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Probiotics: Why I Swear By Them by Ravit Rosenblum

16 May 2011 6 Comments

by Ravit Rosenblum


Probiotics (or Acidophillus) really DO work wonders and I will share my personal experience with you to describe to you how it changed my life.

At 21 years old, I suddenly developed a severe allergy to sunflower seeds which, within 2 years, grew into anaphylactic allergies to ALL nuts and peanuts. This meant that I had to carry an Epipen and Benadryl with me at all times. Needless to say, that I became allergic to almost EVERYTHING…my ragweed and hayfever symptoms worsened, I was having constant reactions to all kinds of foods I was eating…it was awful and frustrating.

A few years later, I started taking Probiotics on a regular basis because I was told by my Naturopath that it would help build my immune system and help with my allergies. So, I decided to try it (even though I was a huge skeptic because my allergy doctor told me it wouldn’t help at all). And, I bought the best brand I was told was out there, Genestra, because it contains live bacteria and had the best combination of L. acidophilus and B lactis.

I took Probiotics regularly for a few years before starting my family and during both of my pregnancies. Every few years, I went back to do a scratch test to see what is going on with my allergies and I kid you not, every single time, my results got better and better. For those of you who know about allergy tests, you know that the highest score you can get is a #4, which means that you’re anaphylactic. Well, my 4’s were turning into 3’s and then into 2’s. And then, last year I did another test to find only out that ALL my allergies were gone!

It was actually a very amusing experience, I was at the Allergists’ office for about 3 hours which is usually dreadfully boring… first I started with the standard scratch test and everything came out negative. Then, the nurse rubbed some pureed real peanut in my lower inside lip…that also came out negative. Then, she rubbed a real tiny piece of peanut directly onto my gums…that also came out negative. Then, she gave me a small piece of peanut to eat and I had absolutely no reaction (no itchy tongue, no swelling lips, no hives…nothing!). The nurse was getting nervous and kept coming to me check on me in the waiting room because I was so severely allergic (in the past) that she was waiting to stab that painful Epipen into my leg.

When I told her that I had no reactions at all and that I was feeling 100% fine, she was shocked and amazed.  Then, she said we’re going to try something else and I’m going to eat a whole peanut but she asked me this time that I sit right next to her rather than going in the waiting room. For the next ten minutes, she was staring at me and waiting for me to break out in hives. Nope! Nothing! The nurse then called the Allergy doctor and told him that I just ate a full peanut and I am fine (and alive )! The doctor then told me that he has never seen anything like this where an adult develops an allergy and then outgrows it a few years later. Obviously, I told him about the Probiotics I was taking and he said “whatever you did is incredible”, now go home to celebrate with a pecan pie a bottle of wine!

Two years later, I am eating some nuts (I would eat others but am still very nervous to try them even though I’m clear of all allergies).

GIVING PROBIOTICS TO CHILDREN IS PROVEN TO HELP

I recently wrote an article about how Probiotics helped me outgrow my anaphylactic allergies. This article is dedicated to all those of you moms who have ask me if I think that Probiotics actually works on children. The answer is YES and it’s proven. PLEASE PLEASE share this information with your mom friends.

Pediatrics, The official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics published a research study in July 2009, Probiotic Effects in Cold and Influenza-Like Symptom Incidence and Duration in Children, proving that Probiotics has a beneficial effect on children.

Here are some details extracted directly from the study:

Probiotics are live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer health benefits to the host….An important application is in the area of PREVENTING rather TREATING disease….The aim of the present prospective, double blind, placebo-controlled study was to investigate whether the daily consumption of Lactobactillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium animalis subsplactis Bi-07 would affect the incidence of fever, rhinorrhea, and cough and the incidence of antibiotic prescriptions among otherwise health children….Reducing the need for antibiotic use early in life may have important benefits (eg., reduced adverse reactions, costs, and risk for antimicrobial resistance development).

RESULTS: Relative to the placebo group, single and combination probiotics reduced fever incidence by 53.0% and 72.7%, coughing incidence by 41.4% and 62.1%, and rhinorrhea incidence by 28.2% and 58.8%, respectively. Fever, coughing, and rhinorrhea duration was decreased significantly, relative to placebo, by 32% (single strain) and 48% (strain combination). Antibiotic use incidence was reduced, relative to placebo, by 68.4% (single strain) and 84.2% (strain combination). Subjects receiving probiotic products had significant reductions in days absent from group child care, by 31.8% (single strain) and 27.7% (strain combination), compared with subjects receiving placebo treatment.

CONCLUSION: Daily dietary probiotic supplementation for 6 months was a safe effective way to reduce fever, rhinorrhea, and cough incidence and duration and antibiotic prescription incidence, as well as the number of missed school days attributable to illness, for children 3 to 5 years of age. And, daily probiotic dietary supplements during the winter months was a safe effective way to reduce episodes of fever, rhinnorhea, and cough, the cumulative duration of these symptoms, the incidence of antibiotic prescriptions, and the number of missed school days attributable to illness. L. acidophilus NCFM alone was effective. There was, however, a trend for a broader protective effect with the combination of L. acidophilus NCFM and B lactis Bi-07.

To access the full article (which you have to pay for btw) but you can get a nice overview with the free version.

On a side note, my 2 boys have been regularly taking Probiotics since they were infants as a prevention measure and to make sure their immune system was super strong (and, of course, hoping that they would not follow their moms’  difficult allergy genes).  I want to make something clear, my kids DO get sick every once in a WHILE and that is fine because I want them to build their immune system naturally. BUT, the frequency and duration and symptoms are MUCH less severe COMPARED to the kids in their class or to their cousins (who have a similar lifestyle). Mind you, I also rub some Castor Oil on their bellies when I feel like something is brewing but I attribute their health 100% to the positive effects of good-quality Probiotics and I will NEVER stop. It was the most important decision I could have made for their long-term health.

Truthfully, it’s become a habit for all of us every morning to chew on a powder-like formula that tastes like sugar candy and melts in their mouth. It’s easy, it takes 2 seconds and it does wonders!

Always consult with your medical professional before taking any advice here or elsewhere. Ravit is a member of our BornFree Mom Panel.

6 Comments »

  • Erica said:

    I love probiotics and I always make sure it’s human strain.
    One thing to point out is when buying probiotics is to make sure it’s human strain and most commercial brands use animal…like in yogurt which really have no benefit for out guts and immune system.

    We live Genestra HMF!

    Great post Ravit! xo

  • Lyman Winchell said:

    Acidophilus can really help balance the bacterial flora in the digestive system. They can also prevent the build up of polyps and cancer causing cells in the colon. ;*’*’

    Enjoy your weekend! http://www.foodsupplementdigest.com“>

  • Jeff Trickel said:

    i have always been consulting an allergist becuase i have chronic rhinitis that wont go away with any kind of medication.’””*

    Regards http://www.healthmedicinelab.com“>

  • Dannie Dabbraccio said:

    i really like to take acidophilus since it can help on my digestion..

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  • Isa Humston said:

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  • of zoloft said:

    always i used to read smaller articles that also clear their motive, and
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