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There really isn't anything like a standard dosing guide to tell you what you should do. (X mgs or X # of bacteria is optimal for most people kinda thing...that sort of researh tends to be not there for dietary supplements)Most of these things have a suggested dosing on the side and I would start there for whatever brand you take.It may take some experimentation to find a brand that works for you and a dose that works for you.For me I had to take them regularly at first (Probiotica...from the Imodium company) and then after a few months could take it more sporatically.K.
 

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I had an interesting chat with a guy who said the reason Probiotics don't work or work very little witha number of people is" its a long journey to colon" Between the stomach acids( which can range from 1.5-3.5 PH, the high PH in the small intestines, and colon..most probiotics don't make it or as he put it"its like sending a few Boy Scouts into World War 3. I've tried numerous brands myself & have a brandnow that seems to help me a little. Good Luck!
 

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There are 10 times more bacteria in the digestive system than there are cells in the entire body. We each have about 100 trillion bacteria in our intestines,contributing to 1-1.5kg of our body weight. source and Link: yakult.com.au web pageWhen you already have upto 1.5 kg of pro-biotics in your intestines, another little bottle of it may make no diference.
 

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I found this information to be useful. Culturelle works well for me as it relieves excess intestinal gas.Supplement Spotlight: Probiotics Acidophilus, Bifidum, and Other Helpful Bugs to Strengthen the Gut by Cathy Wong and Rishma Walji http://altmedicine.about.com/library/weekl....htm?once=true& The digestive tract maintains a balance between healthy and potentially harmful micro-organisms.� Healthy micro-organisms, also called microflora, are residents of the digestive tract that have a protective role in our bodies. When we grow older, use prescription drugs such as antibiotics and corticosteroids, eat meat, travel, and have digestive disorders, the proportion of healthy microflora in our bodies declines and is less able to protect us from disease. In addition to its protective role, microflora helps to synthesize important vitamins, nutrients and enzymes, such as the lactase needed to digest lactose in milk and dairy products.� It also allows for the removal of heavy metals and other harmful ingested substances in our food, such as from the metal lining of drink boxes and canned foods.� Besides the digestive tract, microflora reside in other areas where mucous membranes are exposed to the environment, such as the skin, respiratory tract and genital-urinary tract.� To put it into perspective, there are approximately 100,000 billion viable bacteria in the digestive tract and about 1,000 billion on the skin.� The total number of cells in the body is approximately 10,000 billion, meaning that we have more bacteria in our body than we have cells!� In the large intestine, there are at least 400-500 species of bacteria13.Probiotics, the supplement form of micro-organisms, have been used for many years to increase the proportion of protective microflora and to prevent and treat many health conditions.� The most familiar form of probiotics is yogurt.� Two strains of healthy bacteria, Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, are found in yogurt, cheese, and other fermented foods. Daily intake of foods containing these bacteria have been suggested to provide health benefits including improved digestion and alleviation of constipation, increased absorption of dietary minerals, reduced blood cholesterol levels and enhanced protection from tumors1. Many strains of bacteria have been used in probiotic supplements.� The most common strains are Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium longum and the yeast Saccharomyces boulardii.� Of the beneficial strains, the Lactobacillus species is most prominent in the small intestine, whereas Bifidobacteria tends to reside in the large intestine.Vegetarians tend to have a healthier balance of �good bacteria� to �bad bacteria� as compared to non-vegetarians who tend to have larger numbers of undesirable bacteria such as Bacteroides.���How do probiotic supplements work in the digestive system?Beneficial strains such as Lactobacillus species and Bifiobacteria species prevent the harmful strains such as E.coli and Bacteroides from growing to a population where they can cause disease.� They do this by producing organic acid and hydrogen peroxide, by spatial exclusion, which means they crowd out other bacteria, by substrate competition, when they compete with harmful bacteria for nutrients needed for growth, and by bacteriocin production, which is the production of compounds that have a lethal effect on harmful bacteria.� Therapeutic Uses Probiotics can be used in situations where the intestinal microflora balance has been disturbed and related digestive tract dysfunction occurs7. Besides improving digestion and preventing gas, bloating, and bad breath, probiotics are beneficial in many other situations:Antibiotic Use - While antibiotics are very often effective at killing the offending bacteria they were prescribed to kill, antibiotics also kill many strains of protective bacteria.� People taking antibiotics become more susceptible to colonization and infection by harmful gut bacteria, causing antibiotic-associated diarrhea.�� Probiotics can be used to replenish these protective bacteria and reduce the incidence of abdominal cramps and diarrhea14.� They have also been found to be effective for children in this situation6.��Probiotics in combination with and following antibiotic therapy can facilitate regrowth of a healthy microbial population4,13.Immune System - Bifidobacterium has been shown to enhance the function of the immune system.� Natural cellular immune functions are known to decline as we age, leaving great potential for immune enhancement1.� Research shows that supplementing Bifidobacterium Lacis enhances the production of immune system cells known to be active against viral infections1,5.� Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Lactobacillus plantarum, a bacteria with known probiotic properties has been found to decrease pain and flatulence in patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.