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Symbiotic Blend of 10 Beneficial Strains, Developed by Board-Certified Gastroenterologist

Healthy Aging

Healthy Aging depends on maintaining a healthy digestive system aided by probiotics.

Endomune Special Edition News

March is Colon Cancer Awareness MonthCan probiotics help prevent colon cancer?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and the third most common cancer in men and women.

The majority of these cases could have been prevented if people followed the recommended screening tests. Currently, only about 50% of people aged 50 or older have these tests performed.

Causes of Colon Cancer

In most cases, it’s not clear what causes colon cancer. Recently, there have been a number of scientific articles on how inflammation in the colon can contribute to the development of colon cancer.

Colon cancer occurs when healthy cells in the colon become damaged by inflammation. Healthy cells grow and divide in an orderly way, but sometimes this growth gets out of control. Over a period of time some of these abnormal cells may become cancerous.

The following are some interesting observations that give insight to the causes of colon cancer:

  1. The incidence of colon cancer is far higher in developed countries than in developing countries because Western diets are rich in red meat, saturated fats, and processed sugars.
  2. Our intestinal bacteria influence our health, and the scientific research proving this is rapidly expanding.
  3. Studies have found there are more bacteria producing potential carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) when exposed to a typical Western diet.
  4. These carcinogens cause an inflammatory reaction in the intestinal lining cells, which damages the cell’s DNA and increases the risk for developing cancers cells.
  5. Some strains of intestinal bacteria have been shown to inhibit carcinogen-induced colon tumor development in research studies.
  6. Bolstering the body’s balance of intestinal bacteria may help prevent colon cancer.

 

Lower the Risk of Colon Cancer

Based on the information above, here are a few suggestions:

  1. Start taking a high quality probiotic that contains multi bacterial strains and multispecies of bacteria. Studies suggest a daily dosage of at least 8-10 billion.
  2. Adhere to a healthy diet containing high fiber, fruits and vegetables, and lean meats, particularly fish and chicken.
  3. Exercise vigorously for 30 minutes at least 5 days a week.
  4. Maintain an ideal body weight.
  5. Start colon cancer screening, preferably with a colonoscopy at age 50.
  6. Start earlier if you have a family history of colon cancer, ongoing gastrointestinal symptoms, or a change in stool habits or see blood in your stool.

Colon cancer is treatable if found in its early stages. Visit your healthcare provider to arrange for the appropriate screening. Follow a healthy diet and lifestyle. And take a high quality probiotic like EndoMune that contains 10 bacterial strains. A serving size of two capsules provides 16 billion healthy bacterial colonies!

Eat healthy, exercise, take EndoMune and live well!

Lawrence J. Hoberman MD

Ease “Tummy Aches” With Probiotics

Surveys have found that 10-20% of children have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Symptoms of abdominal pain, distention, diarrhea and constipation can be very debilitating for the child and distressing for the parents.

A study conducted by Dr. Ruggiero Francavilla published in the Journal of Pediatrics in 2011 evaluated the benefits of probiotics versus a placebo in alleviating IBS symptoms in children.

The team of researchers studied 141 Italian children over the course of eight weeks. The children, whose ages ranged from five to 14, were divided into three groups, two receiving a probiotic supplement and one receiving a placebo. Results from the study concluded that those taking the probiotic had a 50% reduction in IBS symptoms compared to the placebo group.

If your child has been diagnosed with IBS and struggles with ongoing symptoms, you may want to consider a trial of a high quality probiotic like EndoMune Jr.

It is always best to check with your child’s physician before starting a probiotic.

Give Your Good Bacteria A Fighting Chance

All bacteria are bad, right?

While this may be the most common assumption, it’s far from correct. Recent innovations in medical science have tested the impact of good bacteria against the disease causing powers of bad bacteria. The result? A wealth of evidence to support the claim that maintaining a lifetime of good health is all about balance – and that supports keeping a balanced number of bacteria strains in the body, as well as maintaining a balanced diet and night’s sleep.

