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Bill Downs
Bill Downs is an expert on diet and digestion.
Bill is the author of the Trafon (spell it backwards) blog

Bill has unsurpassed knowledge of how nutrients help the body heal. Involved with nutritional information for over 20 years, Bill has lectured worldwide, is a published author, and has penned a number of papers in cited peer-reviewed scientific journals. A recognized expert in his field , Bill has had over 75 TV , Radio and Newspaper interviews. Bill's five years of post-graduate education in Nutrition Science and Biological Chemistry along with his years of clinical experience as a nutrition consultant have given him great insight into the modern human condition, the needless suffering of people, and a profound appreciation for the body's miraculous capabilities to heal itself when properly supported by nutrition.

In The News

World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations states; probiotics are "live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host".

"In conclusion, probiotics act as an adjuvant in the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of chronic diseases" (from a paper presented by Broekaert and Walker of Harvard Medical School , Mucosal Immunology Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children

Elderly people should take probiotic supplements, according to scientists.

One a Meal


The ability of probiotics to decrease the incidence or duration of certain diarrheal illnesses is perhaps the most substantiated of the health effects of probiotics. (Guandalini, 2006); (Sazawal et al., 2006); (McFarland, 2006); (Stich et al., 2001); (Van Niel et al., 2002); (Heyman, 2000);

There are many types of diarrheal illnesses, with many different causes, that disrupt intestinal function. Bacterial and viral infections are among the most common culprits leading to diarrheal diseases such as travel diarrhea and acute diarrhea. Also diarrhea often occurs when the intestinal microflora becomes unbalanced. This can happen temporarily, for example, when antibiotics are prescribed to fight an infection and "good" bacteria are destroyed along with the "bad". (Katz, 2006) Doctors suggested as far back as the early 20th century that live bacterial cultures restore the microfloral balance in the intestines and offer benefits for diarrhea sufferers.

In conclusion a recent Yale University School of Medicine study recommends probiotics "in the prevention and treatment of acute diarrhea in adults and children" and "the prevention of antibiotic associated diarrhea in adults and children". (Floch et al., 2006)

Clinical Studies
Below are abstracts of referenced clinical studies from the PubMed site , a service of the Unite States National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health.

Recommendations for Probiotic Use

Floch MH, Madsen KK, Jenkins DJ, Guandalini S, Katz JA, Onderdonk A, Walker WA, Fedorak RN, Camilleri M.
Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8019, USA. martin.floch@yale.edu

Probiotics are live microbial organisms that are administrated as supplements or in foods to benefit the host. It is the recommendation that they may be helpful in the prevention and treatment of acute diarrhea in adults and children, the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in adults and children , and the maintenance of remission and prevention of pouchitis. Although early results indicate that probiotics may also be useful in immunologic modulation to prevent atopy, treatment of radiation intestinal disease, vaginosis, ulcerative colitis, and the irritable bowel syndrome, the studies available are not sufficient to say they are definitely helpful. Even fewer data are available to recommend probiotics for the treatment of H pylori and Crohn disease and for the prevention of cardiovascular risk factors or other degenerative diseases. Clearly, larger and better-designed studies of probiotics are necessary, including comparative and dose-ranging trials.

Probiotics for the Prevention of Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea and Clostridium Difficile Diarrhea

Katz JA.
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio 44106-5066, USA. Jeffry.katz@uhhs.com

Antibiotic-associated diarrhea is a common clinical problem occurring in up to 25% of patients, with diarrhea owing to Clostridium difficile accounting for up to a quarter of cases. The clinical and economic costs of antibiotic-associated diarrhea are significant and better treatments are needed. Probiotics may offer potential effective therapy for antibiotic-associated diarrhea by restoring intestinal microbial balance. A number of different probiotics have been evaluated in the prevention and treatment of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in adults and children, including the nonpathogenic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii and multiple lactic-acid fermenting bacteria such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG). A careful review of the literature supports the efficacy of S. boulardii in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea recurrent C. difficile infection in adults, whereas LGG is useful in the treatment of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in children. Not enough data exist to currently support the use of other probiotic preparations in these conditions. Although generally safe and well tolerated, both S. boulardii and LGG should be used cautiously in immunocompromised patients. Further study of probiotics, including large, well-designed, randomized controlled dose-ranging trials, comparative trials, and cost-benefit analyses are necessary.

