Dr. Huffnagle urges people to add more probiotics to their diet
When you talk about living a healthy lifestyle, most people generally focus on food and fitness to help them maintain their weight and keep their bodies at optimum health potential.
But that may not be enough according to this Newstarget story on a new element to begin adding to that healthy lifestyle called probiotics.
In a nutshell, probiotics (which literally means "for life") are the "good" bacteria which can provide tremendous metabolic benefits when you are living a healthy lifestyle. Consuming probiotic-rich foods such as cheese, yogurt and other such products can strengthen the body's defense mechanism to fight destructive bacteria inside the intestinal tract. There are many different varieties of probiotics, including L. casei, L. acidophilus, L. plantarum, B. bifidum just to name a few.
One of the world's leading experts on probiotics is Dr. Gary Huffnagle, associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the University of Michigan Health System, who has discovered that probiotic bacteria may be one of the keys to better understanding the complex issue of obesity.
“Current research into this microbial world is uncovering many benefits to eating a diet rich in probiotic nutrients,” Huffnagle says.
This is a fascinating subject because most people are unaware that the human body is literally overwhelmed by literally millions upon millions of microbes which outnumber our cells 10 to 1! The "bad" microbes are the ones that can lead to disease which is why you want to increase the "good" microbes in your body to keep yourself healthy. Most of the battle among these microbes takes place in the large and small intestines where 70 percent of digestion takes place.
“It’s the job of these good microbes to stimulate our immune system, and the other job they do is to stimulate good digestive health,” Dr. Huffnagle contends.
Now more than ever before, Dr. Huffnagle contends that people need to educate themselves on how important having a large number of "good" microbes is for them and the future of their health.
“The good microbes – and this is where probiotics come in – keep the bad microbes in small numbers," he explained. "But they also stimulate the immune system and improve our digestive function. That’s the subject of research that has been going on for years."
Cultured dairy products are a rich source of probiotics which can then be multiplied when eaten with such foods as spices, tea, red wine, berries, apples and beans.
Dr. Huffnagle says probiotics are "on the cutting-edge of mainstream medicine" and should be a regular part of anyone alleging to be on a healthy lifestyle in 2006 and beyond.
Unfortunately, too many people are destroying the "good" bacteria in their body when they take antibiotics that they actually weaken their immune system which is designed to ward off such chronic diseases such as asthma. As a result, Dr. Huffnagle said people should immediately begin taking probiotics following any antibiotic treatment.
“Once you take antibiotics as your physician prescribed, follow it with some form of probiotic supplement to get the microflora in your gut back to where it should be," he noted. "Your recovery and your health will be much greater.”
It is important to note that you can't have too much probiotics since the "good" bacteria cannot harm your body. Additionally, like low-carb foods that taste good and help you lose weight, probiotic-rich foods also are a pleasure to eat.
While a typical discussion with the average Joe and Jane on the street about probiotics may get you some strange looks, Dr. Huffnagle is attempting to help people better understand how this "good" bacteria works in the body with clear, practical advice about why it is so important.
“We are examining how microbes in the gut communicate with the immune system," he stated. "Many diseases have an immunologic basis, so we want to understand the good communication that goes on between the microbes and the immune system."
The obesity angle of probiotics is what has Dr. Huffnagle most intrigued because of the clear connection that has been observed when sick livestock are fed antibiotics--they get FAT! Additionally, the metabolism of these animals is actually permanently changed, Dr. Huffnagle reveals, because their bodies get used to retaining fat and never let go of it. YIKES!
“We take the antibiotics to recover from a microbial illness, but the trade-off is that fat we eat may be staying with us instead of being metabolized and converted to energy,” Dr. Huffnagle unveiled.
EEEEK! Remind me not to get sick anytime soon where I have to take an antibiotic. This may explain why you can't seem to shed those pounds when you are sick and taking an antibiotic. I didn't know about this. I guess the lesson we should take from this is to eat MORE probiotics in our daily nutrition to boost our immune system and ward off any metabolic issue.
Because of the emerging science behind probiotics, there are a whole host of companies that provide supplements you can take to add these "good" bacteria to your digestive tract. Think of it as a Rid-X for your body! By adding MORE of the "good" bacteria, you are better able to keep the "bad" bacteria microbes from making you sick. And that's a VERY good thing, don't you think?
Getting a DAILY intake of probiotic-dense foods will help your body digest food better, keep you regular and help get rid of the dangerous toxins that lurk inside your body waiting to pounce at the opportunity to bring you down. It's time for you to fight back by the healthy "good" bacteria that will be your best friend in this war over your health.
You can e-mail Dr. Gary Huffnagle about his research on probiotics at firstname.lastname@example.org.