This health video will show you how you need to adapt your need for probiotics with age.
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Michael Shanani Director of Operations, Nebraska Cultures. Interviewer: Michael as a person who progresses through their life infancy to young childhood, adulthood and in the senior years do they have the requirements for bacteria. Do they use the same bacteria? Michael: Actually, no they don’t. What we find is that when an infant is born its gastrointestinal track is sterile. The baby doesn’t have any natural bacteria in its body and it picks up the first bacteria from the mother as it is being born actually in the birth canal and most of the bacteria found in infants, children and even adolescents are the genus bifida bacteria. So we find these bifida bacteria, bifidum, Bifida bacteria longum, Bifida bacterium infantis so named because it’s found in infants. And these are given to the baby by the mother not only during birth but then through the mother’s milk so for most infant’s probiotic supplementation isn’t necessary. In children however probiotic supplementation might be necessary especially if they have been sick or some reason the natural balance of intestinal flora has been disrupted and for supplementation they should probably take more bifida bacteria strains as opposed to adults as we get older that balance shifts to more lactobacillus those bacteria tend to be more prominent in our guts than the bifida bacteria strains. Once we reach adulthood, that balance stays pretty constant for the rest of our lives and in fact it’s somewhat hard to disrupt that balance unless we get sick or there is some disease that causes us to disrupt that balance, but for young children, especially infants, probiotic supplementation is usually unnecessary unless their sick and for children three and above, ages three and above probably supplementation with bifida bacteria primarily could be a good idea. Interviewer: Now you mentioned there are several different strains of bacteria here just bifida or bifida longum and so on. Can you explain a little bit about what the difference is between all of these strains are obviously as you described their different? Michael: Well their different bacteria, they reside in somewhat different areas of the intestine, primarily the Bifida bacteria we find primarily in the colon in the lowest part of the intestine, lactobacillus we tend to find all over the lower intestine not just in the lower part, not just in the colon so much and so they sort of have a different area. They help do a number of the same things, produce vitamins, produce enzymes. Bifida bacteria produce acid, also lactic acid and to acidify the gut and the colon is a good idea, it helps us digest the food it helps kill of pathogenic bacteria. You know a number of this bacteria almost all of them produce antibiotic like substances which kill off the unhealthy bacteria that is natural defense mechanism of most of this bacteria but the interesting thing is that there are almost like natural, their called bacteriocins in other words they kill off other unhealthy bacteria because they produce substances as they grow to help keep us healthy. Interviewer: So this is a normal state of a healthy person. Michael: It is. Interviewer: A healthy person, okay thank you Michael.