Cold and flu season is right around the corner. I generally like to advise my patients to build their immune systems naturally before the season starts. That’s just about this time of year, and most people start thinking of their immune systems when it’s too late. We should always be building our immune system all year, but if you haven’t been working on it, now is a great time to start.
One way of building your immune system, is to take probiotics. They can help build your immune system so your body can fight disease. The main reason we take good probiotics for our immune system, is that they assist the body in reducing inflammation in the gut. I will be talking about inflammation and how it affects our health in future articles as well. The inflammatory process breaks down our resistance to fight disease, and most importantly, cancer. Bad bacteria can take over different systems of the body, especially the gut, causing an imbalance or disease. The good bacteria must overcome the bad. This is done by supplementing with medical grade probiotics and enzymes, while eating fermented foods and specific types of fiber to support the gut’s activity. I emphasize medical grade, as many people take over the counter products that simply don’t work. Sugar should never be added to a probiotic or probiotic food. One example of a substandard probiotic food is Activia yogurt. One container has a count of only 5-10 billion CFUs (colony forming units) of 5 strains of bacteria. Although many studies show a count of 5-10 billion CFUs is a standard dose, those bacteria found in Activia are not the ones used in the better studies that have shown to support the immune, digestive, and neurological systems. One medical grade probiotic capsule can have 30 billion CFUs and more of 5 symbiotic strains of bacteria.
It has been shown in a recent double-blind placebo British study, that certain types of bacteria, at a specific count given to patients, (the elderly in this study) improve the function of specialized cells or phagocytes. Phagocytes ingest bacteria. That’s how it works. The more your body can kill bacteria on its own, the stronger its immune system. Another Australian study found that the risk of upper respiratory infections in active seniors was reduced by 27 % with a specific medical grade probiotic.
Here’s one with kids and cold symptoms. A double-blind, placebo controlled study was done with 248 children in Jinhua City, China over a 6-month period. Each child was healthy, and between the ages of 3-5 years. Three groups were studied, one with L. acidophilus, one with B. lactis, and one placebo group. “Relative to the placebo group, the L.acidophilus group had 53% lower fever incidence, and 41.4% lower coughing incidence. The children receiving both probiotics experienced 72.7%, and 62.1% reductions respectively. These results support a combination probiotic containing both L. acidophilus and B. lactis.” Neither of which are found in Activia. Of course, not only the correct strain of bacteria has to be taken, but the correct dose as well. Why not give your kids a good medical grade probiotic, rather than waiting until they’re sick and give them, in many cases, unnecessary antibiotics and other medications that can harm their healthy bacteria?
Yes, probiotic supplementation is good, but remember to eat live probiotics daily. Fermented pickles, Korean kimchi, fresh sauerkraut, and more, are great sources of live active cultures. Almost every nationality has a recipe for some sort of live culture fermented food. Our ancestors ate that way, and so should we.
If you have a question for any of my articles, please email me at DrLeisa@CaringPainRelief.com
Leisa-Marie Grgula, D.C.
Accurate Care Pain Relief Center
21043 N. Cave Creek Rd. #A9
Phoenix, AZ 85024