Probiotics and Pregnancy
Probiotics May Reduce Risk of Diabetes During Pregnancy
TURKU, Finland-According to Finnish researchers, probiotic strains Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus rhamnosus may help reduced the occurrence of type 2 diabetes, lower blood glucose and promote child health in pregnant women. A total of 256 women were randomized at their first trimester of pregnancy into a control and a dietary intervention group. The intervention group received intensive dietary counseling provided by a nutritionist and were further randomized, double blind to receive probiotics (L. rhamnosus GG and B. lactis Bb12; diet/probiotics) or placebo (diet/placebo).
No significant differences in prenatal or postnatal growth rates among the study groups were detected. Additionally, distinctive effects of the two interventions were detected; probiotic intervention reduced the risk of GDM and dietary intervention diminished the risk of larger birth size. The results show probiotic-supplemented perinatal dietary counseling could be a safe and cost-effective tool in addressing the metabolic epidemic. Researchers noted, "In view of the fact that birth size is a risk marker for later obesity, the present results are of significance for public health in demonstrating that this risk is modifiable."
"Good" Bacteria Keep Immune System Primed to Fight Future Infections, According to Penn. Study
PHILADELPHIA - Scientists have long pondered the seeming contradiction that taking broad-spectrum antibiotics over a long period of time can lead to severe secondary bacterial infections.
The investigators show that "good" bacteria in the gut keep the immune system primed to more effectively fight infection from invading pathogenic bacteria. Altering the intricate dynamic between resident and foreign bacteria - via antibiotics, for example - compromises an animal's immune response, specifically, the function of white blood cells called neutrophils.
Senior author Jeffrey Weiser, MD, professor of Microbiology and Pediatrics, likens these findings to starting a car: It's much easier to start moving if a car is idling than if its engine is cold. Similarly, if the immune system is already warmed up, it can better cope with pathogenic invaders. The implication of these initial findings in animals, he says, is that prolonged antibiotic use in humans may effectively throttle down the immune system, such that it is no longer at peak efficiency.
"Neutrophils are being primed by innate bacterial signals, so they are ready to go if a microbe invades the body," Weiser explains. "They are sort of 'idling', and the base-line system is already turned on."
If the immune system is on idle, and you treat someone with broad-spectrum antibiotics, then you turn the system off. The system is deprimed and will be less efficient at responding quickly to new infections. Benefits of probiotic therapies keep your immune system primed by eating foods enhanced with "good" bacteria may help counteract the negative effects of sickness and antibiotics.
Probiotic and Conventional Yogurts Affect Cholesterol Levels.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition experimented to find the effect of probiotic and conventional yogurt on lipid profile. The randomized trial recruited 90 females aged 19-49 years into three groups (1) 300g probiotic yogurt containing lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium lactis or (2) 300g conventional yogurt or (3) no yogurt for 6 weeks. The results were a decrease in cholesterol in the probiotic and conventional yogurt groups and an increase in HDL cholesterol levels in the probiotic group. These findings suggest probiotic and conventional yogurt had positive changes in lipid profile which may contribute to the prevention of hyperlipidemia.
If you consume probiotics every day, as food and/or supplements, you can help maintain the proper balance of bacterial flora in the gut and thus enjoy better health and vitality.
Lactobacillus and the Use of Antibiotics.
Lactobacillus is a type of bacteria found in the intestinal tract and genital systems and is also found in fermenting products such as yogurt and dietary supplements. Antibiotics can cause diarrhea and lactobacillus has been used to help restore normal balance of intestinal bacteria eliminating the diarrhea. It has also been used for vaginal and urinary tract infections.
It appears that administration of Lactobacillus as a prophylactic agent during antibiotic treatment may reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in adults.
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