Using probiotics to help the digestive system

Although they've been around since the beginning of mankind, probiotics in supplement form have become more popular in recent years.

According to Dr. Jordan Rubin, an expert in natural health, probiotics are basically "good germs."

"There's bad germs and good germs," he explained. "It's not about getting rid of all the bad, because they need to live in balance."

Equating probiotics with policemen, Rubin said "a town has a few criminals and a lot of policemen lives very peacefully. A town that has no policemen and a few criminals, lives in chaos."

Rubin, who has been taking probiotics for more than 15 years to help his Crohn's disease - a disease which involves chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract - has found using probiotics can help anyone.

"If you were born by cesarean section, if you were not breast fed, if you've ever taken an antibiotic, consumed excess sugar, caffeinated beverages, if you have showered or consumed chlorinated water, breathed in impure air, or event thought negative thoughts, you've done damage to the microorganisms in your gut," he said.

In order to reduce the damage and support digestive and immune system functions, Rubin said there is no better component to your body than adding probiotics.

"They are the soldiers and they keep your body protected and clean if they're there," he explained.

Although probiotics can be taken by anybody, they are especially helpful to those who suffer from chronic bowel issues.

Seven years ago Annette LaBombard of Beekmantown was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis - another type of inflammatory bowel disease that affects the large intestine and rectum.

For four of the seven years, LaBombard was on a constant dosage of prednisone, a corticosteroid that reduces inflammation. However, prednisone also comes with many other side affects including weight gain, high blood pressure, low potassium, sleep problems and mood changes.

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