Natural Factors Critical Care Probiotic 55 Billion Active Cells is a 9-strain formula that includes five strains of Bifidobacteria and four strains of Lactobacilli, providing powerful support for gastrointestinal and immune system health. This potent formulation includes: L. paracasei, L. rhamnosus, L. acidophilus, L. plantarum, and B. bifidum, proven to help eliminate or reduce the growth of methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and to lower incidence of Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea.
This multistrain formula can quickly restore the diversity of microflora after antibiotic use, with
L. acidophilus particularly helpful in counteracting antibiotic-associated diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and constipation. The probiotic strains L. paracasei, L. acidophilus, B. animalis subsp. lactis, B. bifidum, and
B. longum have been shown to help reduce the production of pro-inflammatory substances and to alleviate the gastrointestinal effects of psychological stress. Reducing inflammation can help in the management of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and food intolerances. Beneficial gut bacteria also play a role in the prevention and management of yeast overgrowth and urinary tract infections.
Each strain in this formulation has been carefully selected for its natural resistance to gastric acid, allowing the probiotics to reach the intestines at full potency. Critical Care Probiotic 55 Billion Active Cells has a guaranteed potency of 95 billion active cells per capsule at manufacture and at least 55 billion at expiry.
How it works
The diversity of gut microflora not only affects gastrointestinal health, but also the immune function; our resistance to pathogenic infection; and the adverse effects of stress on digestive health. When antibiotics, stress, and dietary and lifestyle factors adversely affect the populations of good bacteria in our gut we are placed at increased risk of infectious and noninfectious diseases, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, and Clostridium difficile. These pathogens can cause increased inflammation and tissue damage throughout the body, gastrointestinal symptoms such as severe diarrhea, and other systemic effects such as yeast overgrowth and compromised immune function. Bifidobacteria are the most prevalent friendly bacteria in the large intestine, while Lactobacilli are the main beneficial strain in the small intestine. They work together to maintain an effective intestinal barrier against pathogens; to reduce the production of pro-inflammatory substances; and to stimulate phagocytes, dendritic cells, and other immune system cells to destroy foreign organisms. These probiotics help maintain conditions in the gut that are unfavourable for pathogenic infection.
Many health care practitioners now recommend regular consumption of probiotics to maintain healthy gut
microflora, as well as the use of probiotics when taking antibiotics, to restore gastrointestinal health and enhance immune function.
Research has found that while a reduction in the diversity and strength of our gut microflora leaves us vulnerable to opportunistic infections, the regular ingestion of probiotic strains such as L. paracasei, L. acidophilus, and B. animalis subsp. lactis can offer protection against a variety of pathogens including
methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus – also known as MRSA (Sikorska and Smoragiewicz, 2013). The protective capabilities of L. paracasei and L. acidophilus were the focus of a recent review which found that they reduced the relative risk of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD), a major, potentially fatal infection to just 5% of usual rates (Wu et al., 2013).
L. acidophilus and B. animalis subsp. lactis appear to enhance immunity by stimulating phagocytes (Klein et al., 2008), while B. longum bv. infantis, B. longum, and L. rhamnosus enhance dendritic cell activity (You et al., 2013). L. acidophilus is also known to significantly reduce gastrointestinal symptoms and opportunistic yeast infections associated with antibiotic use (Witsell et al., 1995). A multi-strain probiotic
formula may offer added benefits, however, as just five days of treatment with a broad-spectrum antibiotic has been found to significantly deplete several beneficial bacterial populations with B. adolescentis and
B. bifidum particularly affected, and these and many other strains remaining diminished even
two months after treatment (Mangin et al., 2012). Some bacteria do not appear to form lasting colonies in the gut. As such many physicians recommend regular use of a
multistrain probiotic formula including such bacteria as L. plantarum, B. breve, and B. animalis subsp. lactis which can help improve bowel regularity, abdominal bloating, and anal itching, burning, and pain (Del Piano et al., 2010). L. acidophilus and B. animalis subsp. lactis may also confer benefits in ulcerative colitis, with 25% of patients using these probiotics still in remission after a year, compared to
just 8% of those taking a placebo (Wildt et al., 2011). B. animalis subsp. lactis may also help reduce inflammation, adding further support for the use of probiotics in the management of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases and for overall health and well-being (Matsumoto and Benno, 2006).
Each strain in the formula has natural resistance to gastric acids. Testing showed no loss of bacteria after three hours at 37°C in gastric solutions at pH3/pH4. The natural pH of an empty stomach is 1.5. Gastric resistance is critical so these strains can survive the stomach’s acidity without enteric coating and
can reach the intestines at full potency. Strains have also been selected for their ability to grow in the presence of high bile levels, common during digestion. This formula contains strains that are “antibiotic compatible”; they do not interfere with the effectiveness of antibiotics but help prevent their adverse effects.
1 capsule daily or as directed by a health care practitioner. Take at least 2–3 hours before or after
Discontinue use and consult a health care practitioner if symptoms of digestive upset (e.g., diarrhea) occur, worsen, or persist beyond 3 days. Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you have nausea, fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, or severe abdominal pain. Do not use if you have an immune-compromised condition (e.g., AIDS, lymphoma, patients undergoing long-term corticosteroid treatments). Keep out of the reach of children.
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