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Probiotics Benefits: So why the 'antibiotic' approach with Immigration Reform?

Posted Mar 27 2010 5:53am


In hailing a cab on my way to work at 8 A.M while in Houston on a training and development project, this 'friendly' cabbie took it upon himself to tell me all about how the 'whites' control everything, and about how unfair it is to ethnic minorities.

Not to be rude or anything, all I could think of at that time was how I would be able to get a pack of Camel cigarettes while making it to work on time.

However, what he said has remained with me, even though what I experienced was quite the opposite… one of the best bosses (the color played no part here)… unpretentious and really helpful throughout the visit from a personal and professional point-of-view, actually.

Stricter Immigration Policies: Well, who's going to cut your grass then?

And somehow even now with all this debate about stricter immigration control and all that stuff, one wonders who is going to carry out menial jobs that well-educated or experienced folk wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.

As alarming and controversial as this sounds, it isn't all bad – there's a lot of good that has resulted as well, and methinks it's a case of the bad apple at the bottom of the barrel that has led to a chain reaction of sorts (but hey, I might be wrong). Most of these folks want to make a decent living that they would have no chance of having anywhere else in the world. And perhaps another analogy (while playing the devil's advocate here) might help one see things differently…

Probiotics (and another unlikely analogy)

According to the FAO/ WHO, probiotics is defined as "Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host".

(Do connect the dots here, with the key phrase being 'adequate amounts'!)

The most common microorganisms used in 'probiotics' are Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and bifidobacteria, while certain yeast and bacilli are considered beneficial as well.

With the addition of special live cultures, probiotics are consumed as a part of fermented foods such as yoghurt, soy yoghurt, tempeh, miso, dietary supplements, fremented and unfermented milk.

Interestingly, since the time when Eli Metchnikoff first identified its benefits, and with the investigation of his theory showing encouraging results, the term 'probiotics' (as opposed to 'antibiotics') and its wide area of applications came into being in 1953. And since then, its potential benefits have been researched and documented.

Benefits of Probiotics

With further research being conducted in the form of studies and experiments, here are some potential medicinal benefits:

1) Improving immune function and preventing infections

2) Managing lactose intolerance

3) Prevention of colon cancer

4) Lowering cholesterol and blood pressure

5) Improving Irritable bowel syndrome and colitis

6) Aiding the treatment of the Helicobacter pylori infection (Peptic Ulcers)

7) Improving mineral absorption

8) Preventing harmful bacterial growth under stress

9) Managing urogenital health

And quite a list is it, isn't it?


Perhaps the greatest benefits come from the things that we tend to overlook or take for granted, and perhaps it bodes well that we take a more 'probiotic' approach to immigration policy rather than an 'antibiotic' one. If we can be truthful with ourselves, almost everyone who lives in the United States is an immigrant that made this country their home… and in these times of adversity should stand for the principles it was founded upon. And hey, you know what… I might be completely wrong!

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