Tanya’s Travel Corner~Probiotics for International Photo Tours

Posted Feb. 10th, 2011 by Daniel J. Cox

Probiotics for healthy internaitonal travel

Whether you are a frequent traveler or not you should consider taking probiotics, the healthy “good” species of bacteria we all need in our bodies. Probiotic is a Greek word that means “for life”. Many people do not realize that a healthy person has over 100 trillion bacteria living in their gut weighing up to 4 pounds! There are 20 times more bacteria in your body than cells. Over 70 percent of your immune system involves your digestive tract. A balance of 80% good bacteria to 20 % harmful bacteria is hard to accomplish due to aging, use of antibiotics, environment, chronic stress and diet.

There are a variety of probiotic products on the market with different strands of good bacteria so do your research before buying. For instance, Lactobacillus reuteri strain will help starve off diarrhea. When eating or drinking unfamiliar foods in foreign environments it pays to maintain a healthy coating of good bacteria in the intestines. Probiotics could halt or surpress growth of “unfriendly or bad” microorganism such as disease-causing bacteria, yeasts, fungi and parasites. Often people will develop diarrhea after taking a course of antibiotics. The antibiotics often wipe out every bacteria in its path, good and bad, altering the balance of the digestive tract.

If you think a daily yogurt will help you out verses a probiotic, think again. Raw or unpasteurized yogurt is loaded with good bacteria however most commercial yogurt is pasteurized, a process that kills bacteria. It is generally agreed that a probiotic must be capable of colonizing the intestinal tract to influence human health. This disqualifies many of the strains currently used in fermented dairy products. Is yogurt good for you? Yes, however you will have to eat a load of yogurt to get the same benefits as taking a probiotic capsule.

Dan and I take probiotics daily, right now we’re using the product Align but are changing to Bio Kult, a product from the UK. Align only has 1 strain of good bacteria where as Bio Kult has 14 strains. We stay healthier and have noticed a different with our digestive tracts especially while we are traveling to foreign countries. Even if you don’t want to take probiotics daily try probiotics on your next international trip. Start taking them daily a week ahead, throughout the trip and for a week after. Find one that does not need refrigeration and can survive hot conditions. Dan’s health has changed dramatically during his international travels due to Probiotics. They’re worth trying!

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