Yogurt for gut health ☹ – prefer probiotic supplements

Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals


Yogurts don’t have enough probiotics to deliver gut health benefits

Yogurts in supermarkets do not contain anywhere near enough probiotics – ‘friendly bacteria’ – to have the health benefits you might be looking for.

That’s the conclusion of a major study from University of Toronto’s Department of Nutritional Sciences. As lead researcher Mary Scourboutakos puts it:

“In some cases, a person would have to eat up to 25 servings of yogurt a day in order to reap the promised benefits, which is completely unrealistic.”

Yet probiotics themselves have been shown to improve:

  • Digestion
  • Medical inflammatory conditions like irritable bowel syndrome
  • Immune function
  • and the absorption of nutrients from your diet – which is especially important in the over 60s.

Probiotics can also reduce flatulence, bloating, stomach discomfort, constipation and diarrhoea caused by C difficile or the use of antibiotics.

They may even help reduce depression via the recognised gut-brain pathway.

Probiotics have a good track record of helping clear yeast infections and candida.

Some researchers even claim that certain strains can help with weight management, but the evidence here is limited.

Gut health is vital to a strong immune system

What we can definitely say is that gut health is vital to a strong immune system, because 70% of your immune function is controlled in your gut.

By crowding out bad bacteria – pathogens – probiotics can improve your overall health and, for example, restore gut balance after a course of antibiotics.

Certain strains also prompt enzyme activity which can help neutralise carcinogens and help eradicate the pathogen Helicobacter pylori – which can lead to cancerous ulcers.

All of which explains why the study of the microbiome – your intestinal flora – is now one of the hottest topics in medicine.

Why don’t yogurts deliver these benefits?

Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsThe simple fact is that the level or dose of probiotics in most major brands is many times below the level that would benefit you. Or worse – 25 times lower than were in the studies originally conducted by the agro-food giants and on which their claims are based!

Toronto University again:

 “Our study (done on 92 supermarket yogurts) showed there’s a gap between the health benefits found in clinical trials and the benefits that consumers can expect to receive from the probiotic food products (yogurts) in the marketplace.”

So which are best for gut health – yogurts or probiotic supplements?

To answer that question, here are some key yogurt and probiotic facts.

Yogurt and probiotic facts

Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsMany yogurts don’t even qualify as probiotics. Virtually all yogurts are made with a combination of Lactobacillus bulgaricus and/or Streptococcus thermophilus, but they are only there to kick-start the fermentation process, NOT in sufficient amounts to be classified as a probiotic food.

Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsSo a pack statement ‘made with yogurt cultures’ doesn’t mean it’s going to work like a probiotic. All that means is that the manufacturing process started with live cultures – as it must in order to convert milk to the fermented product yogurt.

Many supermarket yogurts are heat-treated to increase shelf life, but that kills good and bad bacteria alike. So these yogurts don’t even contain live bacteria by the end of their manufacturing process.

Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsSome yogurt manufacturers do add probiotic strains back to their products after sterilisation. In the UK, there are no standards for probiotics, but in the USA, to be called a probiotic food or to claim ‘promotes healthy gut flora’, a yogurt must contain at least one billion live colony-forming units (ie. active probiotic cultures) of at least one recognised probiotic species per serving.

But unlike probiotic supplements, very few yogurts declare a precise level of colony-forming units. So it’s difficult to tell what you are actually getting – and it’s almost certainly less than 1 billion.

Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsThe general scientific consensus is that the more good bacteria there are in your gut, the harder it is for bad bacteria to flourish and cause problems. It appears that you need at least 7 billion probiotic bacteria per serving to get a health benefit.This number should be comprised of multiple strains – because different strains colonise in different parts of your gastro-intestinal tract and each has a specific health benefit.

In addition, there is evidence that strains work together to create a beneficial synergistic effect. For example, Bifidobacterium lactis has been shown to have a greater effect when accompanied by Lactobacillus rhamnosus.

Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsYogurts taste great and are still a valuable source of protein, calcium, magnesium and zinc, so they are a healthy food. Moreover, research published in the specialist Journal Translational Medicine indicates that yogurt does beneficially metabolise starches in fruits, grains and vegetables. But even if they state ‘contains active live cultures’, very few contain enough probiotic cultures in high enough doses to deliver the specific benefits you can achieve with a supplement.

Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsThe only caveat to calling yogurts ‘healthy’ is that some brands – especially and unfortunately marketed to homes with children – contain far too much added fructose, corn syrup or sugar, which can actually increase the level of bad bacteria in the gut!

So many yogurts are more of a sweet dessert than a health food. Indeed, Cornucopia, a US food and farm policy research group, found that flavoured varieties of certain brands of yogurt (eg. strawberry) contained no actual fruit, and included total sugars that rival those in a chocolate bar.

Cornucopia have filed a formal complaint against several yogurt companies with the FDA, and women should note that sugars can feed candida.

So: Are probiotic supplements better than yogurt for gut health?

Probiotic supplements don’t include protein or vitamins and minerals. But if you want the health benefits that researchers say a probiotic can deliver, then a probiotic supplement offers a much clearer way to achieve those benefits than a supermarket yogurt.

So the answer is yes.

But there are guidelines for choosing the best probiotic supplement.

1. It should have at least 7 billion ‘colony-forming’ bacteria per capsule.

2. It should have multiple strains – at least five to seven. Because different strains deliver different benefits.

For example, Lactobacillus acidophilus has been shown to help reduce cholesterol levels, while Lactobacillus plantarum has proven effectiveness in helping reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus rhamnosus have been shown to help reduce inflammation within brain neurons – and thereby ease depression.

Other strains like Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Lactobacillus plantarum have been shown to improve immune function, and improve vaginal health.

Choosing a supplement that contains the right balance of strains to help with your particular health issues is the key to getting the biggest benefit from a probiotic supplement. There’s a helpful report at

https://uni-vite.com/microbiotic/how-probiotics-improve-your-health-report/

3. The strains in your probiotic supplement must have been researched to be hardy.

The stomach is very acidic and probiotics need to be able to survive long enough to reach and colonise various parts of your intestine to have their beneficial effects.

The University of Nebraska has a world class centre for probiotic research. It identifies two exceptionally resistant strains – being Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1 and Bacillus coagulans ProDura.

4. Probiotics are live microbes. Their ‘food’ is prebiotics – sources include leeks, onions, oats and garlic. A well formulated probiotic should include some prebiotics to ‘kick-start’ their colonisation of the gut.

Check probiotic supplement labels

A final point.  As noted above, the US National Yogurt Association requires 1 billion cultures per serving to be classified as a probiotic yogurt. The UK does have a code of practice for yogurts, but this does not include any definition of probiotic standards.

In contrast, probiotic supplements can be much more worthwhile, but check labels carefully.

The UK multi-strain supplement brand Microbiotic Plus contains 7.5 billion cultures per vegan dairy-free capsule or serving – some 700% of the US threshold level.

Conclusion – yogurt AND probiotic supplements

Keep eating your yogurt for its other benefits – ideally traditionally made, organic and live or in forms like kefir.

But to get the real benefits of probiotics, look at scientifically formulated probiotic supplements.

 


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Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsYogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsYogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

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Dr Paul Clayton designed NutriShield as a comprehensive healthYogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals supplement with OPTIMUM levels of 43 essential nutrients including soy isoflavones, polyphenols and flavonoids from fruits, vegetables and other plants, Omega 3, betaine and greent tea. See more detail elsewhere on this site or click on the button.


Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsDr Paul Clayton’s best-selling book Health Defence is available from bookstores or from Uni-Vite Healthcare here.

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MicroBiotic Plus is a vegan probiotic/prebiotic supplement Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Mineralscontaining 7.5 billion friendly bacteria of 7 different hardy strains including Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bacillus coagulans, plus natural plant prebiotics. See more detail by clicking on the button.


