Probiotics May Soothe Arthritis

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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which immune and inflammatory response causes pain along with cartilage and bone degradation; it can lead to significant disability and compromises quality of life. People with RA often suffer from gastrointestinal disturbances: bloating, gastric pain, nausea and constipation and diarrhea. And interestingly, they have microbiota that differ from healthy patients. Fewer Bifidobacterium … Read More

Staying Safe in the Scrum

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  Getting sick is no fun for anyone, but elite athletes fear it most. Researchers in New Zealand gave 30 rugby players either probiotics or placebo over a four week period and then reversed it. Results were impressive: only six on placebo went without a single infection (respiratory or gastrointestinal) while more than twice as many–14– stayed healthy on probiotics … Read More

Literary License for Probiotics

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Probiotics are trending. How do I know? New Yorker magazine assigned staff writer Michael Specter to the case. His Germs Are Us article paints a pretty picture of the future for probiotics. Specter begins with a well-known pathogen, Heliobacter pylori or H.pylori, most associated with stomach ulcers. He visits Martin J. Blaser, microbiologist at New York University School of Medicine … Read More

Probiotics Making Inroads with Allergies

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  Allergic rhinitis is an inflammation of nasal passages and affects more and more people every year. Treatment though is hit-or-miss. Probiotics may help by interacting with the immune system; much depends on the type of bacterium, route of administration, dosing, regimen, and other underlying host factors. Much is still unknown as this review in North American Journal of Medical … Read More

Bugs Do Make the Picnic

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  As summer winds down for many in the northern hemisphere, one last barbecue is a lovely way to kiss the season goodbye. Grab some hot dogs and hamburgers and fire up the grill? Maybe best not. Stop and think about what you are doing: the hot flames make these saturated fat, high cholesterol processed meats even more lethal: heterocyclic … Read More

Yogurt Mamas

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  HIV/AIDS infects nearly 1.3 million people in Tanzania and kills more there each year than cancer, heart disease or accidents. It is an epidemic replicated in many sub-Saharan countries. Probiotics benefit people living with HIV/AIDS. This happens in several ways: improving immunity, increasing CD4 cell counts, preventing diarrhea, constipation, and urinary tract infections, reducing bacterial vaginosis and possibly even … Read More

Inspiring News

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Renovating the gut microbiota is increasingly known to help prevent and cure a variety of disorders. Now a recent review in  Pharmacology and Therapeutics asks how the microbial community in the respiratory tract may impact disease. Indeed,  the microbial composition of the airway flora is different between healthy lungs and those with chronic lung diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as well … Read More

Ignorance Not Always Bliss

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Nearly 200 Canadian physicians, both urban and rural, were surveyed regarding natural health products (NHPs), a category in which probiotics are deemed “fashionable”. Most thought that NHPs were probably of little benefit but not likely to be harmful. Most of the NHPs used were vitamins and minerals. The authors try to explain the results with  “overall, the responses to the … Read More

Kefir: Easy to Make, Hard to Pronounce

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 Maybe we’d buy it more often if we could pronounce it. Is it key-FEAR or KEY-fur or KEH-fur? The majority voted for KEY-fur in a lively discussion over at babycenter community. To be safe, know all three when bewilderment greets you at the store. Now, on to less pressing matters.   Kefir has been around for a long time, many thousands … Read More

Fecal Transplant Redux

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Health practitioners are just now getting in the act of transplanting stool to reseed unhealthy colons. But it seems there is a contingent of do-it-yourselfers (DIY) who are unafraid to give it a go. Michael Hurst suffered  with ulcerative colitis for over a decade and finally found relief with repeat DIY fecal transplants. He has prepared a digital book called Poop … Read More