In November, 2014 San Dimas Community Hospital started serving probiotics to their patients due to the numerous health benefits.
Certain diseases and infections occur when the balance of gut-friendly bacteria in the intestines is disturbed or the intestine linings are damaged. In order to support the immune system, beneficial microorganisms called probiotics have been used widely in various health products. The word 'probiotics' is derived from "pro" and "biota" which means "for life". Probiotics are live microorganisms which have multiple health benefits. They work by reinforcing the barrier between the intestinal/skin lining and the bloodstream. These beneficial bacteria help to decrease the passage of harmful bacteria or antigens flowing into the bloodstream which have been suggested to help protect the intestinal lining, and decrease infections as well as possible allergic reactions to food antigens.
The elderly, young, or sick, are most at risk for contracting infections or diseases due to having a weaker immune system. Therefore, the Food and Nutrition Services Department at San Dimas Community Hospital is contributing to help improve the immune systems of patients by providing yogurts, kombucha tea, and a high protein frozen yogurt called "Pro-Yo" upon request. Pro-Yo contains five different strands of live active cultures, is soy and gluten-free, and has 20 grams of protein in each tube. The high protein content and live active cultures also makes this food source suitable for optimal wound healing. "I am so happy that we are able to help prevent our patients from getting sick by providing them with probiotics," says Maryanna Stratte, Director of Food and Nutrition at San Dimas Community Hospital. "We have seen many positive outcomes surrounding our patients health since we started using probiotic foods." The safety and efficacy of probiotics have been widely studied by clinical trials and are generally found to be safe, except in severe immunocompromised patients. Probiotics can also be found in food sources such as yogurt, miso soup, soy milk, kefir, sauerkraut, quality dark chocolate, kimchi, tempeh, and kombucha tea.