The number one thing we hear Dr. Rodier tell his patients over and over again is “It all comes down to the gut.” Skin conditions, a swollen face, and bad breath (just to name a few), are all telltale signs that your belly bacteria are not in balance.
Two new studies are working on the notion that probiotics can help mitigate the symptoms of bacterial imbalance by tipping the scale in favor of the friendly guys in your gut.
Probiotics Found to Reduce Candida Presence By 50%
First up: curing candida overgrowth. You’ve likely heard about candida albicans, the nasty bacteria that fouls up your gut and causes a range of highly unsexy symptoms like bad breath, yeast infections, skin rashes, and chronic fatigue. If you eat too much sugar and your body doesn’t detox properly, candida can easily set up shop in your digestive tract.
The good news is, with dietary willpower and a modest helping of probiotics, candida and its symptoms are pretty easy to run out of town. A recent study out of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark followed 215 elderly people with bad breath who were given two probiotic lozenges daily for 12 weeks. The participants (ages 60 to 102) in the probiotic lozenge group experienced a 50% reduction in candida counts in both saliva and plaque, while the placebo group saw no changes.
Kiss Your Bad Breath Goodbye
Since oral thrush is caused by candida yeasts, it is generally treated with antifungal medication, which comes with a long list of side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.
Researchers point to probiotics as a promising long-term solution to oral thrush, especially in older folks who tend to experience recurrent symptoms, even after antifungal treatment has been applied.
Has the “Superbug” Finally Met Its Match?
Let’s shift it over to another “bad news” bug: Clostridium difficile. This bacteria can actually infect the digestive system, and commonly affects older folks, immuno-compromised individuals, and people who have had several rounds of antibiotic use. The infection is contagious and has been called an “emerging health threat” due to the 1 billion annually that it has been costing the U.S. and the fact that antibiotics are only effective in killing C.diff 75-85% of the time.
Instead of focusing on antibiotic treatments, a group of researchers recently turned their attention to probiotics. The study, which has yet to be completed, will evaluate the effectiveness of three strains of probiotics – L. acidophilus, L. paracasei, and B. lactis – for reducing the density of C. difficle in stool samples and improving patient symptoms. Stay tuned for the results (we have a feeling they’ll be promising).