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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

Inflammatory Bowel Disease ( IBD )

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
More than 1 million people in the United States suffer from IBD (it is estimated that 4 million people suffer from IBD worldwide), a painful and debilitating chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. The three most common forms of these severe chronic gastrointestinal problems are Crohn’s disease , pouchitis and ulcerative colitis. Studies have found higher than normal levels of "bad" bacteria in the intestinal tracts of people with IBD. The cause of IBD is often unknown , however there is growing evidence that an inbalance in the intestinal microflora plays an important role in the development of IBD. (Sartor et al., 2004) (Kruis, 2004); (Guarner et al., 2003) Probiotics help restore the balance of bacteria in the intestinal tract to one that favors beneficial bacteria over potentially harmful bacteria , suggesting that at the minimum , probiotics help prevent IBD , (Gionchetti et al., 2006); (Pena et al., 2005) or prevent postoperative recurrence (Gionchetti et al., 2003).

The most common symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease are diarrhea, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding and fever. Inflammatory Bowel Disease may cause cancer in a later stage but also organs outside the GI tract may become affected, like the liver.

(Wildt et al., 2006) (Rioux et al., 2006) (Schultz et al., 2003)

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.

Antibiotics and Probiotics in Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Gionchetti P, Rizzello F, Lammers KM, Morselli C, Sollazzi L, Davies S, Tambasco R, Calabrese C, Campieri M.
Department of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, Bologna, Italy. paolo@med.unibo.it

Many experimental and clinical observations suggest that intestinal microflora plays a potential role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Manipulation of the luminal content using antibiotics or probiotics represents a potentially effective therapeutic option. The available studies do not support the use of antibiotics in ulcerative colitis (UC). Antibiotics are effective in treating septic complications of Crohn's disease (CD) but their use as a primary therapy is more controversial, although this approach is frequently and successfully adopted in clinical practice. There is evidence that probiotic therapy may be effective in the prevention and treatment of mild to moderate UC. In contrast, a lack of successful study data at present precludes the widespread use of probiotics in the treatment of CD. Both antibiotics and probiotics appear to play a beneficial role in the treatment and prevention of pouchitis and further trials are warranted to fully quantify their clinical efficacy.

Probiotic Treatment of Collagenous Colitis

Wildt S, Munck LK, Vinter-Jensen L, Hanse BF, Nordgaard-Lassen I, Christensen S, Avnstroem S, Rasmussen SN, Rumessen JJ.
Department of Medical Gastroenterology, Hvidovre Hospital, University Hospital of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. siw@dadlnet.dk

BACKGROUND: Probiotic treatment may be effective in diseases involving gut microflora and intestinal inflammation. In collagenous colitis (CC), a potential pathogenic role of the gut microflora has been proposed. The effect of probiotic treatment in CC is unknown. Our aim was to investigate the clinical effect of treatment with Lactobacillus acidophilus LA-5 and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12 (AB-Cap-10) in patients with CC. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with CC and diarrhea were in a double-blind placebo-controlled study randomized (2:1) to AB-Cap-10 or placebo for 12 weeks. The primary end point was reduction in bowel frequency per week of >or=50%. Secondary end points were changes in bowel frequencies, stool consistency, stool weight, histopathology, and abdominal bloating and pain. RESULTS: Twenty-nine patients were randomized: 21 to probiotics and 8 to placebo. Reduction in bowel frequency per week of >or=50% occurred in 6 of 21 (29%) and in 1 of 8 (13%) patients receiving probiotic and placebo, respectively (P = 0.635). No differences between treatments were observed regarding the secondary end points. Post hoc analysis showed a median reduction in bowel frequency per week from 32 (range 18-84) to 23 (range 11-56; P < 0.005), a reduction in number of days with liquid stools per week from 6 days (range 0-7 days) to 1 day (range 0-7 days; P < 0.005), and an increase in number of days with solid stools per week (P < 0.05) in the AB-Cap-10 group. CONCLUSIONS: AB-Cap-10 had no significant effect on the chosen end points. Post hoc analysis demonstrated amelioration of clinical symptoms in the AB-Cap-10 group, indicating that probiotic treatment may potentially influence the disease course of CC.

Probiotics in the Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Rioux KP, Fedorak RN.
Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Al, Canada.