See online here for delicious recipes from the Health Defence Cookbook  incorporating healthy foods featuring in a Mediterranean Diet. Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals


REFERENCES

Mismatch between Probiotic Benefits in Trials versus Food Products Mary J. Scourboutakos et al Nutrients 2017, 9(4), 400; doi:3390/nu9040400

Expert consensus document – The international scientific association for probiotics and prebiotics consensus statement on the scope and appropriate use of the term probiotic.  Rev. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 2014, 11, 506–514.

Probiotics, gut microbiota and health. Butel MJ. Mal. Infect. 2014, 44, 1–8.

Probiotics: Delineation of prophylactic and therapeutic benefits.  Med. Food 2009, 12, 219–235.

Guidelines for the Evaluation of Probiotics in Food. World Health Organization. Available online: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/fs_management/en/probiotic_guidelines.pdf

Metabolism and biochemical characteristics of yogurt bacteria. A review. A Zourari, JP Accolas, MJ Desmazeaud. Le Lait. INRA Editions, 1992, 72 (1), 1-34.

Benefits of Homemade Yogurt Versus Commercial. Mercola, Joseph. Organic Consumers Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 July 2017.

Enhancing immunity by dietary consumption of a probiotic lactic acid bacterium (Bifidobacterium lactis HN019):optimization and definition of cellular immune responses. Chiang BL, Sheih YH, Wang LH, Liao CK, Gill HS (2000). Eur J Clin Nutr 54, 849–855.

Irritable bowel syndrome in the United States: Prevalence, symptoms patterns and impact. Hungin APS, Chang L, Locke GR et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2005;21:1365–1375.

http://www.dairyuk.org/media-area/resources/item/yogurt-cop

 

 

Beat air pollution with food

Big city air pollution is a killer, so defend yourself

If you work in a city, you don’t need to be told that air pollution is bad for your eyes – but it is also one of the world’s biggest killers.

Air pollution causes more than 5 million premature deaths a year worldwide, an estimated 40,000 premature deaths in the UK – and almost 10,000 in London alone. Of course, if you live or work other cities like Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Birmingham, you are also at risk.

Beat air pollution with food NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

The main culprit and most dangerous form is “ambient fine particulate pollution”, largely caused by diesel fumes. These particles, called PM2.5, are extremely small – about 2.5 microns across. In comparison, a human hair is about 80 microns across. Therefore, the particles are small enough to enter the lungs and bloodstream. The toxic gas nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a ‘companion killer’.

When they reach the heart, lungs and brain, these two toxins can cause chronic inflammation – which can lead to a cardiac arrest, lung cancer, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or stroke.

Worse still, the particles can impair the immune system and make you more susceptible to infections generally. And of course worsen asthma symptoms.

Beat air pollution with food NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsStudies from the USA show that living in a polluted city is associated with a 27% increase in cardiovascular death, an almost 75% increase in the risk of a heart attack, and a 28% increase in lung cancer death – compared with living in a clean air area.

The premature death figures are shocking enough, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. For every person who dies early from air pollution, many more are made ill or hospitalised.

So how can you defend yourself?

The good news

Although there are moves to reduce diesel engine use in cities, this invisible and insidious problem is not going to go away anytime soon.

However, a recent report from New York’s Columbia University found that:

  • Taking B vitamins “nearly abolished” the harmful effect of PM2.5 particles, and
  • The damaging effects of air pollution on health “are nearly reversed with four-week B-vitamin supplementation.”

The Columbia New York study

The Columbia University researchers first took healthy, non-smoking adults between 18 and 60 years of age, who lived in ‘lightly polluted urban areas’. None were taking any form of B vitamin supplements.

First, they measured heart rates, their heart rate variability (the time between heart beats) and white blood cell counts (a marker of immune status).

Results of exposure to PM2.5 pollution

They gave the subjects a placebo for four weeks. Then they exposed them for two hours to concentrated PM2.5 pollution.

They tested the subjects again and found that all their heart and immune markers had worsened. Their heart rate had increased – meaning that their hearts had to work harder. Their white blood cell count had increased by an average of 11.5%, which meant their immune systems were sensing a pathogenic attack such as an infection.

Worryingly, their heart rate variability had fallen by an average of 57%, which is a sign of blood pressure swings and that the body is under significant internal or external stress.

