Probiotics - What Are They?


Probiotics may be a new word to you. But your body knows all about them. They are very important to your health! What exactly is a probiotic?

Well, "pro" means good, and "biotic" means a living thing. So a probiotic is a good living thing! Specifically, a probiotic is a live microorganism that is beneficial to the host organism, in this case, beneficial to YOU!

Well, that sounds pretty technical! In laymen's terms, what this means is probiotics are good or beneficial bacteria, or microscopic living things, that live in your digestive tract to help you to stay healthy and keep the bad bacteria away.

Let's take a closer look at probiotics with Dr. Jimmy Gutman, MD, Senior Medical Correspondent with Immunotec:

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So now we know that a probiotic contains good bacteria. Let's take a closer look at them. Do you have any idea how much bacteria actually live inside of your body? There are more bacteria living in your gut than there are people living on this earth. It's an astronomical number - there are 100 trillion bacteria living in your intestines right now. Wow, now that's a lot of bacteria!


Fortunately most of these are good bacteria, like lactobacillus or acidophilus. You may have heard of them in yogurt products like Activia, Kefir, or Yakult. They help with digestion of foods through digestive enzymes, they enhance immune function, and they fight bad bugs called pathogens. Pathogens are infectious agents, germs, or biological agents that causes disease or illness to its host. In this case, they can make YOU very sick!

There are no shortage of bad bugs, we are loaded with them. In certain situations, they can overtake the good bacteria, or probiotics, even kill them, and this can cause problems with our digestive tract and interfere with proper digestion of foods. This is one of the most common causes of illness in the world.

For example, colonizing your digestive system with probiotics can be helpful in a variety of ailments, including, but not limited to, Crohn's disease , irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, constipation, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, diverticulosis, urinary tract infections, pancreatitis, stomach pain, and autoimmune diseases.

Your digestive system has been referred to by many leading scientists and doctors as your secondary immune system, so giving your colon and digestive tract the nutrients it needs will help to fight these conditions for optimal digestive wellness and immune system health.

Fortunately, in healthy people, there is a balance of good and bad bugs- 85% of our bacteria are good, and 15% are bad. There are things that can throw this balance off, however.

Let's consider an illustration - we have inside our gut or digestive tract both good bacteria and bad. If you are suffering from stress or you become ill, or you took some antibiotics to fight off an infection, then the good bacteria population drops, the bad bacteria increase in number, and they start to multiply. Then the whole balance of good/bad bacteria is thrown off. You may suffer from cramps or diarrhea, your immune system may not function well, or you may feel sick. Obviously none of these are good things.

Fortunately, you can fix this problem by taking a probiotic. Now why would you want to do that?

Probiotics- Why Do I Need To Take Them?


The usefulness of taking probiotics have been very well established. Studies from Harvard shows they can help us far beyond our digestive wellness. A high quality probiotic supplement can enhance our immune system, promote feminine hygiene, strengthen urinary tract health, and even promote our dental health.

What does the rest of the scientific and medical community have to say about probiotics? Let's go to PubMed and see what they have to say. If we go to PubMed (this link opens in a new window), how may clinically published studies do we see about probiotics and constipation? 119. How about probiotics and diarrhea? 852. Let's look at probiotics and the immune system - here we have over 1,000 published clinical studies on the impact of probiotics on our immune system health!

Probiotics- Add Prebiotics For A Symbiotic!

Now we are going to learn a new equation. That equation is

Probiotics + Prebiotics = Symbiotic

What does that mean? Well, when you take a probiotic, you are swallowing cultures of the good bacteria. A probiotic containing this good bacteria actually "seeds" your intestines so that the population of the good bacteria normalizes. How can we make this strategy even more effective?

We can take prebiotics. Not only do prebiotics supply nourishment for the probiotics, it adjusts the intestinal environment to make it friendlier for the good bacteria so they can thrive and multiply.

