If you are like most people, you have probably taken an antibiotic a number of times in your life. Antibiotics often kill "good" bacteria in your gastrointestinal system as well as bacteria that make you ill. Acidophilus, the best known of the "good" digestive bacteria, helps break down complex food molecules, inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria, and helps produce some of the B-vitamins. It also makes lactase to digest dairy products, may lower cholesterol levels, and some strains kill Candida yeast. Eli Metchnikoff won the Nobel Prize in 1908 for identifying the connection between acidophilus and health and for developing probiotics as a field of study.

Their potential benefit was vividly driven home to me this week. Several weeks ago I saw "Sally" in nursing home. She had lots of gastrointestinal problems and her health was rapidly declining. She was becoming very discouraged and figuring that she only had a few months to live. I didn't see her the next week as she went from the nursing home to a hospital.

Back at the nursing home the following week, I saw a new woman who was looking good, feeling good, and getting healthier by the day. What happened? At the hospital, her doctor decided to try an acidophilus. Ironically, it wasn't even in the hospital's formulary and they had to go to a nonhospital pharmacy to get it. Thank goodness she had a holistic doctor. Ideally, antibiotics should have a warning that they may deplete naturally occurring digestive bacteria and that these can be replaced by eating yogurt, acidophilus milk, soy tempeh, or taking an acidophilus supplement.

It’s amazing how often when we are ill we just focus on medications to defeat the disease and forget to consider our body's overall needs and balances. Thinking holistically can be very helpful. In this case, it probably saved Sally's life.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Michael Brickey, America’s preeminent Anti-Aging Psychologist, teaches people to think, feel, look and be more youthful. He is an inspiring keynote speaker and Oprah-featured author. His works include: Defy Aging, 52 baby steps to Grow Young, and Reverse Aging (anti-aging hypnosis CDs. Visit www.DrBrickey.com for a free report on anti-aging secrets and his free Defy Aging Newsletter with practical anti-aging tips. Hear him interview leading anti-aging experts and/or read the interview transcripts with the anti-aging experts.

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