Thursday, April 11, 2013

Is My Acidophilus Alive?

I have pondered this question many times...

Acidophilus is the scientific term for Probiotics.  And we all know we need Probiotics regularly thanks to all those Activia commercials.  But in reality, you would need to eat one pound of yogurt a day to get the recommended daily allowance.

Instead, it's best to get your Probiotics in supplement form since the amount needed to be beneficial is so high.  A quality Probiotic supplement will contain around 50 BILLION organisms per dose, with 10 strains of beneficial bacteria.  

Probiotics contain live microorganisms (Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. plantarum, L. salivarius, L. bulgaricus, L. casei, L. bifidus, and others) - billions of them!  This is the healthy bacteria, AKA, Flora that we need in the gut to keep things balanced in the body (ahem - yeast infections).  This healthy Gut Flora keeps us from getting sick and overall out of whack.  Sadly, these little guys start to die off about as soon as they are produced.  This death can be sped up by how the supplement was shipped, stored (in fridge (ideal)/on shelf) and you never can tell how long those little bottles have been sitting on the shelf.

So how do you know if those little buggers are still alive in there?

Dr. Michael Klaper, practitioner of preventative and nutritional medicine, has this nifty little trick to find out:

  1. In two bowls, pour 1/4 "milk" (soy, cow, etc.)
  2. In one bowl add 1 tsp of the Acidophilus/Probiotic powder
    1. Crush tablet into powder
  3. Keep bowls at room temperature overnight
  4. In the morning, compare the two bowls
    1. The Probiotic bowl should show signs of the milk curdling, a film of yogurt, bubbles of carbon dioxide or smell like sour milk
      1. If any of the above is present - IT'S ALIVE!!!
  5. If there is no noticeable difference, allow to sit out one more day
    1. Still nothing?  Get your money back!

Keep in mind that a round of Antibiotics can completely wipe out your healthy gut bacteria.  For this reason it is crucial to follow-up a round of Antibiotics with Probiotics because it takes the body forever to replenish on its own (something your MD fails to mention).  If you want to continue your Probiotic usage while on Antibiotics, be sure to space them out (one in the morning, one in the evening), because the Antibiotic will kill off your Probiotic immediately when consumed together - it is their job to seek & destroy all bacteria after all...

Keep it Healthy!
The Hoff

Source: & Answers - Acidophilus

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