August #26 : Lovable Bugs - by Enid Vazquez

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Table of Contents

Cyndi Potete's Fire and Rain

Good Morning, Nashville

Loving Las Vegas

Down and Out, in Nashville

Out Out Damned Spot

You've Got the Power...If You Use It

POZ Picks

Lovable Bugs

Those Darned Free Radicals

Good Taste Restored

Treating off the Beaten Path

Not Dead Yet

Terms of Enrollment

Viva la Vagina


Married With Children

Buyers Clubs Near and Far

Working Girls

The View From Here

Don't Adjust Your Set

Good Clean Fun

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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August 1997

Lovable Bugs

by Enid Vazquez

Acidophilus helps quash thrush and diarrhea

Some important bugs live in your body. If they didn't, you'd be in trouble. Think of Lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidus, bulgaricus and similar organisms as the body's good bacteria (also called probiotics). They grow in the vagina and intestines, where they improve digestion, produce vitamins and help counter Candida overgrowth (the cause of thrush and other yeast infections). They may also help prevent other intestinal infections. Unfortunately, they're often killed by antibiotics, so nutritionists -- but too few doctors -- urge anyone taking these drugs to supplement with probiotics.

Nutrition counselor Jennifer Jensen of Santa Monica, California recommends a liquid probiotic mix for oral thrush: Swish, gargle, swallow. "I had one client whose thrush cleared up in a day, and most people clear it within two or three days. It turns black, then falls off," she says. For vaginal yeast infections, Jensen advises using probiotic suppositories.

These good bacteria can also help with diarrhea. When the bacteria needed to complete food digestion are not present, the undigested food particles sitting in the intestines can create or worsen diarrhea. Adding back the good bacteria can help prevent this digestive malfunction and may improve digestion of dairy products.

Probiotics (often labeled simply "acidophilus") are available in capsule, powder or liquid form; health-food stores typically sell a bottle for $4 to $7. Read instructions as to whether refrigeration is necessary. Or, if lactose intolerance isn't a problem, try yogurt with "live" or "active" cultures of several probiotics. Studies have shown that a container of yogurt a day can help keep yeast infections at bay.

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