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What Does Acidophilus Do to Digestion? | Healthy Eating

The unseen world of bacteria includes both good guys and bad guys. Among the good guys, also known as probiotics, is acidophilus, a strain of lactic acid bacteria that occurs naturally in many dairy foods as well as in the human digestive tract. The bacterium, known formally as Lactobacillus acidophilus, helps to protect against the bad bacteria that cause infection and also promotes healthy digestive function, which in turn supports overall health.

Replenishes Microflora

Colonizing the human gastrointestinal tract are vast numbers of microorganisms that are referred to collectively as gut microflora. Included in this host of microscopic organisms are both beneficial bacteria and bacteria capable of causing infection and dysfunction. Fundamental to digestive health is the maintenance of a healthy balance between beneficial organisms and infection-causing pathogens. Illness, heavy doses of antibiotics or laxatives and radical dietary changes can upset this delicate balance. Probiotic supplements, the most popular of which is acidophilus, can help to restore the mix of bacteria in the intestinal tract to normal levels, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Lactose Intolerance

Roughly 12 percent of all Americans report that they suffer from lactose intolerance, an inability to properly digest foods and beverages — such as milk — that contain lactose, according to the results of a survey published in “Nutrition Today.” Registered dietitians Kitty Broihier and Maureen Ternus, authors of “The Everything Vitamins, Minerals and Nutritional Supplements Book,” say some studies show that taking acidophilus may help ease lactose intolerance symptoms such as gas, bloating and cramping. They note, however, that other studies have shown the probiotic to be of little or no help. Broihier and Ternus suggest that the best strategy for tackling lactose intolerance may be taking acidophilus in conjunction with other strains of Lactobacillus bacteria such as L. bulgaricus.

Digestive Health

The food you eat is not in a form that your body can use to nourish itself. It must pass through the digestive system where it is broken down into its constituent parts, including nutrients that are absorbed through the intestine walls and waste that then passes out of the body. Acidophilus and other beneficial gut bacteria play a key role in converting food into nutrients. Acidophilus is resistant to bile and gastric juices, which allows it to pass relatively intact through the gastrointestinal tract to do its job, according to “The Health Professional’s Guide to Dietary Supplements.”

Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea

Antibiotics taken to combat a bacterial infection don’t discriminate between good and bad bacteria. As a result, antibiotics often upset the delicate balance of microorganisms in the GI tract, leading to diarrhea and other manifestations of digestive upset. A team of U.S. researchers conducted a review of existing studies on probiotics and antibiotic-associated diarrhea, or AAD. In an article in the May 9, 2012, issue of “Journal of the American Medical Association,” they reported that sufficient evidence exists to indicate that probiotics such as acidophilus — separately or in combination with other probiotics — can help treat AAD. They urged further study to determine which probiotics worked best.

References

Writer Bio

Don Amerman has spent his entire professional career in the editorial field. For many years he was an editor and writer for The Journal of Commerce. Since 1996 he has been freelancing full-time, writing for a large number of print and online publishers including Gale Group, Charles Scribner’s Sons, Greenwood Publishing, Rock Hill Works and others.

Why Is Lactobacillus So Important For Gut Health?

Here are the facts on probiotic

Lactobacillus for your microbiome, health, and mind.

These microbes are VIP members of a happy and balanced gut microbiome – that’s why you’ve probably seen them advertised on probiotic yoghurt pots and kefir bottles. You might also know them under a different name: Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB).

However, you can be forgiven for not entirely knowing what they really do or even how they work, but don’t worry, you’re not the only one. We’re going to take a closer look in this article.

  1. How did they get there?
  2. Lactobacillus and gut health
  3. Lactobacillus and whole body health
  4. Probiotic benefits for health
  5. Mood, mental health, and probiotics
  6. Lactobacillus species in mental health
  7. How to eat for better Lactobacillus levels
  8. Foods for Lactobacillus growth

Your gut may technically belong to you, but it’s also home to trillions of bacterial cells. These cells reside in your large intestine and carry out daily functions you may not have been aware of to help keep you healthy.

These microbes help break down fibre from your diet and transform it into good things needed for your health, like short-chain fatty acids and vitamins.

Diversity of bacteria within the gut is important, but if this becomes imbalanced, it can lead to dysbiosis. Not only can this cause side effects like cramps, gas, and diarrhea, but also causes inflammation with several diseases, and even affect your mood.

Lactobacillus is a valuable weapon in our gut armory. Alongside their other bacterial counterparts, they help protect your body from chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis).

For this reason, Lactobacillus is an important member of your gut microbiome. They help protect from disease, and they also have ways of stopping pathogens from colonising the gut, including the release of antimicrobial substances in response to invaders.

This genus of microbes breaks down dietary fibers and phytonutrients (like polyphenols) which have beneficial effects for your health. What’s more, Lactobacillus even helps to feed other bacteria in your gut, such as the ones that produce butyrate (which the cells in your gut lining need for energy).

How did they get there?

Lactobacillus are with us from the start and continue to perform important health functions for us throughout our lives.

It might not be something you want to imagine, but when you came out of your mother’s vagina, her internal lady parts would have been thriving with these microbes. They coated you on the way out too.

Birth is the first major colonisation that your gut microbiota is subjected to. That’s why scientists call it a “bacterial baptism”, and Lactobacillus is the dominant microbe of the vaginal microbiome.

We love this animated short by TED about the gut microbiome

Breast milk is also a fundamental part of the infant’s gut microbiome because it contains nutrients for bacteria growth like prebiotic human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs). HMOs are broken down in the gut to make short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) which promote the growth of both Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus.

But because the development of your gut microbiome and your immune system are linked, research suggests that children born via c-section are more likely to develop immune-related disorders compared to those born vaginally.

There’s no doubt that childbirth is traumatic, and there isn’t such a thing as a perfect birth. So, if, like many, you were born by cesarean or were fed formula milk, don’t sweat it. There are things you can do today to help your gut microbes!

Lactobacillus for gut health

These microbes are able to stick to the cells and mucous of the intestinal lining, which explains why they are members of our gut microbiome. It is from here that they do their good work.

This genus of microbes fulfill several beneficial health-promoting functions for us, the hosts. That’s why they are probiotic. They also promote the growth of other beneficial bacteria in our microbiome, which makes them pretty upstanding members of the ecosystem.

The production of lactate and acetate from carbohydrates (sources of prebiotic dietary fibers) is an important factor in the pH of the gut. They help to keep the acidity of the gut balanced in a way that encourages beneficial and commensal (harmless) species while deterring invaders that could make you sick.

Acetate is the most abundant SCFA in the large intestine and is produced by both Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. Acetate feeds butyrate-producing bacteria, a process called cross-feeding. Butyrate, another example of a SCFA, is essential for the maintenance of the colon lining and it prevents inflammation.

Lactobacillus and whole body health

Specific probiotic species and strains can help manage, treat, and protect from a range of diseases and infections.

In the world of microbes, there is a strict hierarchy. Lactobacillus is a genus of bacteria, within which there are many species, and within these species, there are specific strains of bacteria.

There are many different species of Lactobacillus, several of which have particular probiotic functions. These microbes act directly to protect you from disease or manage it, and also contribute to overall balance in the gut microbiome, which is essential too.

The Atlas Microbiome Test checks probiotic bacteria levels too

For example, L. plantarum is thought to help with the prevention and management of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Others help treat acute diarrhoea and even prevent infections like Helico pylori and Clostridium difficile.

Potential probiotic benefits of Lactobacillus

Species Probiotic benefits
L. acidophilus Treatment of ulcerative colitis
L. plantarum Prevention and management of irritable bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), coronary heart disease, cancer, and gastrointestinal symptoms
L. reuteri Effective treatment for infant colic, Helicobacter pylori infection prevention, prevention and treatment of urogenital disease, dental caries, and food hypersensitivity
L. casei Inhibits the growth of helicobacter pylori – probiotic properties in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and Clostridium difficile

Other strains, like L. reuteri, are beneficial to our health in multiple ways. This species is well-documented for its ability to reduce the permeability of the intestine and reverse “leaky gut”. Researchers suggest that it may help prevent inflammatory diseases too.

Inflammatory bowel disease

When Lactobacillus and other anaerobic bacteria levels are low, like in IBD patients, the gut loses anti-inflammatory features that exist in healthy individuals and the disease flares up. But, there is hope.

Probiotics can help to restore the gut homeostasis (a fancy name for a balanced and stable organ). There is a lot of research which shows probiotics, like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, can help control gut inflammation and improve IBD.

