Probiotics: sorting the strain from the chaff

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Probiotics are now indispensable tools in the practice of many naturopaths and Western herbalists. Unlike herbs that can be prescribed appropriately based on thousands of years of traditional use, appropriate prescription of probiotic agents is based on practitioner experience and more importantly, clinical research. With the sheer choice of probiotic supplements and foods available on the market today, it can be challenging for health professionals to sort through each manufacturers' claims of superiority. In this presentation, I will outline the essential characteristics needed by individual probiotic strains to enable them to exert therapeutic effects and highlight recent advances in probiotic research. Additionally, I will detail the most appropriate probiotic strains and specific preparations to utilise for a number of gastrointestinal and systemic conditions - as research clearly demonstrates that each therapeutic probiotic strain has strengths, weaknesses and a unique range of clinical applications.

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