� This is possibly related to the fact that colonic gas production is found to be higher in IBS patients.� The reduction may be related to an alteration in the activity of hydrogen-producing gut bacteria12. Other conditions - Probiotics have also been researched in other areas of health and have been found to be beneficial in improving lactose digestion7,9, the prevention of diarrheal diseases6,15, improving hypersensitivity in infants with food allergies7,10, and many other health conditions.What to look for in a probiotic supplement * The most common strains of probiotics are Lactobacillus acidophilus for the small intestine and Bifidobacterium bifidum for the large intestine.* Probiotics should always be refrigerated before and after opening. Storage temperature should be below 3-4oC7.�* FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides) is often added to promote the growth of selected strains of bacteria.� Synthesized naturally from sucrose8,�it is not digested by the small intestine but is fermented in the colon.� A linear relationship has been found between the amount of FOS consumed and the count of bifidobacteria in the intestine.� The optimal and well-tolerated dose of FOS has been found to be 2000-3000mg per day 11. While excess FOS could cause excess gas, abdominal cramps, and bloating2, many probiotics have only small amounts of FOS in the range of 200mg.* Each capsule or dose should contain more than 1 billion viable bacteria.� The minimum therapeutic dose is suggested to be 108-109 cells per day7.� More bacteria per capsule or dose is preferable, since the bacteria must survive during shelf life and then after ingestion, during transit through the acidic conditions of the stomach and hydrolytic enzymes and bile salts in the small intestine.�* Bifidobacteria is anaerobic, meaning that it lives and grows in the absence of oxygen.� One study found that bifidobacteria could survive and multiply better in glass bottles than plastic containers, probably because oxygen cannot permeate glass bottles easily16.� For this reason, also look for opaque containers.* Look for products that have vitamin C (ascorbic acid), whey protein, or cysteine added. Vitamin C acts as an oxygen-scavenging agent and can improve the survival and multiplication of bacteria such as Lactobacillus.� Studies have found that whey protein and the amino acid cysteine also improve the viability of bacteria7, 16.When selecting a probiotic, it is necessary to consider the intended use of the probiotic, its source, its site of isolation and characteristics of the strain.� It is wise to consult a health care provider such as a qualified nutritionist or a naturopathic doctor who can evaluate the options and recommend the most appropriate probiotic supplement.��� ��� ���References 1. Arunachalam K, Chandra RK.� Enhancement of natural immune function by dietary consumption of Bifidobacterium lactis (HN019).� European Journal of Clinical Nutrition Mar 2000; 54(3): 263-267. 2. Bouhnik Y, Vahedi K, et al.� Short Chain Fructo-oligosaccharide administration dose-dependently increases fecal Bifidobacteria in healthy humans.� J. Nutr. Jan 1999; 129(1): 113-6. 3. Brady LJ, Gallager DD, et al.� The role of probiotic cultures in the prevention of colon cancer.� J Nutr. Feb 2000: 130(2S): 410S-414S. 4. Charteris WP, Kelly PM, et al. Antibiotic susceptibility of potentially probiotic Lactobacillus species.� J Food Prot Dec 1998; 61(12): 1636-43. 5. Erickson KL, Hubbard NE.� Probiotic Immunomodulation in Health and Disease.� Journal of Nutrition Feb 2000; 130 (2S): 403S-409S. 6. Friedrich MJ.� A bit of culture for children: probiotics may improve health and fight disease.� JAMA 20 Sept 2000; 284(11): 1365-66. 7. Kailasapathy K, Chin J.� Survival and therapeutic potential of probiotic organisms with reference to Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium spp.� Immunology and Cell Biology 20 May 2000; 78(1): 80-88. 8. Kaplan H, Hutkins, RW.� Fermentation of Fructooligosaccharides by Lactic Acid Bacteria and Bifidobacteria.� Applied and Environmental Microbiology Jun 2000; 66(6):2682-2684. 9. Kontula P, Suihko ML, et al.� The effect of lactose derivatives on intestinal lactic acid bacteria.� J Dairy Sci Feb 1999; 82(2): 249-56. 10. Majamaa H, Isolauri E.� Probiotics: a novel approach in the management of food allergy.� J Allergy Clin Immunol Feb 1997; 99(2): 179-85. 11. Murray M.� Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements.� USA: Prima publishing, 1996. 12. Nobaek S, Johansson ML, et al.� Alteration of Intestinal Microflora is associated with reduction in abdominal bloating and pain in patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.� AJG May 2000; 95(5): 1231-8.� 13. Plummer N.� Lecture Notes CCNM 2000. 14. Pochapin M. The effect of probiotics on Clostridium difficile diarrhea.� Am J Gastroenerol Jan 2000; 95(1S): S11-3. 15. Saavedra J.� Probiotics and infectious diarrhea.� Am J Gastroenterol Jan 2000; 95(1S): S16-8. 16. Shah, NP.� Probiotic Bacteria: Selective Enumeration and Survival in Dairy Foods.� Journal of Dairy Science 83(4): 894-907. 17. Singh J, Rivenson A, et al.� Bifidobacterium longum, a lactic acid producing intestinal bacterium inhibits colon cancer and modulates the intermediate biomarkers of colon carcinogenesis.� Carcinogenesis Apr 1997; 18(4): 833-41.
 

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Vikee,-Thanks for the article. There's been some studies/research done at Cornell Medical Center in New York on L-Plantarum. They had given large quanities of L-Plantarum to a group of children who suffered from Candida & other digestive problems. Of the 17 that participated, 13 had very positive results..from the candida clearing up, increase in weight, less digestive discomforts, and better appetite. I plan on contacting one of the lead researchers this week to get some more info. I've spoken to many researchers/physicians that sincerely believe that restoring the balance of beneficial bacteria in the colon will clear up many chronic digestive problems. There still in the minority of conventional medicine, but ideas, theorys can change sometimes pretty fast. The botton line for us is.. our ONLY motivation is to feel better!! $$$$ and Egos we don't give a hoot about!!!!!
 
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