Type II diabetes

Controlling the progression of this metabolic disease has been a challenge in the medical world. However, probiotics, particularly L. casei, have shown promising benefits. This species of Lactobacillus has improved the body’s response to glucose and body weight in clinical trials.

A further study, albeit in mice, has shown that L. paracasei could even prevent type II diabetes from developing in the first place. It does this by influencing the genes related to the metabolism of glucose, as well as regulating the glucose levels of the mice both before and after a meal.

Basically, different strains and species have specific mechanisms that underpin their unique roles in the treatment and management of illness. Having an abundance of Lactobacillus contributes to overall balance and diversity in the gut microbiome, and thus supports whole body health.

Probiotics, mood, and mental health

A growing body of evidence indicates that certain probiotic species can treat depression, increase stress resilience, and alleviate anxiety.

If gut microbiome dysbiosis goes unmanaged and continues, opportunistic microbes can activate the immune system and cause inflammation. This can affect the central nervous system, resulting in altered brain signalling pathways, leading to mood changes and even symptoms of depression.

As if that wasn’t enough, depression itself can cause inflammation. This two-way exchange between inflammation and depression also means that people with inflammatory conditions are at a greater risk of developing depression. It’s a bit of a catch-22.

There are millions of nerves and nerve cells linking the gut and brain, each passing signals between each other. Bacteria can also influence the production of serotonin and other important mood chemicals. Hence, the link between emotional and cognitive areas of the brain with the gut.

But all is not lost. Although your mental health may be influenced by what’s happening in your gut, there are a number of scientific studies which show depression and other mental health issues can be helped by probiotics.

Lactobacillus species and mental health

Species Probiotic benefits
L. casei Improved mood, lower anxiety
L. helveticus Better memory and lower anxiety
L. rhamnosus Lower anxiety and depressive behavior

Research shows that Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium have beneficial effects on mental health. In one study, healthy volunteers were given a mix of Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum for 30 days, leading to fewer depressive symptoms and lower psychological stress.

Further research needs to be carried out before probiotics are offered as a reliable alternative for the treatment of mental health conditions. But so far, the research looks promising. Some single and multiple strains of Lactobacillus have shown improvements in mood, anxiety, depression, and cognitive function.

Rather than picking and choosing probiotic species to supplement your diet, try following a varied diet filled with whole, prebiotic foods to enjoy the full spectrum of body and mental health benefits of Lactobacillus.

Eat for better Lactobacillus levels

As much as your gut needs Lactobacillus, Lactobacillus also needs your gut to provide it with a source of nutrients so it can grow and thrive.

The relationship between you and the Lactobacillus in and on your body is a mutual one, or as the world of science puts it, symbiotic. It’s a bit like that saying, “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”.

Basically, the Lactobacilli in your gut helps to keep it functioning properly, prevents inflammation, and protects the gut from many pathogenic and chronic diseases. In return, the Lactobacilli must be kept well-nourished so they can pass on their health benefits to you, its host.

Prebiotics nourish Lactobacillus and other beneficial bacteria in your gut, encouraging their numbers to grow and stimulating their other beneficial activities like the production of SCFAs and vitamins. Fortunately, there are many prebiotics available to increase your Lactobacillus levels.

Prebiotic foods for

Lactobacillus levels

Konjac flour Soy
Apple Barley
Wheat bran Walnuts
Chicory root Artichoke
Buckwheat Chokeberry

So, Lactobacilli ferment dietary fibers which are otherwise unable to be digested or absorbed by the gut. Therefore, it is important to eat a diet rich in various types of dietary fiber to encourage diversity and the growth of lactic acid bacteria.

Diets like the Mediterranean diet are also good for increasing your fiber intake and subsequently your Lactobacillus levels, not least because it’s high in fiber, but also because of low meat intake. It’s full of prebiotics, and probiotic, fermented foods with strains of Lactobacillus.

Your gut bacteria, including Lactobacillus, breaks down most of the polyphenols present in our foods, which also makes them prebiotics. Polyphenols are found naturally in foods like fruits, vegetables, and cereals.

The plant-based chemicals have several health benefits for human beings because they are antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, polyphenols can protect us from cancer, ageing, maintain the health of our brain, and reduce oxidative stress present in cells (a major cause of cancer).

Lactobacilli are also a main constituent in the creation of fermented dairy products like yoghurt, sour cream, and kefir. Thus, raw, unpasteurised versions of these products also contain these probiotics required for the health of the gut and can boost your Lactobacillus community.

Fermentation by lactic acid bacteria can also enrich the vitamin content of milk, particularly vitamin B12 and folic acid. And, of course, there are all the other health benefits associated with probiotics, like protection against invading pathogens and boosting the immune system.

The beneficial products made by these bacteria are essential to our overall health and wellbeing. They literally utilise the foods we can’t to make chemical compounds which positively influence our gut, immune system, or community.

Remember

Lactobacillus is a genus of bacteria that constitutes a major component of the microbiota in your body. They are responsible for breaking down prebiotic dietary fibers and producing beneficial substances, like short-chain fatty acids, which are good for your health.

These bacteria have many protective roles in the body. Having an abundance of Lactobacillus can help treat infections and prevent certain chronic illnesses, like inflammatory bowel disease, and in the future, may help treat them too.

Remember, you can increase your own Lactobacillus numbers by adding prebiotic foods they love into your diet. Plus, they are present in many probiotic food sources (yoghurt and kefir) which can supplement the levels already in your gut.

At-home options like the Atlas Microbiome Test can help you identify health risks linked to the microbiome and take small and easy steps to improve your wellbeing and prevent illness.

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The Best Probiotic Foods for Your Gut Health

The following story is excerpted from TIME’s special edition, 100 Most Healing Foods.

One of the most crucial parts of our body when it comes to health is our microbiome—the trillions of bacteria that live in our gut. Scientists are learning that the bacterial communities we live with are linked to everything from body weight to asthma to acne. Having the right balance of bugs may keep us well in the long term. Some bacteria in the gut are good for our health, while other strains raise our risk for disease.

We shape our microbiome makeup through our everyday diet. Many of the foods listed below are high in nutrients like fiber, which feeds healthy gut microbes. Those microbes produce short-chain fatty acids that get absorbed into the bloodstream and reduce inflammation while strengthening the immune system. These gut-friendly foods also contain pro- or prebiotics, which help gut-bacteria diversity. Probiotics are bacteria that are very similar to or the same as good-bacteria colonies already in our gut. They’re in many foods on this list, including yogurt and sauerkraut. Prebiotics, on the other hand, are a type of plant fiber often found in vegetables that nourishes good bacteria. (Good sources of prebiotics include chickpeas, bananas and artichokes.)

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Both are important for keeping you regular and building a better microbiome. Here are some probiotic-filled foods to consider adding to your diet.

Cottage cheese

How to eat it: This throwback cheese makes a great base for both sweet and savory snacks. Mix it with fruit and walnuts, or add olive oil, cucumber slices and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Why it’s good for you: Cheese lovers, rejoice: cottage cheese is a great pick for your gut. As with other fermented foods, cottage cheese often delivers probiotics (check the package labels for live and active cultures), and it’s high in calcium, which is important for strong bones.

Kimchi

How to eat it: This Korean fermented- cabbage dish can add a flavor kick to nearly any food. Mix kimchi with brown rice or simply enjoy on its own.

Why it’s good for you: A probiotic made with cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and garlic, kimchi not only is gut-friendly but also may help reduce cancer risk.

Sauerkraut

How to eat it: A small helping of sauerkraut paired with lean meat adds up to a tasty and nutritious meal.

Why it’s good for you: The cabbage in sauerkraut, a food that dates to the 4th century B.C., is fermented with lactic-acid bacteria, which means it’s good for keeping your digestive system in balance. You also get fiber and compounds that boost the immune system.

Yogurt

How to eat it: Add fresh fruit, seeds and a little granola to a bowl of plain yogurt for a filling breakfast or afternoon snack.

Why it’s good for you: A fermented food, yogurt naturally contains lots of probiotic cultures that strengthen the digestive tract. Some Greek yogurt also boasts added probiotics like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus casei that may help increase the good bacteria in your gut.

Miso

How to eat it: Add a dollop of miso—a fermented soybean-based paste used in Japanese cooking—to soups. For a tasty salmon marinade, mix miso with ingredients like mirin, vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil.

Why it’s good for you: Yes, miso can be high in sodium, but this gut-healthy pick delivers good amounts of protein, calcium, iron and magnesium.

Pickles

How to eat them: Add chopped pickles to your potato salad or use in your lunch wrap in place of high-fat spreads. To get that healthy bacteria, buy pickles brined in salt water, not vinegar.

