Allergy, Digestion, General, Immune | October 31, 2016 | Author: Naturopath
Research into bacteria that colonise the intestines, referred to as the gut microbiota, is huge at the moment. In fact, a variety of healthy bacteria are found on every surface of our body and are important for a range of factors, but mainly contributing to a healthy digestive and immune system.
There is no doubt that probiotics are beneficial to our health but with the thousands of strains available it makes it hard to know which one to select. Following the latest scientific research we have put together a list of the most effective strains of probiotics for specific disease conditions so that you are more likely to make the correct selection and reap the benefits.
The incidence of eczema and food allergies is on the rise and of major concern for children living in Western countries. Recent research has identified the importance of gut microbiota in infants and perturbations in its composition being implicated in the pathogenesis of food allergy and atopic dermatitis. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is a clinically proven strain to help prevent and treat against atopic eczema and food allergy. If taken during the last trimester of pregnancy and for six months postnatally, either directly to the infant or mother, it was found that it reduced the frequency of eczema and food allergies in the child by half compared to placebo.
Allergic rhinitis, also commonly referred to as hay fever, is an allergic reaction to environmental allergens such as pollens, dust, animal dander and moulds. Lactobacillus paracasei (LP-33) has been shown to down-regulate an overactive immune system and reduce the symptoms of allergic rhinitis which include nasal congestion, sneezing and itchy eyes, nose and throat.
To give your immune system a boost and decrease rates of infection, particularly from colds and flu’s, consider taking a probiotic specific for this. Proven strains for lowered immunity include Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG, Lactobacillus reuteri MM53, Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM, Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis Bi-07 and Bifidobacterium lactis HN019.
Following a review of clinical trials conducted on individuals with diarrhoea the most effective strains shown were Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG and Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii (s.bouladii). S.boulardii is the best choice for travelling as it has been shown to reduce the risk of traveller’s diarrhoea and the symptoms of dysbiosis (imbalance of good and bad bacteria). Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG has also been shown to reduce diarrhoea in both children and adults due to infection (viral or bacterial) or as a side-effect of antibiotics. In viral gastroenteritis Bifobacterium lactis Bb12 has been shown to be a successful preventative, while Lactobacillus reuteri MM53 has been proven to be a successful treatment.
If you are having difficulty emptying your bowels or this happens less often than normal consider taking a probiotic specific for bowel regularity. Strains that have proven efficacy in helping relieve constipation include Lactobacillus casei Shirota and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis Bb12.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a widespread condition characterised by recurrent abdominal pain, bloating and alternating diarrhoea and constipation. It is often associated with stress, anxiety or previous intestinal infection. A recent study on Lactobacillus gasseri CP2305 has shown to increase the quality of life and reduce symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Other clinically proven strains include Lactobacillus fermentum PCC and Lactobacillus plantarum 299V.
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation and ulcers in the innermost lining of the colon and rectum. VSL#3 is a unique probiotic combination featuring 8 strains that have been shown to be effective in ulcerative colitis by inducing and maintaining remission as well as preventing inflammation of the ileal pouch (if present). Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG has also been shown to be successful in maintaining remission and preventing inflammation.
Helicobacter pylori is a bacteria that attacks the lining of the stomach and upper part of the small intestine causing ulceration. Strains proven to be successful in treating this condition include Lactobacillus reuteri MM53, Lactobacillus acidophilus La5 and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis Bb12.
Vaginal thrush is a common infection caused by an overgrowth of candida albicans. Symptoms include discharge, itching, burning and inflammation. The most effective strain for vaginal candidiasis is Lactobacillus acidophilus La5. Also, studies have also shown the effectiveness of using lactobacillus spp. internally as a pessary for both thrush and bacterial vaginosis. A specific strain that has been shown to be useful for these conditions internally is Lactobacillus plantarum 1760. In preventing urinary tract infections the most effective strains are Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14.
In conclusion, it is important to select the correct probiotic that has been scientifically researched for the condition in which you want an improvement. Make sure to select a good quality from a reputable company in order to get the desired results. Some products may only be available from your doctor or naturopath.