Pharos-Tribune

Business

October 23, 2013

Consumer Reports: Can good bacteria fight growing medical threat?

(Continued)

Disruptions to our microbiome have been linked to everything from obesity to anxiety. But while probiotics are sometimes touted for those and other ailments, Consumer Reports On Health notes that there's little evidence that they can help treat them. The strongest studies of probiotics have instead focused on their role in immunity.

Studies have shown there are 10 times more bacterial cells than there are human cells living in our bodies, concentrated mostly in the intestines. Those bacteria help digest food and synthesize vitamins. They also help fortify our defenses against germs that can cause infections.

Scientists speculate that our increasingly sterile environment may be weakening this microbial shield. Our homes are more hygienic and we have less contact with bacteria-laden soil and animals than our ancestors did. Our food and water are also treated in ways that reduce microscopic freeloaders. These developments have no doubt reduced our exposure to potentially dangerous microorganisms, but they may also be limiting the microbial diversity that helps keep our immune defenses humming.

Perhaps the biggest threat to our microbiome, though, is our reliance on antibiotics. Those drugs are prized for their ability to treat infections caused by bacteria. Unfortunately, they often kill helpful bacteria along with harmful ones.

Consumer Reports says: There are important gaps in the evidence, but studies suggest that probiotics could be an effective precaution against the development of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, including cases that are caused by C-diff. Consider taking a probiotic whenever you are prescribed antibiotics for more than just a few days.

Though the evidence is weak, some experts say probiotics are worth a try in other risky situations, such as when taking a cruise or visiting a developing country. Finally, consider asking your doctor about taking probiotics before being admitted to a hospital, where potentially harmful bacteria may lurk. And never use probiotics as a substitute for medical care.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Business
  • IMF sees US growth at weakest since recession WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. economic growth this year will likely be at the weakest pace since the Great Recession ended, the International Monetary Fund said, mostly because of a sharp, weather-related contraction in the first quarter. But the global len

    July 23, 2014

  • Wall Street [Duplicate] [Duplicate] US stock slip to start the week; Six Flags sinks NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market drifted lower to start the week as more companies lined up to post their quarterly earnings. Mounting tensions between Russia and the West over the downed plane in Ukraine also occupied investors' attention. KEEPING S

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Russia's Severstal selling US plants for $2.3B NEW YORK (AP) — Russian steel company Severstal is exiting the U.S. market, selling a pair of steel plants to AK Steel and Steel Dynamics for about $2.33 billion. Word of a possible sale began to circulate earlier this year as the West threatened san

    July 21, 2014

  • BIZ BUZZ: Manor Motel to reopen under new owners A new owner is sprucing up the Manor Motel on Logansport’s east side.Closed since January 2013 after its was repossessed by Bank of Indiana, the motel sold June 3 to Harshadrhai Patel, an Ohio man, according to the motel’s new manager, Chaku Patel.Th

    July 20, 2014

  • Business news in brief, July 20 Barrett namedto legal associationMatthew D. Barrett, a Logansport attorney, recently became a lifetime member of the Elite Lawyers of America and received an award to commemorate his jury trial achievements.Elite Lawyers of America is a national orga

    July 20, 2014

  • BIZ-PT072014 consumer reports.jpg Consumer Reports: Best home face-lifts for $50 or less Is your house making a good first impression? If the door and other areas around the front are looking like they need work, it could put off potential buyers, not to mention visitors, according to ShopSmart, the shopping magazine from the publisher o

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teen starts first job - and savings plan DEAR BRUCE: My 18-year-old son recently started his first job. He keeps asking me where he should put his money to start saving for his future. He said he can afford to put $50 a week in a savings account. How much do you think he should accumulate i

    July 20, 2014

  • Wall Street [Duplicate] [Duplicate] US stocks trading higher on company earnings Stocks headed for a higher close late Friday afternoon, rebounding on a wave of strong corporate earnings from Google, Honeywell and other big companies. Bank holding company Huntington Bancshares and furniture maker Knoll were among the big gainers.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indiana city facing Wabash River levee repairs VINCENNES (AP) — A southwestern Indiana city faces more than $2 million in work to repair its Wabash River flood levees, although that is much less than officials previously projected. Vincennes officials say the repairs are needed before the levees

    July 16, 2014

  • BIZ-PT071314 Arones4.jpg Hardware store owner: After 40 years, 'it's time' Arone’s Hardware, a staple of life on Logansport’s south side, is up for sale.Pat Arone, who with deceased husband Joe Arone bought the hardware store in 1975, said she’s facing facts.“It was a very, very hard decision to make,” Arone said. “I just f

    July 13, 2014 4 Photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.