Scientists theorize that much of the reason why modern man has developed rising percentages of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases connects to our rising use of antibiotics. Antibiotics eradicate bacteria, regardless of type. Any dose of antibiotics has been shown to lower the numbers of both good and bad bacteria, with each proceeding dosage causing all bacteria strain types to take longer and longer to rebound colony numbers. Eventually, the medication stamps out some strains altogether.

In an ideal world, only bad bacteria strains would be extinguished, but sometimes, beneficial strains get weeded out too.

While this by no means implies that antibiotics are bad – they are invaluable in combatting a number of different illnesses. It does, however, make the case for relying upon antibiotics only in cases where they prove ABSOLUTELY necessary. Additionally, it opens the door to alternative, more sustainable pro-health practices such as incorporating a non-dairy probiotic product like EndoMune into the daily dietary routine.

Big Problems From Bad Gut Bacteria

Recent studies on the digestive environments of individuals of varying age, weight and habitude have indicated that obesity may impact the balance or growth of good and bad gut bacteria. While no definitive research has yet been released, preliminary studies show that at least 26 different strains of separate intestinal bacteria appear in the gut of obese individuals that do not appear in individuals of a healthy weight. Unfortunately, these specific bacteria strains possess links to obesity related illnesses like high blood pressure and insulin resistance.
Probiotics may help to level out the imbalance of gut bacteria, but so far, no definitive results have been released.
Learn more about the study, its results and the implications for weight-related health here.

More And More Research Affirms The Benefits Of Healthy Gut Bacteria

Dear EndoMune subscribers,

This month’s newsletter looks at some of the recent research on the positive effects healthy bacteria can have on the digestive system.

When I went into medicine, we spent a long time studying how bacteria caused serious infectious diseases. We learned about the importance of antibiotics and when to use them.

We never had a lecture on how certain bacteria (microflora) have co-evolved with us and how they help maintain our health.

No one really knew much about these healthy bacteria. But it turns out that they are essential for human life. We need them in our gut to digest food, synthesize certain vitamins and form a barricade against disease-causing bacteria.

But what do they look like in healthy people, and how much do they vary from person to person?

“Studies have found that the healthy bacteria can inhibit intestinal immune system from producing immune reactions against food protein lessening the risk of asthma, eczema and other allergies.”

Human Microbiome Project

The National Institute of Medicine launched the Human Microbiome Project1 (HMP) in 2008. It’s a five-year program to better understand how the bacterial communities (microbiome) that live on and in the human body protect our health.

The HMP involves 200 scientists at 80 institutions. Using the latest genetic techniques, they collect samples of bacterial genetic material from 242 healthy people.

The samples have been collected from five areas of the body: the digestive tract, the mouth, the skin, the nose and the vagina.

The projects reveal some of the ways in which invisible or microscopic bacteria shape our lives from birth to death. The ultimate goal is to test whether changes in the human microbiome are associated with human health or disease.

Benefits of a Healthy Microbiome

For example, researchers2 at Baylor College of Medicine have found that the vaginal bacterial flora or microbiomes change during pregnancy. Particular species, like Lactobacillus johnsonii, become dominant. This bacteria is usually found in the human intestinal tract where it produces enzymes that promote digestion of milk and substances that destroy harmful bacteria.

These findings have implications for the newborn. Before birth, the infant is in a sterile environment. The initial exposure to the world of bacteria is during the passage through the birth canal. It has been speculated that the baby will ingest some of the Lactobacillus johnsonii which will aid in digesting breast milk.

Babies born by Caesarean section start out with different microbiomes, but it is not yet known whether their microbiomes remain different after they mature.

During infancy, the baby’s intestinal microbiome expands and is impacted by breastfeeding. A study of 16 lactating women3 found that human breast milk had up to 600 bacterial species and resistant starches. Breast milk helps to promote the healthy intestinal bacteria which aid in digestion, immune function and protection from harmful bacteria.

Studies have found that the healthy bacteria can inhibit intestinal immune systems from producing immune reactions against food protein lessening the risk of asthma, eczema and other allergies.

