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16 Sep 2018
Older people can safely take live probiotic cultures to supplement their naturally lower levels of friendly bacteria.
Levels of good bacteria, particularly Bifidobacteria in the large intestine, have been found to plummet by as much as 1,000-fold in individuals from 55 to 60 years old onwards1. This imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut is thought to significantly contribute to older people's greater sensitivity to infections of the stomach and intestines. At an older age, we can be more susceptible to health conditions including Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), bloating, diarrhoea and indigestion; all of which originate in the gut. Learn more by reading gut health - all you need to know. Additionally, immunosenescence (the deterioration of the immune system due to ageing) can cause negative changes in the gut microbiota of elderly people2. Supporting the body's balance of good bacteria with a probiotic supplement can help maintain healthy digestion, good immune health, and overall vitality - especially in the elderly. If on a course of antibiotics, you should wait an hour before taking the probiotics.
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Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07 strain supports immune function in elderly
Note: Probiotics are not recommended for those with serious medical conditions eg. those who are severely immunosuppressed, have pancreatitis, are in the ICU, have melaena, have a central venous catheter, infants with short bowel syndrome, or to patients with open wounds following major surgery; unless under a doctor's care. Furthermore, pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult their doctor before taking certain probiotic supplements.