Probiotics For Dummies

Probiotics For Dummies


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Discover the pros of probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial, live microorganisms (in most cases, bacteria) that are similar to those found naturally in the human intestine. Also known as "friendly" or "good" bacteria, probiotics are the cornerstone of any successful health program because they restore a healthy balance between friendly and bad bacteria in the intestinal tract, a balance that is critical for the health of the entire body. Probiotics are associated with treating everything from IBS to certain forms of cancer, allergies, eczema, and even the effects of aging.

Probiotics For Dummies reveals how taking the right probiotics—in the form of food and supplements— as part of a total health program benefits one's overall health, as well as improving specific conditions. This hands-on, essential guide features 20 probiotic recipes and gives you a step-by-step plan for infusing probiotics into your diet to improve the health of the GI tract, alleviate allergies and asthma, restore reproductive and urinary tracts, bolster the immune system against disease, enhance weight loss, and more.

  • Advice on how to ingest the right probiotics
  • 20 probiotic recipes from breakfast to dessert
  • Information on naturally occurring probiotic compounds as well as the effectiveness of supplements

Probiotics For Dummies gives you everything you need to make informed decisions about adding probiotics to your daily diet.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118169735
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 05/01/2012
Series: For Dummies Series
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Dr. Shekhar K. Challa is president of Kansas Medical Clinic. Board Certified in Gastroenterology, he is an award-winning author and co-creator of the first probiotic video game (

Find out more about Dr. Challa at

Read an Excerpt

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I: Living in the Microbial World 7

Chapter 1: Getting a Handle on the True Nature of Bacteria 9

Chapter 2: Looking at Bacterial Behavior in Your Body 19

Chapter 3: Discovering Prebiotics and Probiotics 31

Part II: Preserving and Improving Health with Probiotics 45

Chapter 4: Starting with the Obvious: Digestive Health 47

Chapter 5: Exploring Allergies and Probiotics 65

Chapter 6: Getting to the Bottom of Urinary Infections 75

Chapter 7: Using Probiotics in Women’s Health 81

Chapter 8: Understanding Children’s Health and Probiotics 87

Chapter 9: Applying Probiotics to Other Health Issues 93

Chapter 10: Exploring the Promise of Probiotics 105

Part III: Adding Probiotics to Your Lifestyle 113

Chapter 11: Filling Your Diet with Probiotics 115

Chapter 12: Cooking Up Delicious Probiotic-Rich Meals 125

Part IV: The Part of Tens 153

Chapter 13: Ten (Or So) Ways Probiotics Promote Good Health 155

Chapter 14: Ten Misconceptions about Probiotics 161

Chapter 15: Ten (Or So) Famous Bacteria 167

Index 175


Test Your Knowledge of Probiotics

Test your knowledge of probiotics by answering TRUE or FALSE to each of the statements below. Refer to the end of this quiz to check your answers and to learn interesting fact about probiotics.

1. Probiotics are live bacteria that reside within a person's digestive system. TRUE or FALSE?

2. Yogurt is a type of food that may contain probiotics. TRUE or FALSE?

3. Eating foods with probiotics can eliminate the need to take a probiotic supplement. TRUE or FALSE?

4. Probiotics can help reduce occasional gas and bloating, support the immune system, and promote regular bowel movements. TRUE or FALSE?

5. Acid naturally found in the stomach acid can destroy probiotics. TRUE or FALSE?

6. It is best to limit the number of different strains of bacteria in a probiotic supplement. TRUE or FALSE?

7. Prebiotics should not be used when taking a probiotic. TRUE or FALSE?

8. When a probiotic is combined with a prebiotic, a symbiotic is created. TRUE or FALSE?

9. Louis Pasteur was the first scientist to "find" probiotics. TRUE or FALSE?

10. We have 10 times the number of bacteria in our bodies as we have cells. "good," TRUE or FALSE?

11. Fifty percent of bacteria in the gut is also known as probiotic, or "good," bacteria. TRUE or FALSE?

12. Dr. Shekhar Challa wrote "Probiotics For Dummies". TRUE or FALSE?

1. TRUE - Probiotic bacteria naturally occurs within everyone's digestive system. But in order to overcrowd any bad bacteria growing within the gut it is best to take probiotics on a daily basis.

2. TRUE - Probiotics can be found in yogurt, but the amount of bacteria is much lower in yogurt than in a probiotic supplement.

3. FALSE - The amount of probiotics naturally found in foods are generally less than the amount found in a supplement. In order to get the proper amount of probiotics each day, a supplement is recommended.

4. TRUE - Probiotics can reduce digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating and constipation.

5. TRUE It is optimal to take a supplement that uses a form of gastric acid protection technology to combat the stomach acid, minimizing the amount of probiotic bacteria lost.

6. FALSE - Research has shown that more probiotic strains are better in a supplement than just one.

7. FALSE - Prebiotics serve as food for probiotic bacteria, boosting the amount of good bacteria grown within the gut. An example of a prebiotic is Inulin: a high-density plant produced fiber.

8. TRUE - Taken from the word "synergism", synbiotics are nutritional foods or supplements that use both a prebiotic and a probiotic to boost the amount of gut flora (friendly bacteria) in your digestive system.

9. FALSE - Eli Metchnikoff is the father of probiotics. Louis Pasteur is known for discovering bacteria in general, not differentiation between good and bad.

10. TRUE - We have 100 trillion bacteria present in our bodies but only 1 trillion cells.

11. FALSE - The good to bad bacteria ratio in the gut is 90 percent to 10 percent.

12. TRUE - Dr. Shekhar Challa, an award-winning author and board certified gastroenterologist, wrote this book.

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