Future Research Projects

In addition to the above studies, the HMP is doing research on the how the skin microbiome may play a role in skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema.

Other research projects are evaluating the intestinal microbiome in obese versus normal weight individuals. Previous studies have found that there is a difference in the bacterial flora in obese and thin animals and humans. Hopefully, the flora can be manipulated to lessen obesity and the associated disorders of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

The point of this newsletter is that the scientific community now recognizes the importance of maintaining a healthy microbiome. The concern is that antibiotics can upset the healthy microbiome and can contribute to chronic disorders like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and allergies.

Take Home Message

Consider taking a high quality probiotic like EndoMune to maintain a healthy microbiome balance.

Remember, EndoMune contains 10 strains of bacteria, and it is the only probiotic on the market developed by a board certified gastroenterologist.

Eat healthy, exercise and live well!!!
Best Wishes,
Dr. Hoberman

 

1) Structure, function and diversity of the healthy human microbiome. Human Microbiome Project Consortium.Nature. 2012 Jun 13;486(7402):207-14. doi: 10.1038/nature11234.

2) A metagenomic approach to characterization of the vaginal microbiome signature in pregnancy. Aagaard K, Riehle K, Ma J, Segata N, Mistretta TA, Coarfa C, Raza S, Rosenbaum S, Van den Veyver I, Milosavljevic A, Gevers D, Huttenhower C, Petrosino J, Versalovic J. PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e36466. Epub 2012 Jun 13.

3) Characterization of the diversity and temporal stability of bacterial communities in human milk.Hunt KM, Foster JA, Forney LJ, Schütte UM, Beck DL, Abdo Z, Fox LK, Williams JE, McGuire MK, McGuire MA.PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e21313. Epub 2011 Jun 17.

Pain Medications and Gastrointestinal Injury

Every day we are bombarded with ads for medications to ease the pain of arthritis. The majority of these ads are for a common class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. These are very commonly used drugs – more than 30 million Americans take these medications on a daily basis.

NSAIDs include aspirin, over the counter medications like Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Nuprin and the generic version, ibuprofen. A few of the well-known brand name prescription medications within this same class include Naprosyn, Mobic, Indocin, Relafen and Clinoril.

These drugs are also combined with antihistamines and marketed as a sleep aid such as Advil PM. Additionally, NSAIDs are combined with a decongestant and marketed as Motrin Cold and Sinus.

While NSAIDs are very effective medications for lessening inflammation and fever and easing the pain of arthritis, they can also cause serious side effects, mainly in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Both limited and chronic use of NSAIDs can lead to stomach ulcers and may also cause damage to the lining of the small intestines and colon. These injuries are referred to as NSAID-induced gastropathy, enteropathy and colopathy.

The general public is aware of the risk of stomach ulcers, but lesser known is the risk of NSAID-induced intestinal ulcers, strictures, perforation and colitis. Studies in humans taking chronic NSAIDs have shown 50-70% of the individuals have evidence of damage to the small intestines(1,2).

 

Decreased Intestinal Inflammation: Yet Another Benefit of Probiotics

NSAIDs prevent the production of a protective mucus barrier in the small intestines. Without this protective barrier, bile acids, enzymes and harmful intestinal bacteria are able to damage the intestinal lining cells. However, experimental studies in mice have shown that the NSAIDs cannot cause this injury to the small intestines if the intestinal tract is sterile(4).

Since our intestines and GI tracts are not sterile, a study was undertaken to determine if probiotic bacteria given to individuals taking NSAIDs could protect against small intestinal damage(3). They studied 20 healthy volunteers who took either a placebo or a probiotic. All volunteers received indomethacin, and their stools were collected to measure for a protein called calprotectin. This protein is increased in stools if there is damage to the intestines(4).

The study found that the volunteers receiving the placebo had a statistically significant increase in calprotectin concentration in their stools beginning on the second day of taking indomethacin compared to the group that received the probiotic. The authors concluded that the results of this study suggest that a probiotic given before and during indomethacin therapy could be useful in decreasing intestinal inflammation. They recommended that further studies be performed to confirm their results.

