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When friendly bacteria becomes harmful.

Your intestines have both friendly and harmful bacteria. They should keep one another in check. But when you have too many pathogenic (harmful) bacteria, you're at risk for disease. You may get a bacterial infection, diarrhea, or have other intestinal problems. Most bacteria are either "good" or "bad." Except for Clostridium difficile.

All of us have C. difficile in our colons. They don't produce toxins and are usually no problem. However, when you take antibiotics to kill off bad bacteria, C. difficile survives. And changes. In fact, it begins to produce toxins. The problem is that this strain of bacteria doesn't respond to antibiotics. Then you can have a bacterium in your intestines that was once safe and is now causing problems, such as diarrhea, stomach aches, and a high fever.

You can keep C. difficile from multiplying. But you have to keep enough friendly bacteria in your digestive tract. For general everyday use, you can certainly use an inexpensive (but very powerful) probiotic formula like Advanced Probiotic Formula (see enclosed insert for details). But if you get an overgrowth, you may need something that's even stronger. In that case, take a lactic acid probiotic like Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics 12 Plus. Lactic acid probiotics stop C. difficile, as well as other bacteria.

I've talked about Dr. Ohhira's probiotic in past issues. As a subscriber, you can read these articles on-line at www.womenshealthletter.com. If you have no access to a computer, use one at your local library.

If you're not sure whether or not you have C. difficile or any other pathogenic bacteria overgrowth, take a probiotic formula for three to six months. The one I take is Advanced Probiotic Formula by Advanced Bionutritionals. It's the strongest general-use probiotic I've found. And I rarely need anything stronger.

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Title Annotation:Nutrition Detective
Publication:Women's Health Letter
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2009
Words:298
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