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Probiotics: "Supplements Aim To Boost Body's 'Good' Bacteria"

Posted Sep 14 2008 6:12pm

Probiotics from Jigsaw Health Everyone needs healthy intestinal flora/bacteria, primarily for healthy digestion. But then I read this recent article, " Supplements Aim To Boost Body's 'Good' Bacteria". There are two ridiculous statements in the article that I want to comment on.

"We don't really have any evidence for a person who is healthy that [Probiotics are] going to make them healthier or maintain their health," Brigham and Women's Hospital Dr. Robert Burakoff said.

In Dr. Burakoff's defense, maybe this was taken out of context. But if not, doesn't it always seem as though doctors are SO quick to attack natural (read "non-prescription") products?

To me, Dr. Burakoff's statement is simply illogical, regardless of whether or not there has been a study of probiotics in healthy people. And there has been MUCH study on probiotics. 2268 listings for "probiotics" in Pubmed! ( Not that peer-reviewed studies are all that reliable anyways, as Dr. Mercola points out. )

But let's play the logic game anyways and assume no studies, reliable or otherwise.

First, I believe the good Lord put us on planet Earth (see my most recent post about Intelligent Design ) and He provided a way for us to get all the nutrients we need to stay healthy from our diet. This is the first of the founding principles of Jigsaw Health by the way.

As humans have interfered with the process -- in this case pasteurized dairy -- beneficial enzymes and other nutrients have been degraded or totally removed. And in some cases, harmful substances have been introduced in their place.

"Lactose intolerant" used to be unheard of back when the milk man delivered raw milk to your door. Raw dairy contains active cultures -- probiotics. When milk is heated/pasteurized, the enzymes/active cultures are killed. Interestingly, raw milk doesn't go putrid like pasteurized milk. It naturally converts to cream, sour cream, and cheese. (Read more about real/raw milk at RealMilk.com )

So it seems highly illogical to suggest that "We don't really have any evidence for a person who is healthy that [Probiotics are] going to make them healthier or maintain their health" when common sense, based on history, would suggest that there are MANY benefits to continually supplying the body with probiotics to maintain a healthy intestinal "biosis." (As opposed to a dysbiosis.) How much or what kind? That's debatable. But when I'm trying to kill something, I like to shoot a lot of bullets!

The article closes with this statement:

"If you buy probiotic supplements, make sure they have between 1 billion and 10 billion colony-forming units, or CFUs, and be aware that probiotics are classified as dietary supplements, which means they are not regulated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration."

First off, if you have a chronic condition like Leaky Gut Syndrome, 10 billion CFUs a day is unlikely to be enough to repair your gut dysbiosis. (Much more about probiotics in a recent blog entry here.)

But the statement that makes me angry is the one in bold. Think Vioxx...

The FDA's Office of Drug Safety estimates Vioxx has been responsible for between 88,000 to 139,000 heart attacks -- thirty to forty percent of which resulted in deaths. Vioxx is regulated and approved by the FDA. Merck spent hundreds of millions on studies. (And will spend hundreds of millions more defending lawsuits.) So what's the logic trail on that one?

I'll save you the time and bandwidth on a "what's wrong with the FDA" rant. If you're in the mood, you can always count on Dr. Mercola and Mike Adams, The Health Ranger, to give you one (or twenty) of those.

UPDATE: Read this excellent article, " Probiotics: The New Antibiotics?" from the September Jigsaw Health eNewsletter.

Technorati Tags:Probiotics,Acidophilus,Good Bacteria,Vioxx,Gut Dysbiosis,Colony Forming Units,Dr. Robert Burakoff

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