Why they’re good for you: Cucumber pickles are brined in salt water and fermented, giving you that beneficial bacteria. Each spear offers vitamins A and K, important for blood and cell health, and potassium, vital for healthy heart function. Just keep in mind that pickles tend to be high in sodium.

Kombucha

How to drink it: Enjoy kombucha straight from the bottle. You may need to sample a few varieties to find the one you like best.

Why it’s good for you: Kombucha is a fermented tea that also contains some gases and a small amount of alcohol, which gives it carbonation. It’s full of probiotics and antioxidants that support the immune system. Sip in moderation, though: it contains lactic acid, which in large amounts can build up in the bloodstream and harm your health.

Apple-cider vinegar

How to eat it: This vinegar—made from fermented apple sugars—is delicious in salad dressings.

Why it’s good for you: The acetic acid in vinegar aids digestion. One 2009 study even linked regular apple- cider-vinegar consumption with weight loss. The acid may turn on fat metabolism and help keep blood sugar levels normal. Experts recommend keeping total intake per day at or below four tablespoons.

Tempeh

How to eat it: Tempeh is a protein made from soybeans that you can use instead of meat. Add it to stir-fries with vegetables and healthy grains like brown rice.

Why it’s good for you: Compounds in this good gut food may have anti-inflammatory and even anti- tumor effects. Tempeh also serves up a helping of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Parmesan cheese

How to eat it: Sprinkle parmesan cheese on air- popped popcorn for a healthy and filling snack.

Why it’s good for you: Some fermented cheeses, like parmesan, contain lactic-acid bacteria that can create gut-healthy probiotics. Cheese also contains important nutrients like protein and calcium.

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Health Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dose & Precautions

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Wei H, Loimaranta V, Tenovuo J, et al. Stability and activity of specific antibodies against Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus in bovine milk fermented with Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG or treated at ultra-high temperature. Oral Microbiol Immunol 2002;17:9-15. View abstract.

Wendakoon CN, Thomson AB, Ozimek L. Lack of therapeutic effect of a specially designed yogurt for the eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection. Digestion 2002;65:16-20. View abstract.

Wickens K, Black P, Stanley TV, Mitchell E, Barthow C, Fitzharris P, Purdie G, Crane J. A protective effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 against eczema in the first 2 years of life persists to age 4 years. Clin Exp Allergy. 2012;42(7):1071-9. View abstract.

Wolf BW, Wheeler KB, Ataya DG, Garleb KA. Safety and tolerance of Lactobacillus reuteri supplementation to a population infected with the human immunodeficiency virus. Food Chem Toxicol 1998;36:1085-94 . View abstract.

Woo SI, Kim JY, Lee YJ, et al. Effect of Lactobacillus sakei supplementation in children with atopic eczema-dermatitis syndrome. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2010;104:343-8. View abstract.

Wullt M, Hagslatt ML, Odenholt I. Lactobacillus plantarum 299v for the treatment of recurrent Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhoea: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Scand J Infect Dis 2003;35:365-7. . View abstract.

Yli-Knuuttila H, Snall J, Kari K, Meurman JH. Colonization of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG in the oral cavity. Oral Microbiol Immunol 2006;21:129-31. View abstract.

Zheng X, Lyu L, Mei Z. Lactobacillus-containing probiotic supplementation increases Helicobacter pylori eradication rate: evidence from a meta-analysis. Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 2013;105(8):445-53. Review. View abstract.

What Are Probiotics? Supplements, Foods, Benefits, More

This living “for life” nutrient is the foundation of our health. A healthy microbiome may help in preventing and treating diseases in the areas of digestive health, certain types of cancer, oral disease, food allergies, and eczema. (5)

But first, know that probiotic supplements may affect everyone differently, and for older people in particular, their touted benefits are unproven. (6) In fact, the research on how beneficial probiotics are varies depending on the disease in question.

Probiotics May Improve Digestive Health

Using probiotics may help reduce diarrhea caused by things like antibiotic use, cancer therapy, and hospital infections. Bacteria strains of Streptococcus and Lactobacillus can help, but doctors also use yeast strains, such as various Saccharomyces boulardii, to help prevent diarrhea, according to a paper published in March 2016 in the International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences. (7)

If dairy gives you bad gas, you may have lactose intolerance, which is caused by a deficiency in the enzyme lactase. The good news is that probiotics seem to help with lactose digestion. Studies show that the probiotic used to make yogurt (Lactobacillus delbrueckii and Streptococcus thermophilus) release lactase, which takes over the body’s usual responsibility of digesting lactose. (8)

If your gassiness isn’t due to lactose intolerance or associated with recurrent diarrhea from any of the aforementioned reasons, you may have a condition called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is a default diagnosis that is used for unexplained digestive symptoms, such as gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation. Some studies suggest probiotics can help relieve symptoms of IBS.

Don’t confuse IBS with a more serious digestive-tract disease called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is an autoimmune disease categorized by chronic inflammation.

Crohn’s disease (CD), ulcerative colitis (UC), and indeterminate colitis (IC) are three types of IBD. Clinical trials suggest probiotics may be a promising therapy for UC. Unfortunately, CD and IC do not show the same therapeutic effect. (9,10)

Probiotics May Play a Role in Immunity and Cancer Prevention

Much of the research on the potential effects of probiotics on cancer and immunity has involved lab studies on lactic acid bacteria (LAB). In these studies, this probiotic seems to decrease the enzyme activity of other bacteria that produce cancer cells, potentially reducing the risk of liver, colon, and bladder cancer. (11)

Probiotics and prebiotics seem to influence an entire immunological network in the body, and tend to have the biggest potential early in life. (12) Taking probiotics while pregnant, for example, may reduce your child’s risk of allergy symptoms, such as skin rashes, nasal congestion, and watery eyes. It may also decrease incidence of chronic digestive disorders like celiac disease, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, according to a review published in January 2015 in the journal Pediatric Research. (13)

Probiotics Are Associated With Improved Oral Health

Probiotics benefit the digestive tract from the beginning to end. It all begins in your mouth, where harmful bacteria, also known as plaque, may be decreased by — yes, you guessed it — probiotics. In a randomized controlled trial published in January 2013 in the journal Dentistry & Medical Research, researchers divided 90 children ages 13 to 15 into three groups: one that received a mouth disinfectant, one that received a probiotic mouth rinse, and one that received a placebo. (14) The probiotic consisted of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium longum, and Saccharomyces boulardii. After two months, the group that received the probiotic had the greatest reductions in plaque volume and gingivitis risk.

Probiotics may also help prevent cavities, as a buildup of acid from bacteria like streptococci on the surface of the tooth causes them. Probiotics help protect the teeth by lowering their pH, according to a paper published in 2015 in the Finnish journal Annales Universitatis Turkuensis. (15) A lower pH is protective, while a higher pH, meaning an acidic environment, is one in which cavities are more likely to form.

Probiotics Could Help Prevent Food Allergies

Probiotics may also help prevent food allergies, though more research is needed. For example, a review published in October 2015 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology suggested probiotics may help prevent eczema, which is a risk factor for food allergies, in children when administered to pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. (16) Important to note, though, is infant eczema doesn’t always signal a food allergy, and could simply be caused by dry skin or a seasonal allergy.

Fermented dairy products are high in probiotics, but also one of the major food allergens, meaning some of the very foods that may help prevent this food allergy are off limits for those who already have the condition. The good news is if you have a food allergy, you can choose probiotic sources that are dairy-free or even nondairy fermented foods. Examples of nondairy probiotics include kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir (when made with nondairy milk), and tempeh.

Weight Loss May Be Easier With the Help of Probiotics

Another growing area of research on probiotics is weight loss.

For example, a study published in October 2017 in the journal Cell & Bioscience suggested that lowering inflammation helps combat insulin resistance, the hallmark of type 2 diabetes, and fat accumulation. (17)

Also, a systematic review and meta-analysis published in March 2018 in the journal Genes found that using a probiotic was associated with decreases in body mass index (BMI), weight, and fat mass with a probiotic dose of at least 30 billion for greater than 12 weeks. (18)

The authors stated that the amounts, type, and duration of the probiotics require further study, though, because these measures weren’t consistent across every study. Probiotics and prebiotics showed a significant decrease while synbiotics did not, more due to the lack of studies, and the large differences between those studies negatively impacted the analysis. Yet the authors concluded that these dietary agents are essential tools in treating obesity. More on how these differ later.

Lactobacillus acidophilus – What Is It and What Can It Do for Us?

Lactobacilli bacteria are one of the types of ‘friendly’ bacteria that live in our gut. They are called lactobacilli because they produce lactic acid (more on this below). Like other beneficial gut bacteria, we have a symbiotic relationship with them, meaning they are dependent on us and we are dependent on them.

