Probiotics are important for gut and digestive health, but many people aren't aware that they also play a key role in supporting a healthy immune system. Your body contains 10 times more bacteria cells than just regular human cells. And although this may sound like a lot of bacteria, they are necessary for many aspects of healthy human functions.
Some of these functions include:
• Helping digest food
• Helping with absorption of nutrients from food
• Protecting you from pathogens
Bacteria live on your skin, in your nose and ears, and most importantly in your gut. The bacteria in your gut also helps break down bad bacteria that could be attached to food. There are also immune receptor cells in the lining of the gut that are responsible for excreting massive quantities of antibodies into the gut. These cells work with healthy bacteria to protect your immune system. It is estimated that about 80% of your immune activity takes place in the gut. This is why having a healthy gut filled with healthy intestinal bacteria is important for your overall health and immune system and probiotics can help provide the gut with healthy bacteria.
Probiotics foods are foods that contain healthy living bacteria which help keep your body strong. Combining probiotic-rich foods with probiotic supplements gives your body extra protection. There is new research that shows that probiotic supplements may lower the risk of the antibiotic resistant super-bug Clostridium difficile
(C. dif), which is increasingly common in nursing homes and hospitals.
Keeping the gut healthy with probitoics can help your body's T cell production, which defends your body against pathogens. An imbalance in certain beneficial bacteria can weaken this defense mechanism and on occasion a probiotic supplement could help maintain the levels of good bacteria necessary to ensure that this barrier remains effective and minimize the chance of illness.
Two new Pathway probiotics are available now:
Pathway 100 Billion Probiotic
: This one is an ultra-high potency formula designed to provide maximum digestive and immune system support. It features a blend of 12 scientifically studied probiotic strains, each designed to survive stomach acid. This comprehensive formula also contains prebiotics to help the probiotic bacteria thrive. It should be taken for those with severe digestive issues, those who have completed multiple rounds of antibiotics, or those who want to have the strongest probiotic available.
Pathway 20 Billion Probiotic:
This is a high potency formula that features 9 strains of clinically researched probiotic strains. Pathway 20 Billion Probiotic also includes 2 sources of prebiotic fiber, which has been shown to increase the growth of beneficial flora while decreasing pathogenic bacteria.
Other Pathway options include:
35 Billion Probiotic
which contains 8 strains of probiotic and is recommended when advanced support is needed due to antibiotic use, travel or digestive concerns;
, which contains 5 billion viable cells of 8 strains of probiotic and is recommended for everyday use.
Pathway Colon Health
is a high-potency probiotic formula that contains two carefully selected strains shown to support digestive health. B. lactis B1-04 is largely found in the colon and supports immunity, allergies, antibiotic associated diarrhea, and reduces intestinal permeability. L. acidophilus (La-14) ferments carbohydrates to produce lactic acid, which enhances the absorption and bioavailability of minerals. And, lactic acid also creates a hospitable environment for harmful bacteria, such as E. coli. Prebiotic ingredients are also included to support the growth of beneficial flora.
is specially formulated to support urinary and vaginal health. It features 8 scientifically studied strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium microflora along with prebiotic fiber to enhance the growth of beneficial flora and hinder the growth of pathogenic bacteria.
is a high-potency, multiple species, children's specific probiotic that provides the most beneficial bacteria in the amounts that help to establish an excellent digestive environment.