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Home > Quick Shop > Specialty Products > FloraFood > FloraFood Info

Flora Food: Product Information

Digestive Problems

Digestive problems comprise the number one health problem in North America. These concerns, encompassing everything from hemorrhoids to colon cancer, result in more time lost—at work, school, and play—than any other health problem. They also appear to be occurring with much more frequency—while many of them were almost unheard of in our grandparents’ times—they are cropping up more and more and at an earlier and earlier age.

One way to help maintain digestive health is to be aware of and "take care of" our intestinal flora—the trillions of bacteria that make the digestive tract their home.


Intestinal flora

Bacteria thrive in our bodies. There are more bacteria in the digestive system than there are cells in the body—some one hundred trillion. Their total weight is about 4 lbs (1.8 kg)—the size of the liver. Bacteria have both "friendly" and "unfriendly" populations. When unfriendly bacteria dominate, the effects include diarrhea, gas, bloating, intestinal toxicity,constipation, and malabsorption of nutrients, as well as the pain and damage that result from pathogenslike E. coli and Salmonella.

Dr. Michael Murray, N.D. states, "The intestinal floral is intimately involved in the host’s nutritional status and affects the immune system function, cholesterol metabolism, carcinogenesis, and aging." Our overall health is greatly effected by the balance of friendly and unfriendly bacteria in our digestive system.

Friendly bacteria (probiotics)

Probiotics is the term used to describe either the healthy bacteria that naturally occur in the gut or the nutrients that support these friendly bacteria. Although the term probiotics is relatively new, the notion of improving health by supplementing the natural flora of the gut with additional bacteria ingested orally dates back to the 19th century.

What do friendly bacteria do for us?

Friendly bacteria do much more than counteract the unfriendly bacteria. They also provide us with other, powerful benefits.

Friendly bacteria
  • aid in the digestive process by helping digest lactose (milk sugar) and protein
  • clean the intestinal tract, purify the colon, and promote regular bowel movements
  • create lactic acid, which balances intestinal pH.
  • produce antibiotics and antifungals that prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi. In 1988, the U.S. Surgeon General’s report noted that "Normal microbial flora provide a passive mechanism to prevent infection"
  • contribute to the destruction of molds, viruses, and parasites
  • protect us from environmental toxins such as pesticides and pollutants, reduce toxic waste at the cellular level, and stimulate the repair mechanism of cells
  • increase the number of immune system cells thereby enhancing immune response
  • manufacture vitamins B6, B12, K, folic acid, and assorted amino acids
  • help maintain healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • break down and rebuild hormones.

AIM FloraFood®

AIM FloraFood® contains a special blend of three powerful friendly bacteria—Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Bifidobacterium longum.

Lactobacilli

Lactobacilli are one of the most important types of friendly bacteria found in the digestive tract, making mainly the small intestine home. These bacteria get their name (lacto) because they are able to turn milk sugar into lactic acid.

Lactobacilli are able to "balance" unfriendly bacteria because when they produce lactic acid, they alter the intestinal environment, making it unsuitable for unfriendly bacteria. In other words, lactobacilli do not destroy the unfriendly bacteria; they destroy their home, forcing them to leave.

Lactobacillus acidophilus is a specially stabilized type of friendly bacteria that flourishes in the small intestine. One benefit of L. acidophilus is that it inhibits bacteria and microorganisms that produce disease in the urinary tract, especially Candida albicans. Another benefit is its ability to aid in developing natural defenses against foreign intestinal bacteria and viral infections, boosting the immune system. L. acidophilus has also shown promise in the battle against Helicobacter pyloriiv, the pathogen considered to be one of the top two causes for peptic ulcers.

Other than the obvious health advantages, the common use of antibiotics is often linked to gastrointestinal side effects, and the Lactobacilli, like L. acidophilus, are thought to offset these effects by recolonizing the intestine during and after an antibiotics course.

Bifidobacteria

Bifidobacteria are friendly bacteria, colonizing mainly the large intestine, or colon. Bifidobacteria are considered extremely important to the health of the gastrointestinal tract. The bifidobacteria have been used to address intestinal disorders, and boost the immune system. These strains are also important for the production of B vitamins.

Bifidobacteria may also reduce antibiotic-induced fluctuations in intestinal bacteria and the GI distress that can ensue. Antibiotics are particularly effective at killing all kinds of bacteria, good and bad—often leading to secondary infections.

Bifidobacterium bifidum is especially good at enhancing the body’s immune response and inhibiting harmful enzymes. Bifidobacterium longum has a high affinity for intestinal colonization, improving the intestinal environment, which leads to better regularity.

Suggested Reading

  • Frey, Rebecca. “Probiotics.” Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Gale Group, 2001. www.findarticles. com/cf_0/g2603/0006/2603000606/p5/article.j html?term=probiotics
  • Lee, William H. The Friendly Bacteria. New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing, Inc., 1988.
  • Weber, G. "Protecting Your Health with Probiotics." Global Health Society, 2001.
  • Murray. The Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements. Prima Health, p. 360, 1996.
  • Boris, et al. Infect Immun, 66(5): 1985-1989, 1998.
  • Lee, et al. Acta Paediatr Taiwan, 42(5): 301-305.
  • Vilaichone et al. J Med Assoc Thai, 85 Suppl 1: S79-84, 2002.
  • Weber G. Pharm/alert, vol 4 (1), April 1997.
  • Ballongue J. Lactic Acid Bact, p. 365, 1993.
  • De Vrese, et al. In’l Conf of Intestinal Bacteriol, 2001.
  • Colombel, et al. The Lancet, July 4, 2(8549), 1987.
  • Park et al. Arch Pharm Res, 21(1): 54-61, 1998.
  • Ballongue, et al. Lait 73, 249-256,1993.
  • Ogata, et al. Biosci Microflora, vol 16(2), 53-58, 1997.
  • Kingaku, et al. Microbial Ecol in Health & Disease, 11: 41-49, 1999.
  • Seki, et al. J Jpn Soc Nutri Food Sci, vol 34(4), 379-387,1978.

Flora Food
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