Probiotic Strains Matched to the Illnesses They Heal

by Melanie Christner Natural RemediesComments: 57

probiotic strains are not created equal

By Melanie Christner NTP, CHFS, CGP of Honest Body

Imagine you are at the doctor’s office for help with a specific health concern. After a full examination, your doctor pulls out a prescription pad to write you a script for – gasp – a probiotic strain.

The prescription is handed to you, and you take a look at it.  Looking up in surprise, you ask the doctor if the recommendation is indeed for a probiotic rather than an antibiotic.

The doctor nods his/her head and explains that the particular strain recommended for your ailment has been found to have an 86% success rate as tested in a double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study.

You ask about side effects, and your doctor replies that there — ARE NONE.

You are (understandably) amazed. You take your prescription, fill it, take as directed, and your condition is taken care of…with minimal discomfort. You even experience other health issues clearing up — that you thought were completely unrelated.

Sound like a far-fetched scenario?

Depending on how up-to-date and open minded your health provider is, this may already be a reality. And it may become more of a reality in mainstream medicine in the future.

The reason?  Researchers are taking quite an interest in probiotic strains and their effects on human and animal health. In recent years there has been a surge in the study of probiotics, the human microbiota, and other related applications.

The World Health Organization defines probiotics as “live organisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit to the host”.

Some of the Ways Probiotics Keep Us Healthy

Probiotics have the ability to hinder or kill pathogens by strain-specific processes such as:

1. “Crowding Out” Pathogens

When probiotics are taken in sufficient and therapeutic amounts they can do the work of crowding out pathogens and using the nutrients and space that would otherwise be used by the pathogens.

2. Secreting Beneficial Chemicals

Probiotics produce and secrete molecules like bacteriocins (a protein produced by bacteria of one strain that is active against those of a closely related strain), hydrogen peroxide, antibiotics and more, that control the growth and survival of surrounding microorganisms.

3. Positive Stimulation of the Immune System

Probiotics “chat” with the immune system part of the gut (epithelial cells, Peyer’s patches M cells, and immune cells) encouraging them to have a response to pathogens and to contribute to the mucosal barrier, among other beneficial activities.

Specific Strains for Specific Issues

All this research has really exciting implications. Probiotics, rather than harmful prescription drugs with their many, dangerous, and even life-threatening side effects could become common and be used effectively by both mothers and health care practitioners alike. As consumers and patients let us be asking, no demanding, these kind of solutions for our family!

Below I have given 8 examples of specific conditions helped by specific probiotic strains (stay tuned for why the specific strain is important).

If your particular health challenge is not listed, please refer to my book a Mother’s Guide to Probiotics for a complete list of ailments matched to the best probiotic strains(s) as determined by the scientific research available today.

Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea

A meta-analysis of 34 double blind, placebo-controlled, randomized studies that included 4,138 people, concluded that the probiotic strain, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG,  when given at the same time as antibiotics, had a greater than 60% reduced risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

Probiotic strain tested to help:

  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG

Which can be found in these brands:

  1. Culturelle –  USA, UK, Canada
  2. Ethical Nutrients – Australia

[Source]

Below are further examples of common conditions — and the probiotic strains tested to be effective in treating them.

Anxiety

Yes! There are even probiotics for anxiety. Our digestive tract has a profound effect on our mood and anxiety is no exception.

Probiotic strains tested to help:

  • Lactobacillus helveticus R0052
  • Bifidobacterium longum R0175

Which can be found in these brands:

  1. Eagle CytoPro Balance (AU)
  2. Pure Encapsulations ProbioMood (USA)
  3. Xymogen ProbioDefense (USA)

[Source]

Colic

This all too common, “normal” condition is anything but normal and is a sign of distress and imbalance in baby. These probiotic strains have been found via research to help alleviate baby’s pain.

