With more than 25 years’ experience as a Board Certified Gastroenterologist, Dr. Shekhar Challa has written a new book Probiotics for Dummies which takes the mystery out of the way bacteria behaves in the body and describes exactly what you need to do to exert a positive control over your digestive system and everything else that depends on it.
Probiotics are beneficial, live microorganisms (in most cases, bacteria) that are similar to those found naturally in the human intestine. Also known as “friendly” or “good” bacteria, probiotics are the cornerstone of any successful health program because they restore a healthy balance between friendly and bad bacteria in the intestinal tract, a balance that is critical for the health of the entire body. Probiotics are associated with treating everything from IBS to certain forms of cancer, allergies, eczema, and even the effects of aging. Here are some of the areas he covers in the book:
Protection For Childrens Health in Day Care Centers. Even in the best of facilities, keeping children healthy at day care can prove tricky. With groups of children playing and eating together, a child is bound to come into contact with at least some bit of bad bacteria that can make him or her sick. Dr. Challa explains about the positive preventative impact that adding probiotics to your child’s diet can have on staying healthy in day care and can discuss various studies that highlight which strains of good bacteria are the best for children’s immunity.
Women’s Health: Probiotics have an important preventative effect on the occurrence of yeast, urinary tract Infections (UTIs) and bacterial vaginosis. More than 75 percent of women at some point in their lives suffer from a yeast infection, UTI or bacterial vaginosis due to an imbalance of bacteria. Luckily, the use of probiotics may help treat and prevent such infections. Dr. Challa explains how the specific good bacteria help protect against and mitigate these issues. In addition, discusses the use of probiotic vaginal suppositories and probiotic tampons, which, although not available in the United States, are used in Asia and Europe to strengthen women’s defenses against infection.
Health of Children Born by C-section – While the number of births in the U.S. fell by 3 percent from 2009 to 2010, the number of women giving birth by C-section as remained around the 32 percent range over the past couple of years. Children are born without intestinal flora, but through the process of natural birth, the child swallows bacteria from the mother’s vaginal and fecal flora. From that point on, the gut flora in the child grows over the next few weeks and starts building the immune system. This is how a healthy gut environment forms from birth. Children born by C-section, however, are not exposed to the maternal flora and have abnormal gut flora for the first few months of life. One study of C-section-delivered children found that six-month-old infants had half the amount of normal gut flora as naturally born babies. Dr. Challa discusses how probiotics may be the key to promoting the growth of good bacteria within a child’s gut.