When on vacation there is nothing worse than having our plans spoiled literally by "Turista". Travellers diarrhea can strike anytime when in a foreign country. Sometimes it can be due to a pathogenic bacteria such as E coli or Salmonella but very often there is no bacteria involved. It can be the result of too much spicy food, new environment, changes in diet, alcohol and fiesta. Your best ally is here again to take a multistrain probiotic formula everyday at least a week before you leave, during the whole stay and at least a week after you've come back.
Of course the usual advice of« Boil-it,cook-it, peel-it or forget-it » still holds but to put all possible chance on your side to have a good vacation, try taking a probiotic. One strain of probiotics mostly studied to prevent "turista" is the Boulardii. Choose a probiotic that contains Boulardii in addition to other strains of probiotic bacteria.
The dosage of a probiotic supplement may sometimes seem tricky. Actually it is quite simple. If you want to take a probiotic just for prevention, your health is good, and a probiotic seems like a good idea, which it is, then a basic multistrain complex capsule at a dosage of about 6 billion CFU (a CFU is a colony forming unit) in other words the amount of bacteria that are viable and can still be active. You take it once a day just before breakfast.
Chose a shelf stable product that guarantees bacterial count at expiry date. Some products will still put at the count of manufacturing date. What does that tell you ? nothing. You won't know how much live bacteria are still in the capsule.
If you already have an indication for Probiotics such as diarrhea, IBS or other, then you may want to either increase the frequency at twice daily or the dosage and take an extra strength capsule at 10 billion CFU daily. You seldom need to take a stronger product. Actually, take the test. Sometimes stronger does not mean better.
If you have chronic constipation, in addition to everything you do such as increase in fiber, increase in liquids and increase in physical activity, You may want to add a probiotic formula that provides a strong Bifidobacteria concentration. Bifidobacteria are known to improve bowel movement.
The natural flora of the intestine changes with age. In a healthy newborn, the intestine contains mostly the bacteria called Bifidobacteria up to 80-90%. As we age this friendly Bifidobacteria population is reduced. That it be because of antibiotics, stress, bad diet, food additives, alcohol or the natural aging process, the protective effect of the Bifidobacteria is lessened and replaced by bad bacteria such as Clostridia. That is one of the reasons why age is a risk factor in many GI diseases such as IBD, IBS, polyps, and cancer. It is not age per say that increases your risk of developing a colon cancer. It is that as we age the Bifidobacteria population loses the battle against the harmful bacteria. One more reason to regularly take a probiotic formula designed to enhance your own Bifidobacteria by supplying several strains of these helpful bacteria. When you get more good Bifidobacteria, your own protective barrier improves providing a safety belt against these dreadful diseases.
Let's say that you have a GI disorder such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), there is not much the doctor can give to relieve those awkward symptoms that come up mostly when you're under tension. That it be bloating, cramps, diarrhea or even constipation, these symptoms are personal but they always attack when you're under stress. Let's say that you have to speak in front of people ... that's the time that one of those debilitating tummy aches will stop you from giving your best. Did you know that the best help comes from probiotics? Research shows that your symptoms come from what is called bysbiosis. That means your gut flora is unhealthy. Having the bad bacteria grow in there doesn't cause acute symptoms but low grade discomfort. A discomfort you've learned to live with. Then stress comes in and what was a mild discomfort becomes debilitating. The solution : take a good quality multistrain probiotic. Over a period of time these good bacteria will keep the bad ones from growing and the symptoms will lessen. You'll be more ready to perform under stress. No more cramps.
A probiotic a day keeps the doctor away... Did you know that 70% of your immune system is located in and around your GI? That the flora interacts with the immune system either positively or negatively? If your flora is healthy with sufficient lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria than the interaction with your immune system is positive. It is supported and helps prevent contagions from colds and flus to gastroenteritis. On the other hand if your flora is unhealthy, then your immune system has to fight daily to keep the bad pathogens at bay. In addition, good bacteria will also help increase your stress resistance. There is more and more research linking good bacteria in the gut and reduction of nervous disorders. Mostly you may want to take a multistrain probiotic if you have any complaint in your tummy from food intolerance to any form of bloating.