Lactobacillus acidophilus is one species of lactobacilli bacteria. It’s the one that’s most familiar to most people – you’ve probably heard that ‘acidophilus’ is good for your digestion, even if you don’t know anything else about gut bacteria!

What do lactobacilli bacteria do?

Here are some of the roles that lactobacilli bacteria are thought to play in our gut:

  • Aid digestion and absorption of nutrients. Their role may include helping to break down substances in our foods that bind to minerals1, so the minerals can be better absorbed. By generally supporting digestion, they may also help reduce digestive problems such as bloating and constipation.
  • Help protect us against pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria. One of the primary ways harmful bacteria can get into our blood and cause infection is via our digestive tract. Friendly bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus may help protect us by helping to prevent the ‘bad guys’ attaching to the gut wall, and by producing substances that are harmful to pathogenic bacteria, such as lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide.
  • Help to keep the gut lining healthy. It is our gut lining which allows us to absorb the nutrients our body needs, as well as prevent absorption of substances such as bacteria and toxins that can be harmful to our health.
  • Support and balance our immune system. Around 70 to 80% of our body’s immune cells are found in and around the digestive tract – particularly in the small intestine. So the bacteria in our gut, including lactobacilli, come into very close contact with these immune cells, and are thought to have a direct effect on them, including activating immune cells to help fight infection2. They’re thought to have a balancing effect on the immune system, increasing its response where necessary, but also helping to stop over-reactions of the immune system to things that are harmless (e.g. allergic reactions).
  • They could help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Lactobacillus bacteria, including some strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus, are thought to reduce cholesterol absorption into the blood3.

How can you get your friendly bacteria?

Lactobacillus acidophilus is found in fermented foods such as some natural live yoghurts, raw sauerkraut and kefir, a traditional fermented milk drink. Because it’s been very widely researched, L. acidophilus is also commonly used in live bacteria (‘probiotic’) supplements.

Ombar Raw Chocolate Bars with all the benefits of friendly bacteria:

Here’s the best bit: you can also get your L. acidophilus in chocolate too! We include Lactobacillus acidophilus as an ingredient in several of our bars, including Ombar 72% Raw, Ombar Coco Mylk, Ombar Coconut 60% and Ombar Strawberry Mylk. What better way to get some of those digestive, immune and even possibly heart-health benefits and treat yourself at the same time.

References

  1. Turpin W, Humblot C, Thomas M, Guyot JP. Lactobacilli as multifaceted probiotics with poorly disclosed molecular mechanisms. Int J Food Microbiol. 2010 Oct 15;143(3):87-102.
  2. Elawadli I et al. Differential effects of lactobacilli on activation and maturation of mouse dendritic cells. Benef Microbes. 2014 Sep;5(3):323-34.
  3. St-Onge MP et al. Consumption of fermented and nonfermented dairy products: effects on cholesterol concentrations and metabolism. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Mar;71(3):674-81.

LACTOBACTERIA

Lactobacilli most actively carry out regulatory functions within the population of intestinal bacteria and are the main representatives of the normal intestinal microflora.

Lactobacillus bulgaricus

Lactobacillus delbrueckii spp. bulgaricus is a thermophilic homofermentative lactic acid bacterium that produces D (-) lactic acid. It is one of the most economically important representatives of this group of bacteria, which is used worldwide in the production of yoghurt.Lactobacillus bulgaricus can be found in naturally fermented foods. First identified in 1905 by the Bulgarian physician Stamen Grigorov and named after the nation and geographical area where it was found in its natural habitat. In other regions of the world, it mutates and stops reproducing. Thus, any products claiming to contain L. bulgaricus and which were not produced in Bulgaria are highly unlikely to contain original and non-genetically modified Lactobacillus bulgaricus.

L. bulgaricus produces lactase, an enzyme that breaks down lactose (sugar found in milk and dairy products). People with lactase deficiency experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, cramps, and bloating after taking it. For this reason, Lactobacillus bulgaricus supplements are beneficial to health.

L. bulgaricus is a temporary probiotic. It is not permanently found in the intestines, but is beneficial to the intestinal environment as it passes through the gastrointestinal system.

L. bulgaricus is resistant to aggressive environments and toxins.

L. bulgaricus reduces intestinal infections by secreting lactic acid, which helps maintain a substantially low pH in the small intestine for harmful bacteria to grow (uncomfortable). In addition, Lactobacillus bulgaricus secretes natural antibiotics that have a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity.

Benefits:

– Promotes a healthy balance of bacteria in the intestines.

– Produces natural antibiotic substances that inhibit the spread of pathogenic microorganisms in the intestinal mucosa.

– Improves digestion and absorption of nutrients by the digestive tract.

– Reduces cholesterol levels.

– Possesses antitumor and anticancer activity.

– Reduces lactose intolerance and improves the digestibility of dairy products.

– Reduces diarrhea caused by enteroviruses (rotavirus, etc.) and other etiology.

– Reduces the risk of urinary tract infections.

– Stimulates the immune system.

Lactobacillus helveticus

Lactobacillus helveticus is a homofermentative lactic acid producing bacterium. It is a cheese-loving culture that is also considered a beneficial bacterium for humans. Many in vitro studies have shown that Lactobacillus helveticus has many probiotic properties, such as the ability to survive in the stomach and reach the intestines, adhere to epithelial cells, and inhibit potential pathogens.The specific enzymatic activity of Lactobacillus helveticus may indirectly benefit the host by increasing the bioavailability of nutrients, removing allergens and other unwanted molecules from food, and producing bioactive peptides by digesting food proteins.

Advantages:

– Normalizes arterial health by lowering blood pressure, which is important for patients with hypertension.

– Supports bone mineral density and increases calcium absorption.

– Improves the composition of the colonization of the intestinal microflora of infants fed with milk formula.

– Promotes the production of ACE inhibitors (a group of compounds that prevent heart and renal failure).

– Reduces the harm of ionizing radiation.

– Possesses antimutagenic and antitumor activity.

– Powerful preventive action of urinary tract infections.

– Reduces lactose intolerance and improves the digestibility of dairy products.

– Stimulates the immune and digestive systems.

Lactobacillus lactis

Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. lactis is a thermophilic and homofermentative crop that produces D (-) lactic acid. They are common inhabitants of fermented milk products. Lactobacillus lactis is known to feed on a wider range of carbohydrates than Lactobacillus bulgaricus. L. lactis strains can metabolize galactose and, in the presence of lactose, induce β-galactosidase (lactase) activity.This is important for better digestibility of dairy products for people with lactose intolerance.

Lactobacillus acidophilus

Lactobacillus acidophilus is a homofermentative species that occurs naturally in the gastrointestinal tract of a healthy person, the oral cavity and the female vagina. L. acidophilus is one of the most commonly used probiotics with proven probiotic properties. Used in many commercial dairy products such as sweet acidophilus milk and acidophilic yogurt.It is also found in a number of dietary supplements.

L. acidophilus maintains a healthy balance of intestinal flora by producing various compounds such as lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide. Lactic acid from the fermentation of lactic sugars lowers the pH in the body and makes living conditions too acidic for many pathogenic microbes such as Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella (common causes of food poisoning), and Candida albicans (yeast pathogens).In addition, L. acidophilus is very beneficial for the small intestine as it produces many beneficial antimicrobial substances such as acidolphilin, acidolin, bacteriocin, and lactocidin. By maintaining the balance of bacteria in the human intestine, this microorganism reduces the likelihood of gastrointestinal infections and disorders, and improves the absorption of minerals and other trace elements from food.

In addition to its ability to prevent intestinal infections, L. Acidophilus, like other lactic acid bacteria, promotes the digestion of lactose.This is of great importance for lactose intolerant subjects (including the elderly). This microorganism strengthens the immune system, inhibits certain cancers, and helps control serum cholesterol levels.

Benefits:

– Aids digestion and maintains the natural balance of microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract.

– Protects against gastrointestinal disorders, bloating, discomfort and pain in the abdomen, constipation and diarrhea of ​​various etiologies, incl.including caused by antibiotics.

– Reduces the incidence of vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections.

– Reduces serum cholesterol and the incidence of coronary heart disease.

– Improves the synthesis of B vitamins and improves the absorption of calcium.

– Helps in the treatment of respiratory infections such as sinusitis and bronchitis.

– Reduces lactose intolerance and improves the digestibility of dairy products.