To help us understand this, let's take the seeding analogy one step further. Let's say we wanted to go to the garden store to get some grass seed to make our front lawn look better. We could get a bag of grass seed, or we could get a bag of seeds that also contained all of the nutrition that the seeds would need to grow well. That nutrition is the prebiotic portion. So you can get just the grass seed, or you can get grass seed with everything it needs to flourish. Which bag would YOU choose to take home to get the most beautiful and thriving lawn?

It's the same situation in your digestive tract or gut. You need both the good bacteria (probiotics) and the food or nutrition (prebiotics) to keep your digestive system and immune system healthy, active, and thriving.

As a side note, if you or someone you love has had their appendix out, you probably are thinking they really didn't need it anyway. Did you know that your appendix plays a role in keeping your immune system strong? Join Dr. Jimmy Gutman and his faithful assistant John Molson as they explain why anyone who is missing their appendix should pay special attention to taking a high quality probiotic supplement. Catch their brief 2 minute explanation here:

Finally, one last word: Symbiotic. Symbiotic is a probiotic and a prebiotic combined- which is much more effective than a probiotic alone. A symbiotic is when two things come together for the benefit and mutual good of one another- they each make the other thrive and do well.

To sum up:

Probiotics are good bacteria. Prebiotics feed and nourish the good bacteria. Together they give your immune system and digestive tract a fighting chance to keep YOU healthy!

So is optimal immune health important to you? Good health is intimately related to good digestion and a healthy colon. Understanding probiotics, prebiotics, and symbiotics is important for everyone to understand.

Dr. Jimmy Gutman, who supplied the above information, is the Senior Medical Consultant with Immunotec Research. If you'd like to see the video version of this information, please click below:

"So, this is all great", you say, "but where can I find a really good probiotic supplement?"

Where Can I Find A Good Probiotic Supplement?

There are many probiotic supplements on the market today. How do you choose the best one? Dr. Gutman, in association with Immunotec, is pleased to provide you with a top quality probiotic supplement that accomplishes everything we've outlined here. Follow with me as we take a closer look at Immunotec's Probiotic Supplement with Cranberry, and why you should take it every day for optimal health:

It has been observed that aging is associated with changes in the functioning of the gastro-intestinal and urinary systems. These changes promote bacterial infections, among others. prebiotics

Probiotic Supplement with Cranberry is a revolutionary complex, which combines a blend of Probiotic, Prebiotic and “Superfruit” (a premium cranberry concentrate), in a unique Symbiotic formula. This formula has been specially designed to naturally stimulate healthy digestive functions and natural defenses.

  • Probiotic: The addition of three billion active “good bacteria” (Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Casei and Bifidobacterium Longum) to inactive yogurt cultures (Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus and Bifidobacterium Infantis) within the proprietary formula lets your body enjoy all the benefits of Probiotics.
  • Prebiotic: A Prebiotic is a soluble fiber in the form of sugar which is not digested by our enzymes but acts as preferred nourishment to the Probiotics. Hence, the specific selection of short chains of fructooligosaccharide (FOS) allows to nourish the Probiotic blend without providing nourishment to bad bacteria, thus facilitating selective improvement of bacterial efficiency. 
Together, the Probiotics and Prebiotics combine in Symbiotic action and improve the product’s efficiency.
  • Cranberry: Originating in rigorous standardization processes, the cranberry concentrate offers outstanding concentration of organic acids and polyphenols with natural antioxidant properties, whose health benefits have sparked off continued interest in connection with their role in preventing and treating inflammatory, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases as well as cancer.
  • D-Mannose: D-Mannose is a simple sugar of vegetable origin, also found in its natural form in cranberries. While it is metabolized by the human body in small quantities, D-Mannose is in large part quickly excreted through urine. D-Mannose prevents the bacteria from attaching themselves to inner walls of the bladder, instead eliminating them directly through urine and thus preventing the formation of bacterial colonies, which could be at the source of urinary infections.

Immunotec's Probiotic Supplement Facts

What exactly is in Immunotec's Probiotic With Cranberry?

Supplement Facts: