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 Integrative Medicine: Probiotics: The Friendly Bacteria 

As a preventive against food poisoning when travelling (Bifidobacteria and Acidophilus kill most food-poisoning bacteria)

After (and during) any period when antibiotics are taken.

B.infantis should be given to all babies.

By all premenopausal and menopausal women to reduce chances of osteoporosis.

By anyone with high cholesterol problems

By anyone with chronic health problems (acne, skin problems, allergies, arthritis, cancer, etc) under professional guidance.

By anyone receiving radiation treatment.

By anyone having recurrent vaginal or bladder infections (thrush or cystitis)

Two major health problems, Rheumatoid arthritis (Rh.A) and Ankylosing spondylitis (A.K.) have been found to be associated with overgrowth in the intestines of particular harmful bacteria, proteus and klebsiella respectively.17

Both of these can be controlled by healthy bowel flora. The natural antibiotics manufactured by L.bulgaricus, L.acidophilus and the bifidobacteria ALL kill both of these bacteria.18

British research has shown benefits to people with A.K. if they go onto a diet low in fat and sugar and high in complex carbohydrates - the very diet the friendly bacteria enjoy and which allows them to do their job efficiently. Rh.A patients have been shown to benefit in recent Norwegian trials, from a vegetarian diet, something which also dramatically improves the health and function of the friendly bacteria.

Which Bacteria can the Friendly Flora Control?
Many studies prove the antibiotic effects of the friendly bacteria.

In 19 cases of non-specific infection of the vagina treated with acidophilus (Doderlein bacillus strain) 95% were cured.

In 25 cases of Monilia vaginitis 88% were cured and 12% relieved of symptoms.

In 444 cases of Trichomonas vaginitis 92% were cured and remained infection free up to a year later.19

The acidophilin antibiotic which L.acidophilus produces will kill 50% of 27 different disease causing bacteria.20

16 Children with salmonella poisoning and 15 with shigella infections were cleared of all symptoms using acidophilus. B.bifidum effectively kills or controls E.coli, S.aureus (cause of toxic shock syndrome) and shigella. Acidophilus can also control viruses such as herpes.21

German research has shown that the state of the intestinal flora (measuring both numbers and quality of colonies) of most breast-fed babies today is similar to that of formula (bottle) fed babies 40 years ago, leading to malabsorption and food sensitivity problems as well as increase in allergies and susceptibility to infection.22

Further research has pointed to contamination of breast milk, world-wide, with pollutants such as DDT and dioxin.23

This suggests that supplementation of all babies with Bifidobacteria infantis would be a helpful strategy (available as Life-start from Natren of California)

1. Leon Chaitow Natasha Trenev: Probiotics; Thomas Harper Collins 1990

2. Alm L. et al: Effect of Fermentation on B Vitamin Content of Milk in Sweden; Journal of Dairy Sciences 65:353-359

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 About The Author
Leon Chaitow ND, DO, MROA practicing naturopath, osteopath, and acupuncturist in the United Kingdom, with over forty years clinical experience, Chaitow is Editor-in-Chief, of the ...more
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