Probiotics for Children: Use in Diarrhea

Guandalini S.
University of Chicago, Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Chicago, IL 60637, USA. sguandalini@peds.bsd.uchicago.edu

The use of probiotics in diarrheal diseases of children is increasing. Probiotics, mostly lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, but also the yeast Saccharomyces boulardii, have been tried in many double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled studies, and several well-conducted meta-analyses are now available. There is some evidence of efficacy in the prevention of community-acquired and nosocomial diarrhea. More solid evidence of efficacy is found in the treatment of sporadic, infectious diarrhea, where several probiotics, and especially Lactobacillus GG, have been found capable of reducing by approximately 1 day the duration of diarrhea, shorten the initial phase of watery stools, and reducing hospital stay in developed countries. The effect is best documented in viral diarrheas. Although there are valid conceptual premises for probiotics to be helpful in inflammatory bowel diseases, only 1 trial has been published in children, showing Lactobacillus GG not to be superior to placebo in maintaining remission of Crohn disease. All considered, more research is needed for a better understanding of the role of probiotics in gastrointestinal diseases of children, addressing issues such as pharmacokinetics, mechanism of action, and role of specific probiotics, alone or in combination, in different disorders.

Effect of Lactic Acid Bacteria on Diarrheal Diseases

Heyman M.
National Institute of Health and Medical Research, INSERM E9925, Faculte Necker, Paris, France.

Microbial balance is an important factor in the maintenance of intestinal homeostasis, and yogurt or fermented milk supplementation has been proposed to control diarrheal diseases. A number of studies using animal models and clinical studies in humans have confirmed the beneficial effect of such fermented products in case of lactose intolerance, viral diarrhea or antibiotics-associated diarrhea. The mechanisms by which lactic acid bacteria exert their effects are multiple. Bacterial lactase improves the absorption of lactose, but fermented products slow down the intestinal transit facilitating the action of residual intestinal lactase. The transient passage of lactic acid bacteria in the digestive tract may represent a microbial barrier against the development of pathogenic bacteria, probably due to the release of compounds contributing to the maintenance of colonization resistance to pathogens. The beneficial effects are mainly described in the presence of live bacteria, but inactivated bacteria may also present preventive or curative capacities in diarrheal diseases. Moreover, lactic acid bacteria has been described as reinforcing the non-specific immune defence but also specific immunity, particularly the secretory immune system mediated by secretory IgA or IgM in response to particulate infectious antigens and perhaps to soluble food antigens. Other possible mechanisms include the trophic effect on the intestinal layer, and a down-regulatory activity in cow's milk allergy as well as anti-inflammatory effects have also been suggested.

Efficacy of Probiotics in Prevention of Acute Diarrhoea

Sazawal S, Hiremath G, Dhingra U, Malik P, Deb S, Black RE.
Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. ssazawal@jhsph.edu

To evaluate the evidence for the use of probiotics in the prevention of acute diarrhoea, we did a meta-analysis of the available data from 34 masked, randomised, placebo-controlled trials. Only one trial was community based and carried out in a developing country. Most of the remaining 33 studies were carried out in a developed country in a health-care setting. Evaluating the evidence by types of acute diarrhoea suggests that probiotics significantly reduced antibiotic-associated diarrhoea by 52% (95% CI 35-65%), reduced the risk of travellers' diarrhoea by 8% (-6 to 21%), and that of acute diarrhoea of diverse causes by 34% (8-53%). Probiotics reduced the associated risk of acute diarrhoea among children by 57% (35-71%), and by 26% (7-49%) among adults. The protective effect did not vary significantly among the probiotic strains Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, and other strains used alone or in combinations of two or more strains. Although there is some suggestion that probiotics may be efficacious in preventing acute diarrhoea, there is a lack of data from community-based trials and from developing countries evaluating the effect on acute diarrhoea unrelated to antibiotic usage. The effect on acute diarrhoea is dependent on the age of the host and genera of strain used.

Meta Analysis of Probiotics for the Prevention of Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea and the Treatment of Clostridium Difficile Disease

McFarland LV.
Department of Health Services Research and Development, Veterans Administration Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, Washington 98101, USA.

CONTEXT: Antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) is a common complication of most antibiotics and Clostridium difficile disease (CDD), which also is incited by antibiotics, is a leading cause of nosocomial outbreaks of diarrhea and colitis. The use of probiotics for these two related diseases remains controversial. OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy of probiotics for the prevention of AAD and the treatment of CDD based on the published randomized, controlled clinical trials. DATA SOURCES: PubMed, Medline, Google Scholar, NIH registry of clinical trials, metaRegister, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched from 1977 to 2005, unrestricted by language. Secondary searches of reference lists, authors, reviews, commentaries, associated diseases, books, and meeting abstracts. STUDY SELECTION: Trials were included in which specific probiotics given to either prevent or treat the diseases of interest. Trials were required to be randomized, controlled, blinded efficacy trials in humans published in peer-reviewed journals. Trials that were excluded were pre-clinical, safety, Phase 1 studies in volunteers, reviews, duplicate reports, trials of unspecified probiotics, trials of prebiotics, not the disease being studied, or inconsistent outcome measures. Thirty-one of 180 screened studies (totally 3,164 subjects) met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. DATA EXTRACTION: One reviewer identified studies and abstracted data on sample size, population characteristics, treatments, and outcomes. DATA SYNTHESIS: From 25 randomized controlled trials (RCTs), probiotics significantly reduced the relative risk of AAD (RR = 0.43, 95% CI 0.31, 0.58, p < 0.001). From six randomized trials, probiotics had significant efficacy for CDD (RR = 0.59, 95% CI 0.41, 0.85, p = 0.005). CONCLUSION: A variety of different types of probiotics show promise as effective therapies for these two diseases. Using meta-analyses, three types of probiotics (Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, and probiotic mixtures) significantly reduced the development of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Only S. boulardii was effective for CDD.