 

Take Home Message

Each year scientific studies are discovering new health benefits of probiotics. Based on the current study, I would suggest if individuals need to be on NSAID drugs, they should consider taking a probiotic with a mixture of bacteria in a dose of greater than 10 billon per serving – like EndoMune Advanced.

Finally, I think it is important for the general population to understand that taking NSAIDs in any form has potential adverse effects and the risks versus benefits should be considered.

Thank you for your interest in EndoMune.

Eat healthy, exercise and live well!

Dr. Lawrence Hoberman

 

(1) Is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) enteropathy clinically more important than NSAID gastropathy? Adebayo D, Bjarnason I.Postgrad Med J. 2006 Mar;82(965):186-91

(2) Present status and strategy of NSAIDs-induced small bowel injury. Higuchi K, Umegaki E, Watanabe T, Yoda Y, Morita E, Murano M, Tokioka S, Arakawa T.J Gastroenterol. 2009;44(9):879-88. Epub 2009 Jul 1

(3) The effects of a probiotic mixture on NSAID enteropathy: a randomized, double-blind, cross-over, placebo-controlled study.Montalto M, Gallo A, Curigliano V, D’Onofrio F, Santoro L, Covino M, Dalvai S, Gasbarrini A, Gasbarrini G.Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Apr 7

(4) Fecal calprotectin as a promising marker of inflammatory diseases. Paduchova Z, Durackova Z.Bratisl Lek Listy. 2009;110(10):598-602.

The Gut-Brain-Skin Connection and the Benefits of Probiotics

Greetings EndoMune Subscribers!

March is the month we shake off the winter blues and start thinking about spring flowers and beautiful days. On the flip side, it is also the time we must complete taxes; or for students, prepare for midterm exams. Basically, March is a happy month mixed with some stress.

This month I want to discuss two common chronic skin conditions affected by stress: Acne vulgarus and Acne Roseaca.

Emotional Stress Leads To Bodily Stress

A well-respected medical journal, Gut Pathogens, published an interesting article last year that outlined how emotional stress has an impact upon common skin conditions like acne and rosacea.

Consider these four cases:

1.) Emotional stress can disturb the healthy balance of intestinal bacteria.
2.) Overgrowth of harmful bacteria break down the intestinal barrier and stimulates the immune system
3.) The immune system can contribute to the skin inflammation that causes acne and rosacea.
4.) Re-establishing the healthy balance of intestinal bacteria helps to improve these skin conditions.

Where There’s A Probiotic, There’s A Cure

Acne or pimples occur when hair follicles become infected. The exact cause is still unknown, but the hair follicles become blocked which allows the bacteria, Probionibacterium acnes, to proliferate and cause inflammation resulting in pimples. A very common form of therapy is to prescribe antibiotics either topically or orally to clear the infection and control flares of acne. Unfortunately, this form of therapy is also associated with intestinal side effects and doesn’t always work. Scientific studies have shown that adding probiotics to standard acne treatment therapy can improve the inflammation and also lessen GI symptoms.

Acne Rosacea or rosacea is a common chronic skin condition that occurs in adults. It causes redness of the face and nose and pimples. In advanced cases, the nose becomes bulbous. President Bill Clinton and Prince Charles are among the millions of people who suffer from this condition.

Stress is a factor that can aggravate rosacea. Excess build up of bacteria in the intestines also plays a role. Taking antibiotics can help to control the skin inflammation. There are several scientific reports that also adding probiotics can help.

Over the years, a number of readers have written in, letting us know how much EndoMune has helped them manage teenage acne and adult rosacea…especially during stressful times!

Take Home Message

Bottom line: If you or your loved ones have these skin conditions, consider taking EndoMune to lessen skin flares – especially if March brings you stress.

Eat healthy, exercise, take EndoMune and live well!

Best Wishes,
Lawrence Hoberman MD

Healthy Benefits of Probiotics for Children

As we start the New Year with resolutions for living healthy, I want to share with you an article(1) that assesses the healthy benefits of probiotics for children.