– Stimulates the immune system.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus

Lactobacillus rhamnosus are optionally heteroenzymatic and mesophilic lactic acid bacteria. They are part of a healthy human gastrointestinal tract and oral cavity. L. rhamnosus is also abundant in the vagina and urinary tract in healthy women. L. rhamnosus is one of the most widely studied probiotics with an impressive array of health benefits. Able to survive and even thrive in the harsh conditions of the digestive tract and urinary tract.Lactobacillus rhamnosus helps to restore the balance of the intestinal microflora by displacing and preventing the growth of harmful bacteria by competing for the habitat.

Various strains of Lactobacillus rhamnosus are used in the production of dairy products such as yoghurt, cheese and other fermented milk products, including sour milk sausages.

Benefits:

– Helps prevent infections and keep the body healthy.

– Improves digestion and absorption of nutrients by the digestive tract.

– Reduces the frequency and duration of diarrhea, incl. and in babies.

– Inhibits adhesion and the number of harmful bacteria involved in vaginal and urinary tract infections.

– Helps reduce intestinal inflammation in people with irritable bowel syndrome, eczema and food allergies.

– Stimulates the immune system of the human body.

Lactobacillus casei

Lactobacillus casei is an optional heteroenzymatic mesophilic lactic acid bacterium that ferments carbohydrates to lactic, acetic and formic acids, ethyl alcohol, etc.products. It is found in raw and less commonly other fermented milk products, as well as in fresh or fermented plant products in the form of fermented green olives. L. casei is a natural inhabitant of the human intestine and mouth.

Lactobacillus casei is one of the well-known probiotic bacteria that promotes the proliferation of other beneficial bacteria and limits the growth of various types of pathogenic bacteria that cause infections.

Benefits:

– Promotes a healthy balance of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract and mouth.

– Improves digestion followed by proper assimilation of food and nutrients.

– Protects against gastrointestinal upset, abdominal pain, constipation and antibiotic-induced diarrhea in children.

– Reduces lactose intolerance.

– Possesses anti-inflammatory effect in the intestines and oral cavity.

– Stimulates the immune system.

Lactobacillus paracasei spp. paracasei

Lactobacillus paracasei belongs to the group L.casei. It is part of the normal microflora of the human gastrointestinal tract. Because of its beneficial properties, selected strains of this species are commonly used in probiotic foods and nutritional supplements.

Benefits:

– Survives and remains active while passing through the gastrointestinal tract.

– Protects against gastrointestinal disorders and increases resistance to infections.

– Improves intestinal absorption of nutrients and lipids from food.

– Participates in the prevention and treatment of diarrhea in young children.

– Stimulates the immune and digestive systems.

Lactobacillus plantarum

Lactobacillus plantarum is a mesophilic and optionally heteroenzymatic member of the genus Lactobacillus, capable of producing both lactic acid isomers (D and L). It is a very flexible and versatile species. It has one of the largest genomes known among lactic acid bacteria, which made it possible to detect L.plantarum in human saliva (from which it was first isolated) and in many fermented dairy products, plants.

The high level of potency of this organism makes it an ideal candidate for the development of probiotics. L. plantarum is capable of producing antimicrobial substances that help it survive as well as other positive bacteria in the human gastrointestinal tract. The antimicrobial substances it produces have shown a significant effect on gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.Lactobacillus plantarum’s ability to absorb and maintain important nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants makes it vital for fighting infections of various etiologies and maintaining normal healthy digestion. L. plantarum also helps provide effective treatment for colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and reduce the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

L. plantarum is highly resistant to most antibiotics. But its presence in the gut can prevent yeast overproduction, a common problem associated with antibiotic use.

It has been established that some strains are proteolytic and have the ability to liquefy gelatin.

Benefits:

– Aids digestion and significantly increases the natural resistance to infectious diseases of the intestinal tract.

– Survives and remains active while passing through the gastrointestinal tract.

– Reduces abdominal pain syndrome, flatulence and bloating.

– Has a significant positive effect in the treatment of colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease.

– Relieves constipation by normalizing stool frequency and volume.

– Reduces serum cholesterol and the incidence of coronary heart disease.

– Reduces allergic reactions of the body.

– Improves the condition with atopic dermatitis, cheilitis, psoriasis, eczema, Crohn’s disease.

– Stimulates the immune system.

Lactobacillus reuteri

Lactobacillus reuteri belongs to necessarily heterofermentative lactobacilli.L. reuteri is found naturally in the normal gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals and can be found as part of the normal microflora of the vagina and breast milk. It was first mistakenly grouped as a member of Lactobacillus fermentum, then L. reuteri was identified as a separate species. This species is currently one of the most common representatives of intestinal bacteria. In addition to its “versatility”, L. reuteri is characterized by specificity to the host, which is associated with its importance in promoting the health of the host organism.

L. reuteri contributes to the overall health of both children (including premature babies) and adults. It is one of the well-known early childhood probiotics and is generally well tolerated when taken in appropriate dosages. Oral consumption of Lactobacillus reuteri has been shown to effectively colonize the intestines of healthy individuals. With regard to the prevention of intestinal infections, comparative studies have shown that L. reuteri is more active than other probiotic organisms.L. reuteri is able to ferment glycerin, which results in the production of a broad-spectrum antibiotic (reuterin), which has a strong inhibitory effect on pathogenic microorganisms (gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, yeast and fungi).

Benefits:

– Reduces the incidence of respiratory and intestinal infections.

– Prevention and treatment of diarrhea, especially rotavirus diarrhea in children.

– Significantly reduces colic symptoms in infants and children under 3 years of age.

– Prevention and treatment of female genitourinary tract infections – yeast infections, urinary tract infections and Gardnerella vaginalis infections.

– Suppression of peptic ulcers associated with Helicobacter pylori.

– Relieves atopic dermatitis, cheilitis, psoriasis, eczema.

– Supports dental health.

– Stimulates the immune system.

Lactobacillus fermentum

Lactobacillus fermentum belongs to the obligatory heterofermentative lactobacilli.It is a normal resident of the human intestinal tract, vaginal tract, and oral cavity. Various strains of L. fermentum have been identified as potential probiotics that colonize the intestine after oral administration and produce surfactant components that inhibit the adhesion of uropathogenic bacteria. They can reduce the risk of gastrointestinal infections and help neutralize some of the toxic foods produced during digestion.

Some strains of L.fermentum are naturally resistant to certain antibiotics and chemotherapeutic agents.

Benefits:

– Promotes a healthy balance of bacteria in the intestines.

– Reduces the risk of foodborne infections.

– Highly resistant to passage through the intestines.

– Reduces serum cholesterol levels.

– Natural antioxidant and protects the body from free radical damage.

– Stimulates the immune system.

Lactobacillus brevis

Lactobacillus brevis is an obligatory heterofermentative lactic acid bacterium. Mainly associated with the fermentation of plants and dairy products. How normal microbiota is found in the intestines and vagina. Major metabolites of L. brevis include lactic acid and ethanol.

L. brevis is considered suitable for use as probiotics that actively promote intestinal health in humans. Clinical studies confirm that L.brevis has an anti-inflammatory effect on the human digestive system and also has an anti-cancer effect. Scientists believe that the first acquaintance of a person with this microorganism comes from the mother during the passage of her birth canal (during natural childbirth). This transmission also occurs during breastfeeding. Therefore, it is additionally recommended for children born with caesarean section and who are bottle-fed.

Some strains are resistant to certain antibiotics, especially erythromycin and clindamycin.This antibiotic resistance can be helpful in maintaining healthy gut flora while taking prescribed antibiotics.

Benefits:

– Suppresses certain human pathogens and promotes a healthy balance of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.

– Highly resistant to passage through the stomach into the intestines.

– Prevention and treatment of female genitourinary tract infections – yeast infections and urinary tract infections.

– Stimulates the immune system.

90,000 What you need to know about probiotics before you buy? An excerpt from the book “Healthy Gut”

It has long been believed that bacteria in our intestines are needed simply to better digest food. But in recent years, scientists have increasingly said that the role of microbes is much more important: presumably they affect the immune system, heart, even the psyche. Justin and Erica Sonnenburg of Stanford University School of Medicine, authors of Healthy Gut: How to Control Weight, Mood, and Well-Being, are trying to clarify the relationship between the human body and its thousands of species.True, in this area, so far, almost nothing is clear, and therefore the book must be read with caution, even taking into account all the reservations of the Sonnenburgs. But what needs to be read even more carefully – the labels of foods with probiotics, beneficial or potentially beneficial microorganisms, which are discussed in the next passage.

Cover of the book “Healthy Intestines”

© Publishing House “Mann, Ivanov and Ferber”

Probiotics: How to Qualify?

