other sources of probiotics.

Possible Deficiencies

People using antibiotics, eating a poor diet, or suffering from diarrhea are more likely to have depleted colonies of friendly bacteria.

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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.