I didn’t know anything about probiotics except its effectiveness against some of the common illnesses like allergy really interested me.
I got to learn a little about our immunity system: the roles of T-cells (detective lymphocytes), Regulatory T-cells (peace keeping lymphocytes), and B-cells (antibody-producing lymphocytes), phagocytes (foot soldiers), dendritic cells (intelligence agents – drag bad cells to T-cells), and mast cells (water brigades). Allergy is normally an over-reaction of mast cells by releasing histamine. Most of auto-immune diseases boils down to regulatory T-cells (mostly residing in the guts) not doing their jobs. Probiotics help in 3 days: 1) promote a healthy gut and crowd out the undesirables. 2) send “all is well” chemical message to the dentritic cells, 3) affects cells such that B cells are more likely to make secretory IgA (the antibodies that declare molecules to be harmless) than IgE (antibodies that activate mast cells) – fewer allergic responses to innocuous substances.
Optimizing health with probiotics: 1) buffering the effects of stress: reduces the stress hormone production by E. Coli. 2) preventing vaginal and urinary tract infections: prevents the harmful effects of yeasts and bacteria. 3) preventing colic, 4) improving digestive function.
There were chapters about urogential diseases and autoimmune diseases and how probiotics can help. The author seems to suggest there were many diseases that probiotics can be used but more studies are needed.
I particularly like the recipes that author put together in the last chapter which practically replaces all diary/milk/butter with yogurt, and other prebiotics. The author emphasizes reading the labels and looking for the “cultured” product instead of other derived products without much probiotics.
This is a gem of a book. I personally have tried some of the probiotics supplement since started reading the book and found my allergy problem has been more manageable. Overall, it’s an excellent book and a great references. Hopefully we’ll a see a 2nd edition with better evidences of the effectiveness of the probiotics.