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Updated 30 January 2014

Probiotics: who benefits most?

Maintaining a healthy intestinal flora balance is something from which we can all benefit. But there are those who may reap a particular benefit from taking probiotics.

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Maintaining a healthy intestinal flora balance is something from which we can all benefit, especially because environmental factors such as pollution, smoking, stress and fast foods assail our poor bodies with a daily barrage of challenges with which to cope.

But there are those who may reap a particular benefit from taking probiotics. The list includes:

  • People who have recently taken a course of antibiotics.
  • Adults or children who have had a bout of diarrhoea, which can directly deplete intestinal flora.
  • Adults or children with diarrhea. A study with the strain Lactobacillus reuteri has proven that it halves the duration of diarrhea. During diarrhoea it should always be taken with an oral rehydration solution.
  • Those who do not eat a healthy, balanced diet, which includes lots of fibre-rich fruit and veggies. The good bacteria need lots of fibre-rich veggies and fruit to thrive on.
  • People who’ve had radiotherapy or chemotherapy which kill off many living cells in the body, including good bacteria.
  • Patients who are frequently treated for yeast infections such as Candida (or thrush). This is common in many women and can also be a side effect of HIV.
  • Athletes who take supplements to enhance performance. Probiotics assist in the effective absorption of nutrients through maintaining a healthy digestive lining.
  • Lactose intolerant individuals. A good probiotic should ease the uncomfortable bloating, pain and diarrhoea associated with the condition.
 
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