Results with vitamin B supplementation

The subjects were then given four-weeks of vitamin B supplements. The participants took 50 mg of vitamin B6, 2.5 mg of folic acid (vitamin B9), and 1 mg of vitamin B12 daily.

They were again exposed to PM2.5 pollution. This time, the pollution toxins had almost no effect.

Great – but why?

Why B vitamins are so effective

B vitamins are among the first vitamins depleted under stress when toxins are present.  B vitamins are important in the creation of the body’s detoxifying enzymes, which not only work in our liver, but in the lining of our airways.

B12 is a particularly powerful detoxifying nutrient – indeed a study published in Experimental Biology and Medicine found that high dose vitamin B12 can even be effective in cyanide detoxification!

However, the amounts of B vitamins used in the Columbia study were very high. For example, the level of B6 used was over 30 times the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) and that of B12 was over 350 times the RDA!

Although the Food and Nutrition Board at the US Institute of Medicine has not recorded any adverse effects linked to excess amounts of vitamin B12, it is true that vitamin B12 can interact with certain medications. So it would be important to consult your doctor before you take such a high-dose vitamin B complex supplement.

In principle, mega doses of any single nutrient are not desirable as the body uses a wide variety of nutrients that need to be balanced to get an overall synergistic health effect. The Columbia regime also did not include vitamin B2, which is rather odd as this vitamin is known to be important in the detoxification process.

But comprehensive supplementation may be even better

Although the Columbia University results are impressive, there is another way to combat pollution with supplements that does not involve mega doses, as the B vitamins are not the only nutrients that are important in the detoxification process.

Vitamin C, for example, is a vital nutrient in helping the liver to break down and rid the body of toxins. A level of 500mg a day is optimum. The body absorbs what it needs and will excrete the excess – so any higher levels are generally wasteful.

Minerals are also important in detoxification – especially magnesium.

Supporting the lymphatic system also has a role. It is part of your circulatory system and a key part of the immune system.

Beat air pollution with food NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

The lymphatic system comprises a network of vessels that carry a clear fluid, called lymph, around the body. Lymph then transports toxic by-products from the lungs, liver and kidneys for eventual elimination.

Vitamins that support the lymphatic system include beta carotene (which converts to vitamin A as needed), vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin B6.

Finally, a supplement that gives specific support to the immune system would give even further protection. It should include vitamins A and  D3, curcumin, selenium, zinc and green tea extract.

The broccoli studies

Beat air pollution with food NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsExtensive research has shown that broccoli can not only boost the activity of the detoxification enzymes in the liver, but act as a cancer fighter.

The University of California Los Angeles study

Results of broccoli on smokers

Researchers at UCLA fed some smokers a large portion of broccoli every day for ten days to determine if it would affect the level of inflammation within their bodies. They chose smokers because, of course, smoking is highly inflammatory.

After the 10 days, they tested the blood of the smokers and found that levels of an important inflammatory marker, called C-Reactive protein, were reduced.

So the broccoli did reduce inflammation. But how?

To find out, the researchers took lung lining cells from the smokers and exposed them to broccoli extract in a petri dish. The cells showed a more than 100 times increase in detox-enzyme expression, compared to a non-cruciferous vegetable extract.

So the broccoli had been responsible for ‘turning on’ genes that were anti-inflammatory.

Results of broccoli on diesel fume exposure

Next, the UCLA researchers exposed two sets of volunteers (non-broccoli-eaters and broccoli-eaters) to a level of diesel fumes equal to the daily rush-hour levels on the Los Angeles freeway.

Within six hours, the number of inflammatory cells in the noses of the control group rose very significantly, and continued to rise. But inflammation levels in the group that received the “broccoli sprout extract,” went down and remained low.

Since the dose in these studies is equivalent to the consumption of just one or two servings of broccoli a day, they concluded that:

“… their study demonstrates the potential preventive and therapeutic potential of broccoli.”