A huge industry supplies more and more probiotic supplements and fermented foods.Manufacturing companies hope to convince us that probiotic microbes are very beneficial to health.

There are a number of Internet resources selling probiotic supplements that they claim “to improve gut health.” Incomprehensible terms – “synbiotic”, “functional food”, “nutraceutical” – can inspire hope, scare, confuse, or all at once. Many sites claim that we should take these supplements daily and in large quantities. If you are healthy, these foods will prevent disease.If you have gut problems, here is the solution. The names of the supplements attract attention: “Ideal Flora Super Important Supplement”, “Basic Protection”, “Healthy Trinity”. Such products shout: “If you want to be healthy, you need me!”

Colonies of lactobacilli

© REUTERS / Edgar Su

There is disagreement within the medical community as to who truly benefits from probiotics. However, in recent years, the benefits of their use have been repeatedly proven clinically. Mary Sanders, PhD and Independent Probiotic Consultant, is Executive Director of the International Probiotic and Prebiotic Science Association.She agrees that there are good reasons to use probiotics for conditions such as necrotizing enterocolitis in premature infants, antibiotic-associated diarrhea, acute illnesses with diarrhea, and even the common cold.

Unfortunately, there is not enough evidence yet. Therefore, many doctors admit that probiotics will not harm and may help. This is a smart approach, given the excellent safety profile of probiotics and a lot of promising preliminary studies.

On this topic

Dr. Purna Kashyap, Gastroenterologist and Associate Director of the Microflora Research Program at the Personalized Medicine Center at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, spent two years in our laboratory at Stanford studying how microflora affects gastrointestinal health. His practice focuses on functional digestive disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome. With probiotics, his approach is rather passive: “If the patient asks, I will not dissuade from using it, but I will not suggest it as a first-line treatment.”

Many doctors are wary of probiotics. They argue that clinical trials must end with meaningful results that are unambiguous and reproducible. The general evidence for “feel better” is not enough to recommend probiotics. By the way, the skeptic Purna Kashyap regularly drinks buttermilk. This cultured milk drink reminds the doctor of the yogurt his mother made for him in India.

What’s in your name?

Many consumers have positive associations with the word probiotic.Therefore, companies use it to promote a product on the market, even if it is not justified. According to the ISAPP (International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics) Probiotic Consumer Guidelines, “Using the word probiotic doesn’t mean it’s actually a probiotic. Some products labeled probiotic do not contain proven strains or are not can guarantee the required content of live probiotics until the expiration date “*. Thus, there are many reasons why consumers should be skeptical about foods labeled “probiotic”.

Various types of bacteria are sold as probiotics. Before we get into the details, it’s worth discussing how a bacterium gets its name, which, by the way, can contain information about its properties. Consumers also need to understand that the names companies give to bacteria can be used as marketing tools.

© Sergey Malgavko / TASS

In the scientific community, two words are used to denote bacteria, which indicate a genus and a species. Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are two of the most common probiotics on the market.Imagine that the genus is the name of the bacterium (the name begins with it). All bacteria belonging to a particular genus are closely related. An indication of a species (that is, a special representative of the genus) is similar to a name (this is the second word in the name of a bacterium). Bifidobacterium longum and Bifidobacterium animalis are two different types of bacteria from the same genus. They are more similar to each other than Bifidobacterium longum is similar to Lactobacillus acidophilus. In addition, different strains of bacteria can belong to the same genus and species.There are differences between the strains, but they are small. Compared to humans, we are all Homo sapiens, but each of us has individual characteristics. A bacterial strain is usually marked with a set of letters and numbers that are placed after the genus and species name, for example Bifidobacterium animalis DN ‑ 173–010. Certain strains of bacteria can be patented and given trade names, which are often coined in such a way as to evoke associations with healthy digestion. For example, on jars of yogurt “Activia” the name of the probiotic bacterium Dannon is striking: Bifidus regularis is the trade name given to their Bifidobacterium animalis strain.

On this topic

If you think there is a set of rules that prevent companies from misleading consumers, you are only partly right. The term probiotics is used for a large and varied group of foods that contain live bacteria, and the FDA has established general guidelines for the control of these products based on their intended use. A significant proportion of probiotic products are marketed without claiming to be able to treat specific diseases, so they do not fall under the category of medicines, do not need to be tested and comply with drug approval regulations *.Thus, probiotics may bypass the scrutiny of the FDA, whose main concern is the safety of these products rather than their effectiveness. The FDA only prohibits manufacturers and sellers from suggesting in any way a curative effect of probiotics.

Very few probiotics found in foods or sold as supplements have been rigorously screened (although manufacturers and retailers may disagree). Some probiotics have indeed been isolated based on their specific properties, but most strains have been randomly selected from those found in fermented foods.

Let’s look at the three main groups of probiotic products: fermented foods such as yogurt; Foods to which live bacteria have been added that do not trigger fermentation reactions, such as a cereal bar containing probiotics; bacteria in the form of additives. In all these cases, the bacteria have either been in use for a long time or have the status of “safe” – a notation in the form of the abbreviation GRAS. In order to obtain GRAS status, a panel of qualified experts must recognize that the product is safe for consumption, but due to budgetary issues, the FDA has effectively made GRAS registration of probiotics a voluntary program.

Production of yoghurt “Activia” at the Danone plant

© Maxim Shemetov / TASS

Let’s say I’m planning to start my own probiotic supplement company called Immunity Boosters. My first probiotic supplement will contain the bacterium Lactobacillus casei, a common species found in yogurt, so I know it is safe and will not get the attention of the FDA. I have my own patented strain that I will market under the trade name Lactobacillus ProHealthy.I will need to notify the FDA of their ingredients and safety information before displaying Immunity Enhancers Lactobacillus ProHealthy bottles in pharmacies nationwide. 90 days after notification is sent, Lactobacillus ProHealthy can be supplied to consumers – without any FDA approval. With the companies selling those supplements responsible for the safety of supplements, it’s no surprise that the shelves are filled with suspicious items.In many cases, the type and number of live bacteria in the probiotic supplement bottle does not match the label, not to mention such a serious problem as the inability of the product to help the consumer. So a bottle of Lactobacillus ProHealthy may actually contain other types of bacteria not listed on the label, or even no Lactobacillus ProHealthy at all.

TEST

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Companies can profit from the sale of probiotics. There is no need to prove product efficacy, so there is no incentive for manufacturers to research new probiotics.So the available probiotics are basically a few of the traditional varieties that we have obtained from fermented foods for centuries. There are likely to be many species of bacteria from different habitats that would be good candidates for probiotics (including those from the human digestive tract), but the lack of a history of safe consumption is preventing new products from being launched. If I decide Immune Boosters to release a new probiotic supplement containing a newly discovered bacterium that is showing promising health benefits in research, even if I don’t put a specific health claim on the label, I still have to prove that this new bacterium is safe to consume.This means doing voluminous and expensive research in animals and humans, or the risk of legal action from consumers or the FDA. Many companies have come to the conclusion that this gamble is not worth it.

Game of claims

The American probiotic industry has historically balanced on the fine line of health claims that just fall short of claims that would have required a set of lengthy and costly clinical trials prescribed by the FDA.Dr. Sanders points out that in the United States, probiotic manufacturers can make “structural function claims” that tie a product to the normal “structural function” of the human body, without the need for FDA approval. While these claims must be true and not misleading, the evidence requirements are fairly lenient. In the United States, the organization that determines whether a product has sufficient justification for any advertising claim that is made is the Federal Trade Commission.Danon is known to have overstepped the line in 2010 when it announced that consuming Activia “helps you get your digestive system up and running in two weeks, as proven by clinical studies.” The FTC ruled that Danon went too far in its claim and was suing for misleading advertising. Since then, Danon has stopped using the term “clinical research” and the Activia commercials no longer mention the ability to alleviate digestive disorders.