What is Effective in Traveler's Diarrhea? Current Recommendations on Prevention, Therapy and After Care

Stich A, Fleischer K.
Tropenmedizinische Abteilung, Missionsarztlichen Klinik Wurzburg. mi.tropmed@mail.uniwuerzburg.de

Traveller's diarrhea is almost always due to an infection with intestinal bacteria, viruses or parasites. The leading agents are the ubiquitous enterotoxic E. coli bacteria. Prophylaxis is achieved primarily by the strict avoidance of fecally contaminated food and drink--advice which, however, is often ignored. Chemoprophylactic measures include the use of probiotics, in particular Saccharomyces boulardii, with antibiotics being given only in special cases. Treatment consists mainly in the replacement of lost fluids and electrolytes in the form of oral rehydration solutions. Second-line treatment includes probiotics and antimotility agents such as loperamide. Antibiotics (quinolones) should be reserved for severe febrile forms of the condition. Return

Lactobacillus Therapy for Acute Infectious Diarrhea in Children

Van Niel CW, Feudtner C, Garrison MM, Christakis DA.
Sea Mar Community Health Center, Seattle, Washington 98108, USA. cvanniel@u.washington.edu

OBJECTIVE: Childhood diarrhea accounts for substantial morbidity and mortality worldwide. Multiple studies in children have shown that Lactobacillus, administered orally, may have antidiarrheal properties. We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled studies to assess whether treatment with Lactobacillus improves clinical outcomes in children with acute infectious diarrhea. METHODS: Studies were sought in bibliographic databases of traditional biomedical as well as complementary and alternative medicine literature published from 1966 to 2000. Search terms were "competitive inhibition," "diarrhea," "gastroenteritis," "Lactobacillus," "probiotic," "rotavirus," and "yog(h)urt." We included studies that were adequately randomized, blinded, controlled trials in which the treatment group received Lactobacillus and the control group received an adequate placebo and that reported clinical outcome measures of diarrhea intensity. These inclusion criteria were applied by blind review and consensus. The original search yielded 26 studies, 9 of which met the criteria. Multiple observers independently extracted study characteristics and clinical outcomes. Data sufficient to perform meta-analysis of the effect of Lactobacillus on diarrhea duration and diarrhea frequency on day 2 were contained in 7 and 3 of the included studies, respectively. RESULTS: Summary point estimates indicate a reduction in diarrhea duration of 0.7 days (95% confidence interval: 0.3-1.2 days) and a reduction in diarrhea frequency of 1.6 stools on day 2 of treatment (95% confidence interval: 0.7-2.6 fewer stools) in the participants who received Lactobacillus compared with those who received placebo. Details of treatment protocols varied among the studies. A preplanned subanalysis suggests a dose-effect relationship. CONCLUSION: The results of this meta-analysis suggest that Lactobacillus is safe and effective as a treatment for children with acute infectious diarrhea. Return

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Did You Know?

You carry around three pounds of bacteria (both "good" and "bad" types) in your intestines every day of your life.?

There are about 400 different species of bacteria residing in your digestive tract?

That these bacterium number in the trillions?

That PROBIOTICS (good bacterium) are an INTREGAL part of your digestive system and are ESSENTIAL for good health?

That the ratio of good bacteria to bad in a HEALTHY gastrointestinal tract is 85 percent versus 15 percent, respectively?

People over 60 have about 1,000-fold LESS "friendly" bacteria in their guts compared with other adults

That your diet, prescription drugs (especially antibiotics), stress, and illnesses, can kill your essential good bacteria?

That enzymes are present in every cell of your body?

That enzymes are NECESSARY to your food digestion, energy production, tissue and organ repair, and toxic waste removal?

That due to a nutrient depleted diet , most Americans lack sufficient types and quanities of CRITICAL to health levels of both enzymes and probiotics?

That Trafon OneAmeal™ contains the hightest premium quality strains of HEALTH promoting probiotics and enzymes CRITICALLY required by your body?
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