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Discussion: Let’s Talk Probiotics

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Discussion:  Let’s Talk Probiotics Empty Discussion: Let’s Talk Probiotics

Post by nanabanana on 7/4/2017, 12:48 pm

What do folks here think:  Is there a connection between our gut and our brain?

How about:  Is there a connection between gut health and mental health?

A basic definition of probiotics found at Wikipedia says that probiotics are defined as “live microorganisms that are believed to provide health benefits when consumed. The term probiotic is currently used to name ingested microorganisms associated with benefits for humans and animals”.

These microorganisms are widely thought to aid digestion and offer protection from harmful bacteria.  So how does this process work?

Here’s a basic understanding that sheds light on the growth of harmful bacteria (found in a Google search using: good bacteria in our bodies – as keywords):
Lactobacillus acidophilus, also called L. acidophilus, resides in the intestines where it helps in the digestion of food. As part of the digestion process, L. acidophilus produces lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide, which create unfavorable conditions for the growth of harmful bacteria.

This simple statement, taken from an online article published July 3, 2017 in the Savannah Morning News - http://savannahnow.com/accent/column/2017-07-03/finish-line-be-proactive-about-probiotics - written by Davana Pilczuk offers a few general insights:
“Probiotics are simply high concentrations of that good bacteria the gut needs to perform optimally. This is important because as we age, our microbiomes change because of diet, medications, stress and health issues. Apparently even being less active can affect these little guys.”

And here is a website for an ingestible probiotic I’m considering, from  “Coconut Cult:  http://thecoconutcult.com/our-coconut-yogurts-2/  - take a gander at the FAQ’s tab on the home page.

With just this much as an opening sally, would anyone like to exchange thoughts, ideas, opinions concerning their personal use of probiotics?  Maybe someone would like to offer comment directed at the three BOLD-ed questions listed above so that we can begin a discussion?

Let's share some thoughts and learn from each other!

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PS - Hope everyone is enjoying a happy & safe 4th!

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Post by I,Barbara on 7/5/2017, 4:49 am

I'm not sure what is meant by probiotics?

I keep my 'gut' healthy by eating a health foods on daily basis. This alone has been a long journey for me. Somewhere in my head which is NOT scientific I believe that probiotic products have been invented to take money away from ppl and give it to the vitamin companies.
Felicity Lee
Felicity Lee

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Post by felicity on 7/5/2017, 5:51 am

I am looking into all of this - 'gut health' stuff. Actually today, I am going to learn how to make Kombucha and begin drinking it. You can google it to see the 'benefits'. I don't know if it is all hype or not. You make it at home, and the expense is not much.

I completed 5 years of a 'candida diet' some 20 years ago. It was the best thing I ever did. At that time my immune system was crashing. I cut sugar and fat from my diet. Now, I am again eating too much sugar - and mostly, my sugar and blood pressure is out of wack again.

I guess I just don't want to do that diet again. And, I don't want to take meds.

So, I am interested in this topic and ready to start drinking that stuff. If it works, I will be more than happy! I will let you all know.

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Post by nanabanana on 7/5/2017, 8:36 am

You bring up two very valid points, in my opinion, bpoppe1953 - the first being how important it is to eat healthy foods.  Surely Americans, by and large, are eating too much processed foods full of sodium, sugar and additives.

And, I agree, supplements are wide open to false claims at exorbitant prices.  It points to a need for the FDA to get involved, I think.  (Not that their involvement wouldn't have the usual caveats.)

The inquiry I'm pursuing is based on a desire to aid my body in accomplishing its various functions through the digestive tract, liver, and kidneys - as a counterpoint to some problems introduced by toxins in the soil and water - that affect our food growth.  And more to 'optimize' my body's functions, over time.

I don't feel 'sick' - but I do wonder what my body would 'feel' like if what I ingest didn't require it to deal with types and amounts of more complex formulations of nutrients...causing my body systems to perform certain actions before those nutrients can be broken down and utilized as needed.

The probiotic I'm investigating is formulated using a human strain in yogurt.  I'm wondering if the initial aid to my digestive tract will improve colon function (by introducing more of the good bacteria).  I'm going on the basic understanding that the body breaks down food before eliminating waste (toxins).  And I'm asking myself if improving both of those processes will aid my liver in accomplishing its function.

I read this at http://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/tc/what-the-liver-does-topic-overview and thought it informative:

A healthy liver does the following:
It regulates the composition of blood, including the amounts of sugar (glucose), protein, and fat that enter the bloodstream.
It removes bilirubin, ammonia, and other toxins from the blood. (Bilirubin is a by-product of the breakdown of hemoglobin from red blood cells.)
It processes most of the nutrients absorbed by the intestines during digestion and converts those nutrients into forms that can be used by the body.
The liver also stores some nutrients, such as vitamin A, iron, and other minerals.
It produces cholesterol and certain important proteins, such as albumin.
It produces clotting factors, chemicals needed to help blood clot.
It breaks down (metabolizes) alcohol and many drugs.

I'm not well versed on nutrition, so am trying to improve my understanding.  Exchanging ideas here is helpful:-)
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Post by nanabanana on 7/5/2017, 8:53 am

Your post about Kombucha tea intrigued me, Felicity.  I drink green tea (because I actually like the flavor) but hadn't heard of Kombucha.  I did a search and found this info...wonder if you've seen it.


What is kombucha tea? Does it have any health benefits?
Answers from Brent A. Bauer, M.D.

Kombucha tea is a fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. Although it's sometimes referred to as kombucha mushroom tea, kombucha is not a mushroom — it's a colony of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha tea is made by adding the colony to sugar and tea, and allowing the mix to ferment. The resulting liquid contains vinegar, B vitamins and a number of other chemical compounds.

Proponents claim kombucha tea can stimulate the immune system, prevent cancer, and improve digestion and liver function. However, there's no scientific evidence to support these health claims.

There have, however, been reports of adverse effects, such as stomach upset, infections and allergic reactions in kombucha tea drinkers. Kombucha tea is often brewed in homes under nonsterile conditions, making contamination likely. If ceramic pots are used for brewing, lead poisoning might be a concern — the acids in the tea may leach lead from the ceramic glaze.

In short, there isn't good evidence that kombucha tea delivers on its health claims. At the same time, several cases of harm have been reported. Therefore, the prudent approach is to avoid kombucha tea until more definitive information is available. [end article]

It sounds like there are issues surrounding the actual brewing conditions.  I hope you'll let us know what you learn today...would like to hear your thoughts.

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