Probiotics have gained attention for improving immune response and promoting regularity. That said, many people are surprised to learn that these beneficial bacteria are also being used to treat serious diseases that can threaten lives.
A deadly bacterium commonly found in hospitals, C. difficile can cause life-threatening bowel inflammation and severe diarrhea. Unfortunately, this infection is resistant to antibiotics, leading doctors to scramble for ways to successfully treat it.
A recent study appearing in The New England Journal of Medicine found that probiotic replacement via fecal transplantation cured 94 percent of patients, giving doctors a safe, effective way to save lives without furthering the risk of creating antibiotic-resistant super bugs.
Italian researchers recently tested the probiotic Lactobacilus casei Shirota as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Published in the journals Minerva Gastroenterologica and Dietologica, the study sought to test the efficacy of these probiotics as a remedy for Parkinson’s related constipation.
In the end, researchers determined that the treatments offered significant benefits by normalizing stools and reducing bloating, abdominal discomfort and sensations of incomplete emptying.
According to Dr. Stephen Winber, who treats Parkinson’s patients at the Craniofacial Diagnostic Center in Denver, natural remedies are attractive to Parkinson’s sufferers because they tend to have fewer side-effects.
“Unfortunately, a lot of the medications used to relieve Parkinson’s symptoms come with unpleasant side-effects,” he said. “We use movement disorder appliances to relieve tremors, slow movement, speech difficulties and other symptoms.” As patients regain the freedom of movement, they are less likely to suffer from constipation.
That being said, constipation may persist due to improper functioning of the autonomic nervous system. In this case, probiotics appear to be a good option, especially since they tend to have fewer side-effects.
A new study appearing in the Journal of Clinical Investigation indicates that probiotic supplementation may enhance gastrointestinal immune function in HIV patients. Probiotics also appeared to reduce soft tissue inflammation, which tends to occur in people who suffer from HIV.
As scientists continue to gain a better understanding of how beneficial bacteria enhance our immune systems, they open the door for effective all-natural treatments that can save lives. In the meantime, more and more people are beginning to take advantage of over-the-counter probiotic drinks to help keep their bodies regular and healthy, so they don’t get sick in the first place.
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