For good measure, some Chinese researchers – where they have some of the worst air pollution in the world – were able to show that consuming broccoli sprouts resulted in the ability to detoxify 60% more benzene from the body than a control.  Benzene is a known human carcinogen.

What should you do to defend against the effects of air pollution?

If you live in a city, it is definitely worth increasing your intake of cruciferous vegetables (eg. kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, spring greens) and broccoli in particular. And up your intake of fruits like blackcurrants, raspberries and blueberries that contain high levels of protective flavonoids.

Consider a comprehensive health food supplement to boost your overall ability to counteract air pollution.

The supplement should have well above RDAs of B vitamins, but also include a balanced range of other nutrients at optimum levels that also support the lymphatic system and immune system. NutriShield is a very broad range supplement that was formulated to do that – and indeed more. See www.nutrishield.com.

 

 


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Beat air pollution with food NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsBeat air pollution with food NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsBeat air pollution with food NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Beat air pollution with food NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsAnd register now for a free monthly e-newsletter on the latest in nutrition and health research.


Dr Paul Clayton designed NutriShield as a comprehensive healthBeat air pollution with food NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals supplement with OPTIMUM levels of essential nutrients. See more detail elsewhere on this site or click on the button.


Beat air pollution with food NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsDr Paul Clayton’s best-selling book Health Defence is available from most good bookstores.

Or read chapters here FREE simply by registering your email address.


See online here for delicious recipes from the Health Defence Cookbook incorporating healthy foods featuring in a Mediterranean Diet. Beat air pollution with food NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals


REFERENCES

https://act.foe.co.uk/ditchdiesel?gclid=CjwKEAjw_6XIBRCisIGIrJeQ93oSJAA2cNtM3RH_CnrRlqUoT46HLyOgRgfgGoy3Z8Zy_jCnPEU7lRoCg6Dw_wcB

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/15/nearly-9500-people-die-each-year-in-london-because-of-air-pollution-study

https://www.mailman.columbia.edu/public-health-now/news/vitamin-b-diminishes-effects-air-pollution-induced-cardiovascular-disease

References:

Riso P, Vendrame S, Del Bo’ C, Martini D, Martinetti A, Seregni E, Visioli F, Parolini M, Porrini M. Effect of 10-day broccoli consumption on inflammatory status of young healthy smokers. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2014 Feb;65(1):106-11.

Heber D, Li Z, Garcia-Lloret M, Wong AM, Lee TY, Thames G, Krak M, Zhang Y, Nel A. Sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprout extract attenuates nasal allergic response to diesel exhaust particles. Food Funct. 2014 Jan;5(1):35-41.

Zhang X, Shu XO, Xiang YB, Yang G, Li H, Gao J, Cai H, Gao YT, Zheng W. Cruciferous vegetable consumption is associated with a reduced risk of total and cardiovascular disease mortality. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Jul;94(1):240-6.

Jiang Y, Wu SH, Shu XO, Xiang YB, Ji BT, Milne GL, Cai Q, Zhang X, Gao YT, Zheng W, Yang G. Cruciferous vegetable intake is inversely correlated with circulating levels of pro-inflammatory markers in women. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014 May;114(5):700-8.e2.

Egner PA, Chen JG, Zarth AT, Ng DK, Wang JB, Kensler KH, Jacobson LP, Muñoz A, Johnson JL, Groopman JD, Fahey JW, Talalay P, Zhu J, Chen TY, Qian GS, Carmella SG, Hecht SS, Kensler TW. Rapid and sustainable detoxication of airborne pollutants by broccoli sprout beverage: results of a randomized clinical trial in China. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2014 Aug;7(8):813-23.

Laden F, Schwartz J, Speizer FE, Dockery DW. Reduction in fine particulate air pollution and mortality: Extended follow-up of the Harvard Six Cities study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2006 Mar 15;173(6):667-72.

Tracy RP, Psaty BM, Macy E, Bovill EG, Cushman M, Cornell ES, Kuller LH. Lifetime smoking exposure affects the association of C-reactive protein with cardiovascular disease risk factors and subclinical disease in healthy elderly subjects. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1997 Oct;17(10):2167-76.