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Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: not quite sure


 nicolerugbyny8 - Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:58 pm

My husband is a healthy 27 year old, who plays rugby. One of the guys on his team gave him some supp to help him get ready for the next season. I tried looking the two items up to do some research, but I can't seem to find the answers that I am looking for. One is called Mega Acidophilus with Psyllium and the other is Conjugated Linoleic Acid. My husband doesn't have any health problems. He used to have asthma(he is from the east coast of Australia), but since we moved to NYC he hasn't needed his inhaler. I just want to make sure that these are safe for him to use, alone or together. Any information is greatly appreciated.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:26 am

User avatar Dear nicolerugbyny8,
Unfortunately there are either contradictory data or insufficient data regarding these types of supplements, however, I hope that the informations I could get would be of help.

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a form of one of the essential (polyunsaturated) fatty acids. Polyunsaturated fatty acids constitute the lipid component of cell membranes and breast milk.

CLA can be obtained mainly from dairy food products and to lesser extent in eggs, beef, poultry, and corn oil. It can be also synthesized from linoleic acid by the intestinal bacteria.

CLA has been used in different types of studies concerned with Health benefits, Cancer prevention and Athletic performance (body composition and strength). Minimal health benefits are suggested from its use, although results of these studies are sometimes contradictory especially for humans. Moreover, the required amount of this nutrient is not defined till today.

What you do care about is the possible side effects of these supplements intake.
Studies have shown that long term use of CLA results in increase in the level of C-reactive protein and lipoprotein(a), a risk factor for heart disease which consequently can increase the risk of heart disease. Again other studies have shown a possible contribution of this nutrient in increased risk of Diabetes Mellitus in susceptible people. Isolated cases of GI upset have been also reported.
Regarding its interaction with other drugs, there are no well known data for this subject.

Acidophilus is a type of bacteria that help to maintain the intestinal flora (normal intestinal inhabitancies) in a normal balance. In turn, food digestion and absorption, especially protein are improved by having healthier bacterial balance in the intestine. In addition, it has an acidifying effect on the intestinal Ph and detoxifying effect on the entire GI tract through the hydrogen peroxide it elaborates. It produces also enzymes that regulate cholesterol absorption and cholesterol level. Again the optimum doses are not yet determined. Under any circumstances when antibiotics are prescribed, this supplement is no given simultaneously but after the antibiotic.


In my opinion according to these informations, if your husband is currently or frequently on any asthmatic treatment that probably would contain steroids, he should have his blood sugar level checked regularly and in short intervals in addition to his lipid profile. Being asthmatic also means that he has higher liability to respiratory chest infections and once he has to receive antibiotics, he has to pay attention for the sequence of the antibiotic intake with the Mega Acidophilus.
Surely, he has to consult his physician for any medical problem that might happen and not to forget to inform him about what he is currently taking even if they are natural supplements.
Best Regards,

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