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Blog Archive

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The different types of probiotics

The following is only posted to promote discussion.
________________________________________

Summary
probiotics that are natural inhabitants
probiotics that are not normal-inhabitants and so are transient, but they may have some advantageous benefit in the short-term
________________________________________

It seems that often people with bloodborne body odor also have a 'gut issue' of some sort. A recent poll on the blog seemed to imply this. Probiotics would seem like a good idea, but choosing a probiotic can be confusing. This article is an attempt to help us understand the options.

For buying purposes, the criteria taken for this article is:

probiotics that are natural inhabitants
probiotics that are not normal-inhabitants and are transient, but they may be promoted as having some advantageous benefit in the short-term

First, the natural main inhabitant 'probiotics'. These can be separated into the dominant bacteria in the small intestine and the colon. In the small intestine (S.I.), there are very little bacteria compared to the colon, but the main dominant one is lactobacillus acidophilus. Around where you mostly absorb food in your S.I. there are very few bacteria, since it would be competing with you for food. Most S.I. bacteria are at the end part of the S.I., the ileum. It is usually aerobic or not a strict anaerobe, meaning it can flourish ok in oxygenated areas. The colon is where most of our bacteria are. They are usually 'facultative' or strict anaerobes (meaning they do not like oxygen), and the main dominant good bacteria in the colon is the Bifidobacteria family (about 40%, normally). They live mostly in the first part of your colon. The latter part of your colon is where the protein-sulfur eating bacteria are mostly dominant.

So for a general 'normal gut ecology' replacement, a probiotic that contains acidophilus and bifidobacteria would be the standard obvious choice.

Small intestine : Lactobacillus acidophilus
Colon : Bifidobacteria

Now to why there are probiotics that are not part of the normal gut ecology. It must be assumed there is some reason for these 'alien' probiotics (at least, in probiotic supplements). Even a 'legal' yogurt must contain a strain of bacteria that is not a normal constituent. For some strains, it seems to be that they are patented, and so the company promoting them has a vested interest (e.g. Lactobacillus GG/Culturelle). Other non-patented types may be used for whatever reason. Examples are lactobacillus sporogenes, which some therapists feel can 'win the war' in dysbiosis cases easier. And then you would replace the normal bacteria. There is even a yeast, Saccharomyces boulardii (example product), that some recommend.

Sadly when it comes to recommending probiotics for body odor or halitosis, no specific advice can be suggested. It may be an idea to try different brands and types to see if anything is better or worse for each individual. No recommendations can be made. Even for the general public, the options seem confusing. Understanding the gut ecology seems to be at an early stage.

With regards to the gut ecology and bloodborne body odor, it may be assumed that no specific advice is available, since apart from TMAU there seems to be no recognition of the issue in connection to the gut ecology. Even TMAU, where the TMA-producing bacteria is blamed, there is general suggestion of probiotics, but the advice seems very generic, and the main approach is to starve the bacteria of choline rather than, for instance, focus on crowding that particular type of bacteria out of the ecosystem. For the meantime we seem to be on our own.

Random probiotics links:
http://www.isapp.net/
http://www.healthy.net/asp/templates/column.asp?PageType=column&ID=62
http://www.saga.co.uk/health/healthyliving/medicinesandsupplements/Probiotics.asp
http://internationalprobiotics.org/consumers.aspx
http://www.healthy.net/scr/Article.asp?Id=499&xcntr=1
http://www.uspharmacist.com/index.asp?show=article&page=8_1216.htm

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