International Medical Conference Uncovers the Secrets of Gut Health
Last Tuesday, the Saudi Society of Family and Community Medicine held an international medical conference titled “Unlocking the Secrets of Gut Health.” The conference, sponsored by Jamjoom Pharma and organized by the Expertise Forum, focused on the uses of probiotics in primary health care practice.
The conference featured a distinguished panel of experts in the field of gut health. Dr. Matthew Tracy from the United States, Professor Myeong Soo Park from South Korea, and Dr. Abdel Halim Al-Sharif from Egypt all presented their research on probiotics. The conference was chaired by Dr. Ashraf Amir, a family medicine consultant from Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Amir, in an interview with the “Your Health” supplement, explained the benefits of probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that have various health benefits. They can help restore the normal balance of bacteria in the digestive tract when it is disrupted by illness or medication. They are often referred to as “good” or “friendly” bacteria and are considered safe by the National Health Service in the United Kingdom.
Probiotics, also known as beneficial bacteria, enhance the immune system in the digestive system and help with digestion and the absorption of vitamins. They have been shown to be beneficial in relieving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Dr. Amir highlighted two types of beneficial bacteria discussed at the conference: Lacto bisilicum, found in abundance in yogurt and milk, and Bifido bacteria, which protect the intestinal system from infections and relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Dr. Amir emphasized that beneficial bacteria play a crucial role in achieving bacterial balance in the digestive system and enhancing the strength of the immune system. They can also improve skin health and immunity. Sources of probiotics include yogurt, milk, pickles, sourdough, and miso soup.
When asked about potential side effects, Dr. Amir stated that beneficial bacteria are generally safe, with no harmful effects. Some individuals may experience gas or diarrhea when first using probiotics, but these side effects are usually temporary and diminish over time.
During the conference, Dr. Matthew Tracy discussed the therapeutic benefits of a specific probiotic. Probiotic VSL#3, a mixture of eight live bacterial strains, has been found to have a therapeutic and preventive effect on various diseases, including gastrointestinal diseases, liver diseases, obesity, diabetes, and allergies.
Dr. Tracy also addressed the issue of antibiotic use and its impact on beneficial bacteria. Excessive use of antibiotics can lead to an imbalance in the intestinal microorganisms, resulting in various disease conditions. The harmful effects of antibiotics and the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria have prompted the search for alternative treatments, such as probiotics.
Lastly, Professor Myeong Soo Park presented the latest research on the microbiome and the development of probiotics, particularly focusing on Bifidobacterium. Bifidobacterium bacteria are crucial for intestinal and overall health. The study revealed that Bifidobacterium levels decrease with age, leading to various diseases. Professor Park emphasized the importance of restoring Bifidobacterium levels in the intestines.
In Saudi Arabia, there are various probiotic products available. Professor Park mentioned the “PROLIFE” brand, which includes probiotics such as Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Lactobacillus caseis strains. These probiotics help enhance the natural balance of beneficial bacteria in the intestines and support the digestive system.
The international medical conference on uncovering the secrets of gut health provided valuable insights into the benefits of probiotics. By understanding the role of beneficial bacteria, healthcare professionals can promote optimal gut health and improve overall well-being.]
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