Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pre and Probiotics

I went to an excellent talk yesterday on neutraceuticals.  For those who don't know, neutraceuticals are natural substances used as medicines--to put it in a nutshell.  So P is for Probiotics and prebiotics. 
Prebiotics are non‐digestible food ingredients that stimulate growth of probiotic organisms.  Prebotics are found in foods like asparagus, milk, and onions. 

Probiotics are non‐pathogenic bacteria normally found in the intestinal microflora.  Lactobacillis is an example of probiotcs.  Who hasn't seen Jamie Lee Curtis advertising Activia yogurt?

In our office we use probiotics in kids with diarrhea, whether chronic or illness related so it's nice to hear that probiotics have been shown to have benefits in gastroenteritis--aka stomach virus--and in immunity, including decreased number of  colds in formula fed infants. Breast milk naturally has probiotics.   They have been shown to have some benefit along with the regular therapy of H.pylori to eradicate it faster.  Probiotics may also benefit premies in prevention of necrotizing entercolitis, but have not shown benefits in short gut syndrome.  In short gut syndrome there have been some cases of lactobacillis sepsis. 

So, take your Culturelle, or Florgen, or BioGaia, or whatever your probiotic of choice is.  Or eat your yogurt.  Unless you have short gut syndrome.  But as always, check with your health care provider if any concerns, especially if you have any other health problems or are taking any medicine. 

(information summarized from talk by Teri Moser Woo, PhD, CPNP, FAANP.  She has spoken and written on various pharmaceutical topics, including a text book for nurse practitioners.)

1 comment:

  1. I think anything that's naturally occurring or is at least an extract of something naturally occurring is preferable to something manufactured. Unless it's poisonous of course :)

    Sounds like an interesting talk!