On this topic

Companies selling probiotics are using special tactics to convince us of the health benefits of these products. Regrettably, the low authority of studies on the effects of probiotics on the intestinal microflora and the health of the wearer should be mentioned. Many of the experiments were flawed, much of them sponsored by highly motivated probiotic and yogurt manufacturers. However, as we understand microflora better, the role of probiotic bacteria in maintaining our health is becoming an area of ​​more serious scientific research.Mary Sanders is optimistic about the future clinical use of probiotics: “There is strong evidence of some beneficial clinical effects of probiotics recognized by individual organizations in clinical trials.” We believe that with some clean experimentation, it will be possible to determine how probiotic bacteria can be used for health benefits. ”

Scientists have named foods that relieve stress and improve sleep

https: // ria.ru / 20200304 / 1568144916.html

Scientists have named foods that relieve stress and improve sleep

Scientists have named foods that relieve stress and improve sleep – RIA Novosti, 03/04/2020

Scientists have named foods that relieve stress and improve sleep

A new study by American scientists has shown that prebiotics, biologically active compounds that promote digestion, also help cope with … RIA Novosti, 03/04/2020

2020-03-04T14: 20

2020-03-04T14: 20

2020-03-04T14: 20

Science

Nutrition

Diet

USA

Discoveries – RIA Science

Health

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MOSCOW, March 4 – RIA Novosti. A new study by American scientists has shown that prebiotics, biologically active compounds that promote digestion, also help cope with stress and improve sleep. Published in Scientific Reports, most people are familiar with probiotics, the beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut.But there are also prebiotics – fibrous food components that are not digested or absorbed by the human body, but serve as food for our microbiome – those beneficial bacteria that live in the intestines, primarily bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. These bacteria aid in digestion and boost immunity. Particularly rich in prebiotic fibers are leeks, artichokes, whole grains, and cabbage. Scientists at the University of Colorado at Boulder wanted to find out how the effects of prebiotic fibers on gut bacteria affect the nervous system of the body.They conducted an experiment on rats. Some animals were fed standard food, while others were fed the same food, but with the addition of prebiotics. In parallel, the rats were stressed and monitored a number of physiological parameters before and after stress, as well as monitored sleep parameters. “This type of fiber is designed not only to pass through the digestive system and increase stool volume,” the press release says the words of the first by Robert Thompson, Research Fellow in the Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado.“It’s feeding the bacteria that live in our gut, creating symbiotic relationships that have a powerful effect on our brains and behavior.” Rats were given high doses of four specific prebiotics, including: galactooligosaccharides, which are found in lentils and cabbage; polydextrose ( PDX), a dietary supplement often used as a sweetener; lactoferrin, found in breast milk; and globular milk fat protein, which is abundant in dairy products. Results showed that those rats that ate the prebiotic diet had longer sleep-free periods during sleep. Rapid eye movement (NREM) conditions, and after stress, conversely, they have lengthened periods of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is believed to be critical for recovery from stress.Rats that ate standard foods without prebiotics did less well to recover from stress – they experienced poorly balanced fluctuations in body temperature and a decrease in the healthy diversity of their gut microbiome. “Our results show new signals from gut microbes that can modulate the physiology of stress and sleep,” notes Study Director, Stress Physiology Laboratory Director, Professor Monika Fleshner Using mass spectrometry, the researchers monitored the volume and composition of metabolites – bioactive molecules produced by bacteria when food breaks down – in fecal samples from rats.It turned out that the composition of metabolites was significantly different in rats from different groups. Rats on a prebiotic diet had more fatty acids, sugars and steroids among the metabolites than those on a standard diet, which can influence behavior through signaling pathways from the gut to the brain. the unexpected side of the action of prebiotics and will help, according to the authors, the development of new strategies for dealing with stress and poor sleep.

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food, diet, usa, discoveries – RIA Science, Health

MOSCOW, 4 Mar – RIA Novosti. A new study by American scientists has shown that prebiotics, biologically active compounds that promote digestion, also help cope with stress and improve sleep. The research results are published in Scientific Reports.

Most people are familiar with probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut. But there are also prebiotics – fibrous food components that are not digested or absorbed by the human body, but serve as food for our microbiome – those beneficial bacteria that live in the intestines, primarily bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.These bacteria aid in digestion and boost immunity. Leeks, artichokes, whole grains, and cabbage are especially rich in prebiotic fibers.

Scientists from the University of Colorado at Boulder decided to find out how the effect of prebiotic fibers on intestinal bacteria affects the nervous system of the body. They conducted an experiment on rats. Some animals were fed standard food, while others were fed the same food, but with the addition of prebiotics. At the same time, the rats were subjected to stress and a number of physiological parameters were monitored before and after stress, as well as sleep parameters were monitored.

“This type of fiber is not only designed to move through the digestive system and increase stool volume,” first author Robert Thompson, a research associate in the Department of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado, said in a press release. feeding the bacteria that live in our gut, creating a symbiotic relationship that has a powerful effect on our brains and behavior. ”

December 7, 2019, 10:41

Scientists have found out which diet will help you lose weight

Rats were given high doses of four specific prebiotics, including: galactooligosaccharides, which are present in lentils and cabbage; polydextrose (PDX), a food additive often used as a sweetener; lactoferrin found in breast milk; and globular protein of milk fat, which are rich in dairy products.

The results showed that those rats that ate the prebiotic diet had longer periods of non-REM sleep during sleep (the so-called NREM state), and after stress, on the contrary, they had longer periods of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. which is believed to be critical for stress recovery.

Rats that ate standard food without prebiotics did not recover well from stress – they experienced poorly balanced fluctuations in body temperature and a decrease in the healthy diversity of their gut microbiome.

“Our results show new signals from gut microbes that can modulate the physiology of stress and sleep,” said Study Director, Stress Physiology Lab Director, Professor Monika Fleshner.

Using mass spectrometry, the researchers monitored the volume and composition of metabolites – bioactive molecules produced by bacteria when food decomposes – in fecal samples from rats.

It turned out that the composition of metabolites was significantly different in rats from different groups.Rats on a prebiotic diet, compared to those on a standard diet, had more fatty acids, sugars and steroids among the metabolites, which can influence behavior through signaling pathways from the gut to the brain.

The results of the new study reveal a new and unexpected side of the action of prebiotics and will help, according to the authors, the development of new strategies for dealing with stress and poor sleep.

19 February 2020, 17:49

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Dysbacteriosis in newborns and infants | Bifiform ru

Normally, the intestinal microflora consists of an average of 1 million microbes per 1 ml of contents.Normal microflora consists of 15-20 representatives of anaerobic (bacteria that cannot live in the presence of oxygen) and aerobic (capable of existing in the presence of oxygen) bacteria of the main genera: bacteroids, bifidobacteria, lactobacilli and others. Bifidobacteria belong to the dominant microflora (Ig10-11) 1.2

Healthy microflora participates in the digestive processes of the body, enhances the activity of digestive enzymes, acts on the motility of the gastrointestinal tract, promotes the production of vitamins, hormones, amino acids and improves immunity.

Microflora also performs detoxification and anti-allergenic functions. The protective functions of the intestines are reduced to creating a barrier for the growth of pathogenic bacteria and the destruction of allergens. Normal microflora also has antioxidant, antimutagenic and anticancer functions 1.2

Formation of microflora

The formation and functioning of the immune system occurs in 2 stages. The first is the formation of clones of T and B lymphocytes based on genetic material that was presented during early embryogenesis (early stages of pregnancy).

The second stage – begins after the birth of a person and the colonization of mucous membranes by microbes, including the gastrointestinal tract. The intestine is not only a part of the digestive system, but also an immune organ, up to 80% of immune cells are located in the intestine. Thus, the formation of its own intestinal immunity in an infant occurs from the period of early microbial colonization and begins immediately after the birth of the child. Therefore, the moment of birth is one of the key stages in the formation of a healthy gastrointestinal tract3.

Bifidobacteria play an especially important role in the formation of a normal microflora in a child. The number of bifidobacteria in the intestines of a breastfed baby increases rapidly in the first weeks of his life. During the first year of life, the species composition of the intestinal microflora changes, which is associated with different periods in the child’s life: the period of breastfeeding before the introduction of complementary foods, after the introduction of complementary foods, after the appearance of solid food in the diet, after the termination of breastfeeding.Pregnancy of the mother, microflora of the birth canal, the course of childbirth, premature birth, the presence and duration of breastfeeding, early introduction of complementary foods, frequent colds determine the formation of this process.

Normal microflora of a child

Microflora protects the intestinal mucosa from the introduction of pathogenic microorganisms, supports and activates the immune system, participates in the metabolism of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, performs antiallergic function, participates in the synthesis of amino acids, vitamins, hormones, affects the digestive functions of the gastrointestinal tract 1.

The probiotic complex Bifiform Baby can be given even to newborns from the first days of life. Its main purpose is the formation of a balanced intestinal microflora, including for various problems associated with feeding. A special complex of bacteria can help prevent various intestinal disorders, including colic 4.

The normal intestinal microflora consists of many types of microorganisms. Some of the most significant and studied to date:

Bifidobacteria

Representatives of the genus Bifidobacterium are the most important component of the normal microbiota of the human gastrointestinal tract.Most of the bifidobacteria are found in the large intestine, accounting for more than 90% of all microorganisms in children 5 They begin to dominate the intestinal microflora of infants by the end of the first week of life. Amino acids and proteins, vitamin K, pantothenic acid, B vitamins are synthesized: B1 – thiamine, B2 – riboflavin, B3 – nicotinic acid, folic acid, B6 – pyridoxine. Enhance the absorption of calcium, iron, vitamin D ions through the intestinal wall 6.

