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Why Do I Need to Take a Probiotic?

For people who are reading our blog for the very first time or those needing a refresher course in good gut health habits, you may be wondering why we devote so much space to explaining why you need to take a probiotic.

There are A LOT of reasons for taking probiotics, in addition to promoting good gut health! Fortunately, you don’t have to do the research.

What follows are 10 important reasons why you should be taking probiotics for your good health, based on the latest research.

  1. Many cheap brands of probiotics contain a single strain of beneficial bacteria, which may be good for a specific problem. However, a multi-strain probiotic protects the diversity of your gut and treats common gut health problems like constipation too.
  1. Do you use an over-the-counter medication like loperamide (Imodium) to treat a case of diarrhea? Taking a probiotic is one of the most effective ways, not only to get rid of diarrhea, but to prevent it altogether.
  1. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can do great harm to your gut and your emotions, disrupting your body’s gut-brain axis. Taking a probiotic and a prebiotic (EndoMune Advanced Probiotic and Endomune Jr. Probiotics for Kids contains both) may be a good way to treat IBS and depression without a drug.
  1. Are you taking antibiotics more than once a year to treat persistent infections? Antibiotics rapidly deplete the beneficial bacteria and make you more vulnerable to serious diseases such as colon cancer and more serious antibiotic-resistant infections. Taking a daily probiotic gives your body extra protection by replenishing the beneficial bacteria your body needs.

(You’ll also do your health a great deal of good by avoiding contact with antibacterial soaps that contain broad spectrum and synthetic antimicrobial compounds like triclosan too.)

  1. For patients who suffer from migraines, scientists have recently discovered a link between those painful headaches and nitrates, a common food additive. Some gut health experts believe taking a probiotic may become a safer, non-drug answer to treat migraines.
  1. Have problems with your teeth? Taking a probiotic is good treatment, as it may be a one more way to heal chronic periodontitis and reduce inflammation and levels of gingivitis and plaque, in addition to regular dental care.
  1. Hypertension can be a warning sign of serious health problems behind the scenes and even death. Taking a daily probiotic can improve your overall health, lower your blood pressure safely and lessen your dependence on prescription medications.
  1. Do you fly for your job or pleasure on a frequent basis or work a swing shift? The balance of bacteria in your gut is affected your body’s circadian rhythms as you cross time zones — often due to jet lag — but taking a probiotic prevents that yo-yo effect from harming your health.
  1. Protecting your sleep is an important part of restoring your body night after night. Be sure that any probiotic you consider taking also contains a prebiotic that can help you improve your sleep.
  1. Are you a new parent losing sleep over your baby’s prolonged crying due to colic? A number of studies point to probiotics as a safe, healthy way to lessen colic and prevent other common problems for babies like acid reflux and constipation.

Protect your teeth from thrush with probiotics

Protect your teeth from thrush with probioticsThe great thing about probiotics is how versatile the beneficial bacterial can be at treat health conditions unrelated to your gut. Recent studies have shown how probiotics treat common tooth-related problems like gum disease and help tooth decay.

Researchers in Sweden and Denmark have found success in treating thrush (oral candidiasis), a condition experienced by nursing home residents, with a probiotic lozenge containing Lactobacillus reuteri, according to a study published in the Journal of Dental Research.

Thrush is a pesky health problem that occurs when the fungus Candida albicans accumulates in large quantities in the mucous membranes of the mouth, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Learn more about thrush

Although Candida albicans lives naturally in the mouth, the fungus becomes a problem when it grows out of control, creating white lesions on the tongue or inner cheeks, which can spread further to the gums, tonsils, the roof of your mouth and into the throat.

If you’re in good health, thrush isn’t a serious health condition to treat and it can happen to anyone. Thrush occurs most often among the elderly, babies, toddlers and their moms.

Thrush can become harder to control if your immune system is compromised by health problems, including uncontrolled diabetes, cancer, HIV, hormonal changes experienced by pregnant women, if you wear dentures or smoke.

Taking some medications can mess up the balance of bacteria in your mouth such as birth control pills, corticosteroids and antibiotics may trigger thrush too.

Treating thrush with probiotics

Typically, doctors treat thrush by prescribing antifungal medications for 10-14 days. For this latest study, 215 seniors living in nursing homes were given probiotic lozenges containing either two proprietary blends of Lactobacillus reuteri or a placebo, every day for 12 weeks.

Although there were no great differences between either group in levels of supragingival plaque (the tooth surface above the gum line) or bleeding, Candida levels dropped in saliva and plaque by more than 50 percent in the group taking probiotics.

Among the complementary and alternative therapies listed by the University of Maryland Medical Center for thrush, probiotics containing Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium topped the list, especially when taking antibiotics that may eliminate the friendly bacteria that prevent thrush from becoming a health problem.

Both Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium are some of the proprietary strains in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic, EndoMune Junior and EndoMune Jr. Chewable Probiotic for Kids (for kids ages 3-8).

How to prevent oral thrush

Preventing oral thrush is pretty simple, if you follow these simple steps.

