Archive for the ‘Probiotics’ Category

7 reasons potatoes or aaloo are great for your health

Friday, July 17th, 2015


Potatoes or aaloo can be considered as the second most important food crop in India after rice and wheat. Although they have gained a bad reputation in the dietary world over the years for their link ups with obesity and lifestyle disorders, they remain one of the most easily available energy and nutrient rich foods in local markets. Here are some reasons you should stop avoiding potatoes.

1# Offers instant energy: Potatoes are rich source of carbohydrates yet less in calories compared to other staple foods like pasta and rice. In fact, carbohydrates account for more than 95% potatoes by weight. Besides, it is also rich in protein and the quality of proteins in them is found to be higher than any other heavily consumed plant protein .

2# Keeps cancer at bay: There has been an increasing concern regarding cancer risk and consumption of potatoes. While it’s the fried form of potatoes that actually ups cancer risk among individuals, other cooked forms of potatoes can help you lower you risk of cancer. Potatoes are rich in phytonutrients, carotenoids and flavonoids which are antioxidants that prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals. A study revealed that certain components in potato extract can induce death of prostate cancer cells, inhibit their proliferation due to the presence of dietary polyphenols, including phenolic acids and anthocyanins in them.

3# Helps build new cells: Potatoes are an extremely rich source of vitamin B6 that helps build new cells in your body. The reason behind this is that Vitamin B6 is essential to the synthesis of amino acids and nucleic acid in your body, which in turn helps your body build new cells.

4# Prevents heart disease: Almost 70 % of the urban Indian population is at risk of heart disease. Flavonoids present in potatoes helps lower bad cholesterol levels and prevents plaque build-up in your arteries. Additionally, Vitamin B6 helps in reducing levels of a molecule called homocysteine which can lead to inflammation of your arteries. A study pointed out that consumption of potatoes lowers blood pressure, improves lipid profiles as well as decreases markers of inflammation, thereby improving cardiometabolic health .

5# May help weight loss: Potatoes can restrict weight gain  when they are included in a fat and refined food rich diet. The study attributes this ability of potatoes to the presence of polyphenolic compounds that activates the enzyme AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) to initiate breakdown of sugar at a faster rate. This helps boosting metabolism and preventing weight gain.

6# Fights stress: Stress is an extremely common phenomenon found in today’s urban population. Potatoes contain Vitamin B6 which aid in the formation of hormones like serotonin, dopamine and adrenaline which regulate your mood. Vitamin B6 also helps in the formation of neurotransmitters and are extremely important for a healthy nervous system.

7# Prevents early ageing: Antioxidants present in potatoes can help delay the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines which is caused due to free radical damage. Also, potatoes can be used to remove dark spots and even skin tone.

Side Effects of Probiotic Drinks

Monday, March 16th, 2015


Probiotic drinks are marketed as helping to improve immunity. Some people who drink them experience side effects which can be life threatening–these people should avoid probiotic drinks. For other people, the side effects they feel can be mild. Probiotics contain beneficial bacteria that repopulates the intestines. These bacteria can do more harm to people with certain kinds of health conditions or those who take certain medications.

Bloating and Gas

Some people using probiotic drinks may experience bloating and/or gas. This side effect is usually mild. Probiotics are intended to act as a therapy to get rid of bloating and gas, but the drinks could have a paradoxical effect in those who develop this side effect.

Additional or Intestinal Infections

For people with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems, the bacteria in probiotic drinks can cause them to develop intestinal infections or other kinds of infections requiring antibiotic treatment.

Symptoms can include a skin rash, bloody stools and fever.

If the patient is taking an immunosuppressive medication, the probiotic drinks can interact with the medication and potentially cause a life-threatening condition. For this reason, people taking these medications should avoid probiotics.

Diarrhea and Abdominal Pain

Probiotic drinks can cause some people to develop abdominal pain and diarrhea. These people need to decide if these side effects are worth the benefits of drinking a probiotic.

Unhealthy Metabolic Activity

Probiotic drinks can trigger what is called “unhealthy metabolic activity.” This side effect can include an overstimulated immune system or gene transfer, which means transfer of genetic material into a cell.

Fungal Infection

Some people with compromised or impaired immune systems should consult with their doctors before beginning a diet heavy in probiotics. These drinks, if consumed by a patient with an impaired immune system, can cause severe fungal infection. For these patients, the probiotic drinks do more harm than good.



Probiotics help women lose weight

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

According to a recent study certain probiotics could help women lose weight and keep it off.
Previous studies have suggested that the intestinal flora of obese individuals differs from that of thin people. This is most likely due to the fact that a diet high in fat and low in fiber promotes certain bacteria at the expense of others.
The researchers tried to determine if the consumption of probiotics could help reset the balance of the intestinal microbiota in favour of bacteria that promote a healthy weight.
They studied about 125 overweight men and women who underwent a 12-week weight-loss diet, followed by a 12-week period aimed at maintaining body weight.
Throughout the entire study, half the participants swallowed 2 pills daily containing probiotics from the Lactobacillus rhamnosus family, while the other half received a placebo.
After the 12-week diet period, researchers observed an average weight loss of 4.4 kg in women in the probiotic group and 2.6 kg in the placebo group.
However, no differences in weight loss were observed among males in the two groups.
After the 12-week maintenance period, the weight of the women in the placebo group had remained stable but the probiotic group had continued to lose weight, for a total of 5.2 kg per person.
In short, women consuming probiotics lost twice as much weight over the 24-week period of the study.
Researchers also noted a drop in the appetite-regulating hormone leptin in this group, as well as a lower overall concentration of the intestinal bacteria related to obesity.
Probiotic is a compound of two Greek words: “pro,” to signify promotion of and “biotic,” which means life.
With the growing interest in probiotic interventions many studies are being carried out on the health benefits of consuming foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria. Many studies suggest that live-active cultures of probiotics can actually help prevent and treat a wide variety of ailments including irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal conditions, such as abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.