Lactobacillus

Reduce the activity of peroxidase, having an antioxidant effect, have antitumor activity, stimulate the production of immunoglobulin A (IgA), inhibit the growth of pathogenic microflora and stimulate the growth of lacto- and bifidoflora, have an antiviral effect 6

Microflora disorders

Dysbacteriosis is a violation of the qualitative and quantitative composition of the intestinal microflora.This means that there may be much more pathogenic microorganisms than useful ones. Sometimes the body itself can cope with temporary changes in the intestinal microflora, but in certain situations, probiotics containing beneficial microorganisms are used to treat dysbiosis 2.

Dysbacteriosis in infants can manifest itself in the form of changes in the frequency, composition and color of stools, disturbances in the digestion of food, increased gas production, restless behavior of the child, crying, increased irritability, poor appetite and sleep, deterioration of the skin and even allergic reactions 3.

Causes of dysbiosis in newborns and infants

Children whose mothers had various complications during pregnancy and childbirth, as well as artificially fed, premature babies are at risk of microflora imbalance. Colds, taking certain medications (antibiotic treatment) can lead to imbalances in the intestinal microflora. The external manifestations of this condition can be sleep disturbances, tearfulness, impaired appetite, allergic rashes, colic and constant gurgling in the abdomen after feeding 1.3.

Delivery of tests

If your child has symptoms of discomfort, be sure to consult a doctor. To diagnose dysbiosis, the doctor may recommend taking a stool test for dysbiosis.

How to properly collect feces for analysis for dysbiosis:

Feces are collected in a sterile jar, pre-boiled with a lid for 20 minutes. Dishes for analysis, based on the results of which the treatment of dysbiosis in infants will be carried out, should be stored in the refrigerator for no more than a day.The analysis collected in a sterile container is delivered to the laboratory within 2 hours (no later than). Results are prepared in 7-10 days.

For information on where to buy Bifiform Baby, visit the Where to Buy section.

dietary supplement. NOT A DRUG
  1. Donskikh E.E. Microflora – Dysbacteriosis in children http://lekmed.ru/info/literatyra/disbakterioz-y-detei.html
  2. Kornienko E.A., Mazankova L.N., Gorelov A.V. The use of probiotics in pediatrics: analysis of therapeutic and prophylactic action from the standpoint of evidence-based medicine. Attending physician 2015.
  3. I.A. Belyaeva. Probiotic Supplements for Infant Colic Correction: Prospects for Use.
  4. Belyaeva I.A., Mitish M.D., Katosova L.K. The effectiveness of using probiotics in premature babies. RMJ 2009.
  5. Rybalchenko O.V., Bondarenko V.M. Evaluation of microbiota and probiotic strains from the standpoint of new scientific technologies.Pharmateca No. 11, 2016
  6. Belmer S.V., Malkoch A.V. Intestinal microflora and the importance of prebiotics for its functioning. Attending physician 2006, 4

PP-BIB-RUS-0082

Pass the analysis of feces for intestinal dysbiosis

Method of determination
Bacteriological, bacterioscopic

Study material
Feces

Home visit available

Synonyms : Intestinal dysbiosis; Analysis of feces for dysbiosis.

Intestinal dysbiosis; Intestinal disbios; Intestinal dysbacteriosis.

Brief description of the study “Intestinal dysbiosis”

In the medical offices of Moscow and the Moscow Region, biomaterials are taken for test No. 456 7 days a week with time limits for taking. Check with the administrators of medical offices for information of interest.

Dysbacteriosis (in the English-language literature they use the term Intestinal bacterial overgrowth, less often – disbios) acute or chronic disturbance of the normal intestinal microflora.

The contents of the jejunum of healthy people can contain up to 105 bacteria in 1 ml of intestinal contents. The main ones are lactic acid sticks, staphylococci and streptococci, other gram-positive aerobic bacteria and fungi. In the distal ileum, the number of microbes increases to 108, primarily due to enterococci, Escherichia coli, bacteroids and anaerobic bacteria. The colon is dominated by anaerobes (bacteroids, clostridia, lactobacilli). This symbiosis of bacteria in a healthy person (and in mammals!) Performs many useful functions: it counteracts foreign pathogenic microbes and viruses, aids digestion, and synthesizes B vitamins.

The ratio of the number of different microorganisms is fairly constant. But due to the weakening of the immune system, irrational antibiotic therapy, radiation and chemotherapy, and congenital enzyme defects, the balance is disturbed. Some representatives of normal microflora (bifidobacteria, lactic acid and Escherichia coli) may disappear and fungi of the genus Candida, Staphylococcus, Proteus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa appear. A clinical syndrome occurs, characterized by diarrhea, steatorrhea, weight loss, and anemia.With a sharp weakening of the defenses, immunity, a generalized form of endogenous infection can develop up to sepsis.

For what purpose is a study on intestinal dysbiosis carried out

The study of intestinal microflora is used to determine the nature of the violation of the intestinal biocenosis.

Detected microorganisms and pathogens in the study “Intestinal dysbiosis”

Excreted microorganisms and pathogens:

  • beneficial intestinal bacteria – lactobacilli, bifidobacteria, Escherichia coli with typical properties, as well as with reduced enzymatic and hemolytic signs;
  • opportunistic bacteria – enterobacteriaceae, non-fermenting bacteria, staphylococci, enterococci, anaerobic bacteria (clostridia, without identification to a species), fungi;
  • pathogenic – salmonella, shigella.

90,000 🧬 Nothing more. Analysis of feces for dysbiosis: guessing on coffee grounds

Aleksey Golovenko, Candidate of Medical Sciences, gastroenterologist at GMS Clinic, in his article for the New Therapeutic Journal, spoke about the intestinal microflora.

We perfectly understand: the intestinal microflora affects almost all processes in our body. For example, an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine has been linked to the development of rosacea and several other skin conditions.Moreover, if you take stool from an obese animal and inject it into the intestines of a healthy individual, it will also develop obesity. Well, and diarrhea from antibiotics or from certain foods, such as milk, is obviously associated with dysbiosis.

Of course, we all want to know exactly how the composition of intestinal bacteria was disrupted when digestive problems appear? It would be nice if it was as easy as doing “inoculation for dysbiosis.”

But there is a problem: three quarters of intestinal bacteria do not multiply in the nutrient medium.We can only detect them by their unique DNA sequence. Such tests – metagenomic studies – are not cheap at all and are still used only for scientific purposes.

What do we often do? Taking a random portion of stool, we place it in a nutrient medium and wait to see if colonies of some types of bacteria will grow in the Petri dish. It seems to us that the worse the lactobacilli and bifidobacteria reproduce, the stronger the dysbiosis. But this is self-hypnosis. The facts suggest otherwise:

  1. When testing a stool for 15-20 bacteria from a standard dysbiosis test sheet, we ignore the rest of the bacteria.And they are no less important than lacto- and bifidobacteria. In the intestines of any person, there are about 1000 (thousands!) Species of bacteria. Is it possible to judge the intestinal “jungle” only by 20 types of bacteria?
  2. The normal content of bacteria was determined in general, it is not known how: the analysis has been used since the 1980s, but it is not described anywhere in the literature: why the researchers decided that Enterococci in the content of 105 CFU / g is the norm, and 108 is already dysbiosis.
  3. In the international classification of diseases, the term “dysbiosis” is not mentioned.And the analysis for dysbiosis is not used anywhere except in Russia. Strange, isn’t it?
  4. Even if this analysis did accurately describe changes in the intestinal microflora, the research procedure itself is far from perfect. The type of bacteria that will multiply in the nutrient medium is influenced by many factors: whether a jar with a chair was carried in a thermos or a coat pocket, how quickly the material was taken to work, where the material was in the laboratory itself – in the refrigerator, by the radiator, by the window.

Well, and most importantly: suppose we can really make sure that our patient has disappeared somewhere, say, bifidobacteria. Can we put them in the gut? Unlikely.

Existing probiotics, as studies show, do not so much colonize the intestines as temporarily change the composition of the microflora already living in it. For example, there are studies in which a killed (boiled) probiotic was as effective as “live” beneficial bacteria.

The fact is that even the best probiotics still contain less than 10 billion bacteria per dose. At the same time, a huge number of them will not reach the intestines – few will avoid the action of stomach acid.