  • Visit your dentist for regular checkups.
  • Don’t smoke and quit if you still do.
  • Practice good oral hygiene (daily flossing and tooth brushing).
  • Avoid using mouthwashes or sprays too often as they can also disrupt the safe balance of microbes in your mouth.
  • Limit your intake of foods containing processed sugars and yeast.

Probiotics can improve your smile

A leading cause of tooth decay results from bad bacteria that produce lactic acid. Known to scientists as Streptococcus mutans, or S. mutans, these bugs thrive on refined sugars, leaving behind the lactic acid that erodes tooth enamel.

Brushing your teeth with toothpaste recommended by the American Dental Association is the tried and true method for fighting tooth decay.

According to scientists, probiotics may also play a role in combatting tooth decay. As research increasingly reveals the inner workings of the microbiome within our mouths, scientists are finding that blends of beneficial bacteria such as Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus acidophilus may provide extra protection for teeth.

Whether for teeth or gut health, many Americans haven’t yet taken advantage of the beneficial boost of probiotics, according to recent data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

We appreciate your help in sharing the research studies highlighted in our blogs as we work to increase public understanding of the role of bacteria in our bodies and the ways in which probiotic supplements can enhance overall health.

Before we get into recent studies on combating tooth decay with probiotics, let’s take a closer look at the state of dental health in the United States:

  • 91 percent of young adults (ages 20-64) showed signs of tooth decay. Among those, 27 percent went untreated.
  • 96 percent of seniors older than 64 suffered from tooth decay, while 18.6 percent experienced complete loss of their teeth.
  • Two-thirds of adolescents (ages 16-19) had dental decay.
  • 40 percent of children (ages 6-11) had dental sealants on at least one permanent tooth.
  • 43 percent of adolescents (ages 12-19) also had sealants.

As parents, tooth decay can be hard to detect in your children. Other than a toothache or some sensitivity, if you and your children aren’t seeing a dentist regularly or following proper dental hygiene, you’re probably not aware of any problems.

Treating Young Teeth With Probiotics

Fortunately, probiotics containing proprietary blends of Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus acidophilus (two strains of beneficial bacteria found in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic and EndoMune Advanced Junior) may provide some extra protection for young teeth.

A group of scientists from a pair of dental schools in India examined the effect of both bacteria on 60 children (ages 6-12) who had no dental problems, in a recent study appearing in the Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research.

Scientists took saliva samples from the kids, measuring levels of Streptococcus mutans, a contributor to tooth decay. Then, the children were divided into two groups, with one receiving a placebo, while the other group ate ice cream containing both strains of beneficial bacteria for seven days.

Based on saliva samples taken after seven and 30 days, respectively, the group that consumed the probiotic ice cream had reduced amounts of Streptococcus mutans, compared to the placebo group.

Not only can these probiotics strengthen your child’s immune system, but they can reduce episodes of diarrhea and colic. They provide a range of benefits apart from combating tooth decay.

Probiotics, particularly multi-species products like EndoMune Advanced Junior, can do a world of good for young children as it gives your child’s immune system the boost it needs.

teeth probiotics

Do you use a probiotic to protect your tooth health?

Medical science has established that good dental hygiene promotes overall health by stabilizing blood sugar and lowering risk for infections and heart disease.

But did you know that new research shows probiotics may also be the go-to weapon to protect your teeth and body from a growing host of health challenges?

A recent study, published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, found that taking a probiotic containing Lactobacillus Reuteri may offer “significant, additional clinical improvements” compared to root planning and scaling (one invasive method to prevent gum disease from becoming more severe) for patients dealing with chronic periodontitis.

Probiotics Could be Easier Than Standard Dental Treatments

Patients who took a probiotic lozenge twice a day were 53 percent less likely to have deep dental pockets, a common health problem associated with periodontitis, compared to those given a placebo. When teeth succumb to periodontitis, gums pull away from teeth, forming spaces that become infected, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Periodontitis spurs the body’s immune system into action, as plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. The combination of the body’s natural immune response and bacterial toxins start breaking down the connective tissue and bone that keep teeth in place.

If periodontitis isn’t treated, the gums, bones and tissues supporting the teeth are destroyed. This could lead to loose teeth that need to be removed.

More Studies Confirm the Value of Probiotics in Protecting Teeth

Interestingly, this isn’t the only study that has found probiotics protect teeth, according to the Academy of General Dentistry’s The Daily Grind.

  • A 2011 study determined a combination of milk containing probiotics and fluoride may reverse primary root caries lesions (PRCL) in patients age 58-84.
  • Chewing gum containing the bacteria Lactobacillus reuteri may decrease inflammation, according to a 2009 study.
  • Lactobacillus reuteri was also at the heart of a 2006 study as the probiotic bacteria was found to reduce levels of gingivitis and plaque in patients experiencing moderate to severe gingivitis.

Here’s one more healthy reminder about protecting the health of your teeth and body: If you’re using a standard brand of toothpaste, check the label to ensure it doesn’t contain triclosan, a broad-spectrum antimicrobial compound that has been linked to endocrine disruptions, antibiotic-resistant infections and superbugs.

Even as manufacturers have begun phasing out triclosan, the CDC raised new health concerns. A recent report found a 50 percent increase in triclosan levels across all U.S. demographic levels.

All the more reason everyone should take a probiotic.

 

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