The demonstration that immune and epithelial cells can discriminate between different microbial species has extended our understanding of the actions of probiotics beyond simple antimicrobial concepts. Several probiotic mechanisms of action, relative to inflammatory bowel disease, have been elucidated: (1) competitive exclusion, whereby probiotics compete with microbial pathogens; (2) immunomodulation and/or stimulation of an immune response; (3) antimicrobial activity and suppression of pathogen growth; (4) enhancement of barrier activity; and (5) induction of T cell apoptosis. The unraveling of these mechanisms of action has led to new support for the use of probiotics in the management of clinical inflammatory bowel disease. While level 1 evidence now supports the therapeutic use of some probiotics in the maintenance treatment of pouchitis, only level 2 and 3 evidence are currently available in support of the use of probiotics in the treatment of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Nevertheless, one significant and consistent finding has emerged over the course of research in the past year: not all probiotic bacteria have similar therapeutic effects. Rigorously designed, controlled clinical trials, to investigate the unresolved issues related to efficacy, dose, duration of use, single or multistrain formulation, and the concomitant use of prebiotics, synbiotics or antibiotics, are vital.

Probiotic Lactobacillus spp. Diminish Helicobacter Hepaticus Induced Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Interleukin-10-deficient Mice

Pena JA, Rogers AB, Ge Z, Ng V, Li SY, Fox JG, Versalovic J.
Department of Molecular Virology and Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, 6621 Fannin St., Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Clinical and experimental evidence has demonstrated the potential role of probiotics in the prevention or treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. Probiotic clones with direct immunomodulatory activity may have anti-inflammatory effects in the intestine. We investigated the roles of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha)-inhibitory Lactobacillus clones with a pathogen-induced murine colitis model. Murine-derived probiotic lactobacilli were selected in vitro for their ability to inhibit TNF-alpha secretion by Helicobacter hepaticus-stimulated macrophages. Interleukin-10 (IL-10)-deficient mice were treated with probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri in combination with Lactobacillus paracasei and then challenged with H. hepaticus. Ten weeks postinoculation, the severity of typhlocolitis was assessed by histologic examination of the cecocolic region. Intestinal proinflammatory cytokine responses were evaluated by real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR and immunoassays, and the quantities of intestinal H. hepaticus were evaluated by real-time PCR. Intestinal colonization by TNF-alpha-inhibitory lactobacilli reduced intestinal inflammation in H. hepaticus-challenged IL-10-deficient mice despite similar quantities of H. hepaticus in cocolonized animals. Proinflammatory colonic cytokine (TNF-alpha and IL-12) levels were lowered in Lactobacillus-treated animals. In this H. hepaticus-challenged IL-10-deficient murine colitis model, lactobacilli demonstrated probiotic effects by direct modulation of mucosal inflammatory responses.

Therapeutic Manipulation of the Enteric Microflora in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases : Antibiotics, Probiotics, and Prebiotics

Sartor RB.
Department of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7032 USA. rbs@med.unc.edu

Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and pouchitis are caused by overly aggressive immune responses to a subset of commensal (nonpathogenic) enteric bacteria in genetically predisposed individuals. Clinical and experimental studies suggest that the relative balance of aggressive and protective bacterial species is altered in these disorders. Antibiotics can selectively decrease tissue invasion and eliminate aggressive bacterial species or globally decrease luminal and mucosal bacterial concentrations, depending on their spectrum of activity. Alternatively, administration of beneficial bacterial species (probiotics), poorly absorbed dietary oligosaccharides (prebiotics), or combined probiotics and prebiotics (synbiotics) can restore a predominance of beneficial Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species. Current clinical trials do not fulfill evidence-based criteria for using these agents in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), but multiple nonrigorous studies and widespread clinical experience suggest that metronidazole and/or ciprofloxacin can treat Crohn's colitis and ileocolitis (but not isolated ileal disease), perianal fistulae and pouchitis, whereas selected probiotic preparations prevent relapse of quiescent ulcerative colitis and relapsing pouchitis. These physiologic approaches offer considerable promise for treating IBD, but must be supported by rigorous controlled therapeutic trials that consider clinical disease before their widespread clinical acceptance. These agents likely will become an integral component of treating IBD in combination with traditional anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive agents.

Antibiotics and Probiotics in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Kruis W.
Evangelisches Krankenhaus Kalk, Teaching Hospital for the University of Cologne, Germany. ansorg@evkk.de

Treatment with antibiotics in inflammatory bowel disease has a long tradition and is widely used. The indications for antibiotic therapy are wide ranging, from specific situations such as abscesses or fistulae, to patients with severe disease (as an unspecific 'protective' measure), and to address the hypothesis that the enteric flora as a whole, or specific microorganisms such as mycobacteria, are involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. The best-studied single antibiotic compound is metronidazole. However, overall, the scientific basis for the use of antibiotics is limited, which may reflect a lack of interest from sponsors within the pharmaceutical industry. Despite this weak evidence base, antibiotics are a globally established therapeutic tool in inflammatory bowel disease. Growing evidence from human and animal studies points towards a pivotal pathogenetic role of intestinal bacteria in inflammatory bowel disease. In view of these experimental findings, clinical trials have been undertaken to elucidate the therapeutic effects of probiotics in inflammatory bowel disease. Probiotics are viable nonpathogenic microorganisms which confer health benefits to the host by improving the microbial balance of the indigenous microflora. So far, of the many candidates, one specific strain (Escherichia coli Nissle 1917) and a mixture of eight different bacteria have demonstrated convincing therapeutic efficacy in controlled studies. Maintenance therapy in ulcerative colitis and prevention therapy, as well as the treatment of pouchitis, have emerged as areas in which probiotic therapy offers a valid therapeutic alternative to current treatments. Further investigations may detect additional clinically effective probiotics and other clinical indications.

Rationale for Probiotic and Antibiotic Treatment Strategies in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Schultz M, Scholmerich J, Rath HC.
Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany. michael.schultz@klinik.uni-regensburg.de

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), commonly referred to as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic aggressive disorders which share many similarities concerning pathomechanism and clinical course, but have very distinct features. Both entities are mainly located in areas with high bacterial concentrations, such as the terminal ileum and cecum in Crohn's disease and the rectum in ulcerative colitis. In recent years, overwhelming evidence accumulated, supporting the hypothesis that IBD are characterized by a genetically determined, overly aggressive immune response towards ubiquitous luminal antigens, especially commensal bacteria and their products. Trials in both human IBD and experimental colitis have demonstrated that broad-spectrum antibiotics may influence the course of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease and antibiotics with narrow activity against the anaerobic fraction of the flora can prevent relapse in Crohn's disease after surgically induced remission. Since relevant antibiotic strategies can be associated with some side effects, the ongoing research recently focused on alternative methods to modify the intestinal flora in patients with IBD. Clinical observations including few controlled trials, basic research, and animal studies have suggested a potential role for probiotic bacteria within the treatment regimens for IBD. However, the mode of action of these organisms is still largely unclear and in vitro studies are inconclusive. This review summarizes recent in vitro and in vivo data regarding the role of the intestinal microflora in the pathogenesis of chronic intestinal inflammation and possible therapeutic mechanisms of probiotic bacteria relevant to IBD. Furthermore, we will review clinical trials examining the efficacy of antibiotic and probiotic treatment strategies in IBD. Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2003 Oct;17(5):821-31. Links Probiotics for the Treatment of Postoperative Complications Following Intestinal Surgery

Gionchetti P, Amadini C, Rizzello F, Venturi A, Poggioli G, Campieri M.
Department of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, University of Bologna, Policlinico S. Orsola, Via Massarenti no 9, 40138 Bologna, Italy. paolo@med.unibo.it

Probiotics are living micro-organisms that belong to the normal enteric flora and exert a beneficial effect on health and well-being. The rationale for the therapeutic use of probiotics in pouchitis (the most frequent long-term complication following pouch surgery for ulcerative colitis) and postoperative recurrence in Crohn's disease is based on convincing evidence suggesting a crucial role for the endogenous intestinal microflora in the pathogenesis of these conditions. Positive results have been obtained with the administration of highly concentrated probiotic preparations in preventing the onset and relapses of pouchitis. Further controlled studies are needed to establish the efficacy of probiotics in the prophylaxis of postoperative recurrences of Crohn's disease and in the treatment of mild pouchitis.

Role of Bacteria in Experimental Colitis

Guarner F, Malagelada JR.
Digestive System Research Unit, Hospital General Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona 08035, Spain. fguarnera@medynet.com

Epidemiology suggests some relationship between the establishment of the gut flora and the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease. Unrestrained activation of the immune system against commensal bacteria appears to be responsible for the chronicity of these diseases. In animal models, broad-spectrum antibiotics reduce the bacterial load and militate against intestinal inflammation. Several bacterial species found in of the common microflora, including anaerobes, are able to invade the colonic wall when there is dysfunction of the colonic mucosal barrier. Most aerobes provoke focal areas of acute inflammation, but some anaerobes in the predominant flora induce diffuse a fibrogenic transmural response. Current research aims to identify the probiotics that might act against these bacteria. Colonization with specific probiotic strains, including a bacterium genetically engineered to secrete interleukin-10, prevents spontaneous colitis in susceptible mice. Certain lactobacilli exhibit anti-inflammatory properties naturally, i.e. without previous genetic manipulation. Prebiotics may increase colonization by lactobacilli and can prevent mucosal inflammation. Modulation of the gut flora with probiotics may prove useful in the prevention and control of inflammatory bowel diseases.

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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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