Probiotic strains tested to help:

  • Bifidobacterium breve PXN 25
  • Bifidobacterium infantis PXN 27
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus PXN 35
  • Lactobacillus casei PXN 37
  • Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus PXN 39
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus PXN 54
  • Streptococcus thermophilus PXN 66PXN 37
  • Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus PXN 39
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus PXN 54
  • Streptococcus thermophilus PXN 66

Which can be found in this brand:

  1. Bio-Kult (Source from practitioners or directly from Bio-Kult)

[Source]

Constipation

Constipation has many causes, from the top — to the bottom. Brain function, poor chewing, poor bile flow from the gallbladder, insufficient dietary water causing the colon to re-absorb what little water there is, to name a few. Probiotics play a part in stimulating motility (movement), and secretions that help bowel movements proceed normally and regularly.

Probiotic strains tested to help constipation:

  • Bifidobacterium breve PXN 25
  • Bifidobacterium infantis PXN 27
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus PXN 35
  • Lactobacillus casei PXN 37
  • Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus PXN 39
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus PXN 54
  • Streptococcus thermophilus PXN 66PXN 37
  • Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus PXN 39
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus PXN 54
  • Streptococcus thermophilus PXN 66

Which can be found in this brand:

  1. Bio-Kult (Source from practitioners or directly from Bio-Kult)

[Source]

Another probiotic strain tested to help constipation:

  • Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12

Which can be found in these brands:

  1. Standard Process ProSynbiotic (USA)
  2. MediHerb Probiota (Australia)

[Source]

Dental Caries (Cavities)

Dental health is a hot topic in alternative health circles. Initial evidence strongly indicates that probiotics may play a role in healthy teeth.

Probiotic strain that helps prevent cavities:

  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG

Which can be found in these brands:

  1. Culturelle –  USA, UK, Canada
  2. Ethical Nutrients – Australia

[Source]

Eczema (Treatment)

Eczema can be one of the trickiest skin conditions to treat. It is typically a multi-faceted approach (internal healing and external lifestyle changes combined) that often does the trick.

Probiotic strains tested to help:

  • Bifidobacterium breve PXN 25
  • Bifidobacterium infantis PXN 27
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus PXN 35
  • Lactobacillus casei PXN 37
  • Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus PXN 39
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus PXN 54
  • Streptococcus thermophilus PXN 66PXN 37
  • Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus PXN 39
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus PXN 54
  • Streptococcus thermophilus PXN 66

Which can be found in this brand:

  1. Bio-Kult (Source from practitioners or directly from Bio-Kult)

[Source]

Infant Ger (Reflux)

Probiotic strains proven to help:

  • Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis

Which can be found in these brands:

  1. Blackmores Digestive Bio Balance (AU)
  2. BioGaia Protectis baby drops or chewable tablets (Canada, USA, & worldwide)

[Source]

Mastitis (Breast Infection)

Ouch! Mastitis is painful, and usually comes when you are at your most vulnerable — breastfeeding a little one. Right now there are only a couple of probiotic strains tested for effective use against mastitis, and the one probiotic product that contains it is only available in Australia. I am hopeful that will change in the future.

Probiotic strains proven to help:

  • Lactobacillus fermentum CECT5716

Which can be found in this brand:

  1. PureMedica Qiara

Complete List of Ailments Matched to the Best Probiotic Strains for Healing Them

If you want to learn more about specific strains and conditions…and why the specific strain counts, OR if you need help with selecting a probiotic brand, matching up probiotics strains with your specific objectives, with tips on dosing for kids and adults, I recommend you pick up a copy of my ebook, the Mother’s Guide To Probiotics.

Sources

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3182331/
  2. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2036.2012.05104.x/full#apt5104-sec-0015
  3. Videlock, E. J. and Cremonini, F. (2012), Meta-analysis: probiotics in antibiotic-associated diarrhoea. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 35: 1355–1369. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2012.05104.x
  4. Hawrelak, JA. (ed). Probiotic Advisor. Illuminate Natural Medicine, 2015 https://www.probioticadvisor.com/advisor/. Accessed 30 September 2015.
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21114493
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11799281
  7. http://drprobiotikum.hu/docs/synbiotics-in-managment-of-infantile%20colic.pdf
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20974015
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3446166/

More Articles on Probiotics

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How to Repair Your Gut After a Round of Antibiotics

How to Choose the Best Probiotic for Your Family

How Prebiotics Benefit Gut Health

Taking Probiotics  for Maximum Benefit

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