The December issue of Pediatrics included a report, “Clinical Report – Probiotics and Prebiotics in Pediatrics,” prepared by the Committee on Nutrition, a component of the American Academy of Pediatrics – an organization comprised of 60,000 pediatricians.

The purpose of the report was to provide guidance to pediatric health care providers on the usefulness and benefits of probiotics and prebiotics for children. In doing so, the committee:

  1. Reviewed published clinical studies that provided children with probiotics or prebiotics to prevent or treat a variety of health issues, and
  2. Analyzed the quality of the reports and determined whether there was enough evidence to recommend the use of probiotics for the specific disorders.

In the last five years there has been an explosion of clinical studies using probiotics. Most of the studies have proven efficacy or general positive benefits, leading to an increase in the recommendation of probiotics by mainstream medicine.

Committee on Nutrition: Probiotic Recommendations

After thoroughly reviewing and assessing previous studies, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ committee suggested probiotics and/or prebiotics may have a positive impact on the following conditions.

#1: Acute Infectious Diarrhea
The committee reviewed studies to determine if probiotics could prevent episodes of acute infectious diarrhea that occur in child care centers. Based on available studies, the committee did not recommend routine use of probiotics to prevent acute infectious diarrhea but did acknowledge there may be special circumstances that probiotics are beneficial.

#2: Viral Gastroenteritis
Trials of using probiotics to treat children with acute infectious diarrhea found that probiotics shortened the illness in children with viral gastroenteritis by one day. The conclusion stated “there is evidence to support the use of probiotics early in the course of childhood acute infectious diarrhea.”

#3: Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea
Review of trials using probiotics to prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea found that probiotics were beneficial. Antibiotics can decrease the healthy intestinal bacteria population and allow the unhealthy bacteria to overgrow and cause diarrhea. The conclusion was that probiotics can be used to reduce the incidence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

The committee reviewed numerous clinical trials that used probiotics to treat and prevent other pediatric medical disorders. While some of these studies found specific benefits, the general recommendation was that further studies were necessary to prove efficacy for the following conditions:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Infantile Colic
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Eczema

Prebiotics and Allergy Reduction

The committee also reviewed medical trials using prebiotics. Prebiotics refer to a special class of fiber in our diet that acts as “food” for the healthy bacteria, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These bacteria use the prebiotic as a source of nourishment for their growth and activity.

Studies of adding prebiotics to infant diets found reduced incidence of allergies. The conclusion of the committee was that “confirmatory studies of the benefits of prebiotics….are needed before recommendations cam be made…”

Safe and Promising Supplements

The committee also commented on the safety of both probiotic and prebiotic supplement. They stated “to date, these products seem to be safe for healthy infants and children.” Caution should be used in giving probiotics to children with compromised immune function.

The committee was generally positive about the use of probiotics in children. But, it was being very responsible in not making general recommendations. Although there are positive studies for the clinical use of probiotics, the committee wants to see more studies to confirm the benefits. Further confirmatory studies are being accomplished to prove the clinical health benefits. We await the next updated report.

In the meantime, if your child is suffering with one of the disorders mentioned above, it seems reasonable to consider a therapeutic trial with a probiotic like EndoMune – a safe supplement that contains both probiotics and a prebiotic.

Wishing you and your loved ones a very healthy 2011.

Eat healthy, exercise and stay well.
Dr. Hoberman

References:

(1) Probiotics and prebiotics in pediatrics. Thomas DW, Greer FR; American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition; American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. Pediatrics. 2010 Dec;126(6):1217-31.

9 Tips for Staying Healthy this Holiday Season

What a terrific time of the year! We just finished sharing a relaxing turkey meal with family and friends, and now it’s time to focus on preparing for the upcoming holidays. This includes shopping in the malls, enjoying holiday treats and parties, and traveling to visit family and friends or going on a vacation.

Unfortunately, the exposure to others and consuming sweets and alcohol is challenging our immune system. This newsletter is about the top nine ways to boost our immune system and avoid developing cold and flu symptoms during this season.


