Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Probiotics Crucial for Modern Lifestyle

Stress can change the balance of bacteria that naturally live in the gut, according to research published this month in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. Bacteria affect immune function, and may help explain why stress dysregulates the immune response. Researchers found that exposure to stress led to changes in composition, diversity and number of gut microorganisms. The bacterial communities in the intestine became less diverse, and had greater numbers of potentially harmful bacteria, such as Clostridium.

This was the first evidence that the gut microorganisms may play a role in innate immunological stress responses. The study reveals the dynamic interactions between multiple physiological systems including the intestinal microbiota and the immune system. Because gut bacteria have been linked to diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, and even to asthma, a future goal of the study is to determine whether alterations of gut bacteria is the reason why these diseases tend to be worse during periods of pressure.

Steve - most of us go through multiple stressors on a daily basis. Continually repopulating the gut with positive microflora (probiotics) will encourage a large diversity and keep the immune system strong.

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