Some Facts about Cold and Flu

Colds and flu (influenza) are virus infections. Cold and flu viruses attack the lining of the upper respiratory tract, which includes the nose, throat and sinuses. The main symptoms of a cold are sore throat, runny nose, cough and congestion of the nasal passages. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the common cold. Additionally, there is no vaccine against the cold viruses since there are too many, and they tend to mutate or change.

Influenza (or flu) is due to two main viruses – type A and B. The symptoms of influenza are similar to the common cold, but are usually more intense and include chills, fever, and body aches. If someone develops the flu, they are generally home ill for at least 2-3 days. Sometimes, especially in children, the illness can be more severe. Flu viruses are constantly changing. Each year the CDC identifies the most common forms of the influenza viruses and develops a vaccine.

The viruses for cold and flu are very contagious and transmission occurs mainly by inhalation of virally infected droplets from coughs and sneezes from infected individuals. Additionally, touching objects infected by droplets and then putting your fingers to your mouth or nose is another source of exposure.


New Study: Probiotic Benefits for Preventing Cold and Flu

Before listing the nine top tips on having a healthy holiday season, I want to report on a recent medical article. There have actually been a number of published clinical studies on the positive benefits of probiotics for the prevention of cold and flu symptoms.

The most recent article by Hao and his associates(1) reviewed 14 randomized clinical trials studying the prevention of upper respiratory tract infections. This study compared probiotics with a placebo. The studies involved 3451 children and adults. They found that the group taking probiotics had less cold and flu episodes and required fewer antibiotic prescriptions than the group taking a placebo. Probiotics reduced the number of individuals who had at least one acute upper respiratory tract infection by 42 percent.

It’s also important to note that side effects of probiotics were minor.

Now…9 Tips for Staying Healthy During the Holiday Season

  • Get the flu vaccine
  • Eat at least 6-8 daily servings of fruits and vegetables to boost the immune system(2)
  • Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep(3)
  • Maintain hydration
  • Exercise 30 minutes at least 5 days a week(4)
  • Avoid crowds if possible
  • Wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizers after touching potentially infected surfaces
  • Take a high quality probiotic…like EndoMune Advanced and EndoMune Junior
  • If you think you have the flu or have been exposed to someone with the flu, contact your physician as you may benefit from taking one of anti-viral flu medications


Thank You!

On a personal note, this is the fifth year that I have written a December newsletter. I want to say that developing EndoMune has turned out to be one of the most gratifying professional activities in my medical career. Researching the latest medical studies on the benefits of probiotics has been challenging, but stimulating. So many people have shared with me how EndoMune has had such a positive effect on their health.

Thank you for your continued support of EndoMune Advanced and EndoMune Junior. We are continuing to work on maintaining the highest quality probiotics and developing new ones.

My very best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season and New Year!


REFERENCES

(1) Probiotics for preventing acute upper respiratory tract infections.Hao Q, Lu Z, Dong BR, Huang CQ, Wu T.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Sep 7;9

(2) Am J Lifestyle Med. 2009 Jul;3(1 Suppl):39S-43S. Functional Foods as Modifiers of Cardiovascular Disease. Johnston C.

(3)Sleep and immune function.Besedovsky L, Lange T, Born J.Pflugers Arch. 2011 Nov 10.

(4) Current perspective on exercise immunology. Nieman DC.Curr Sports Med Rep. 2003 Oct;2(5):239-42. Review.

Study Links Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis to Antibiotic Use

Many physicians are hesitant to prescribe antibiotics for many reasons. In fact, it’s not uncommon for physicians to use antibiotics as a last option for treatment. Those who are hesitant to prescribe antibiotics now have one more reason – Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis (Here is more information on “What Is Colitis?“).

A new study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology has found that people who are prescribed larger amounts of antibiotics have a higher risk for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Crohn’s Diease and Colitis are the most common forms of IBD and can cause inflammation in the intestines, which then can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea and weight loss.

The article can be found at length at the American College of Gastroenterology website.

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