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Natural Marketing Institute’s (NMI) Health and Wellness Trends Survey (2008 HWTD) reported that U.S. Probiotics are live microorganisms that are similar to beneficial microorganisms found in your gastro intestinal tract. A healthy lower intestine should contain at least 80-85% friendly bacteria or probiotics to prevent growth of disease causing micro-organisms like E. Poor eating habits, chlorinated drinking water, stress, use of antibiotics, medical treatments can destroy the gastrointestinal micro flora and allow harmful bacteria to multiply.  Thus, make the body susceptible to yeast and bacterial infection and other disorders including gas, cramping, or diarrhea.
Probiotic supplements contain millions to billions of live bacteria to bolster and replenish levels of health promoting good microbes in your digestive tract. Probiotic products are available in different formulations with Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium infantis, Enterococcus faecium and other beneficial bacteria.
The most numerous probiotic bacteria normally present in the small intestine are species of Lactobacilli.
Probiotics are already present in our normal digestive system and generally recognized as safe (GRAS). Before launching ofActivia probiotics were known by a small percentage of the population and natural product shoppers and healthcare professionals.But this is a good product for general good health.
What are Probiotics?Probiotics are live microorganisms thought to be healthy for the host organism.
With the abundance of antibacterial soaps, wipes, and even anti-microbial fabrics, most people are aware that bacteria can harm us. Probiotics may not improve sport performance directly, but the secondary health benefits of probiotics, which include enhanced recovery from fatigue, improved immune function and the maintenance of a healthy gut, can improve general wellbeing, which then in turn could improve performance on the field of play (1). As with many nutritional concepts, what we see on the shelves and the simplified concepts expressed in the media do not explain the complete story. Probiotics have a counterpart, prebiotics, which are defined as food ingredients that promote the growth or activity of a limited number of bacterial species for the benefit of host health (4). The lactic acid bacteria (LAB), including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the most common probiotics and are mainly found in foods.
Lactobacilli is found naturally in many fermented foods, including yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, yakult, cabbage dimchee, and the soybean products miso and tempeh.
Dairy products such as yoghurt and cheeses are the largest category of foods that contain live cultures; however, most contain starter cultures and then have additional bacteria (lactobacillus and bifidobacterium) added to the product.
The health effects resulting from taking probiotics is considered to be strain specific (see table 1). Prebiotics are food for bacterial species that are considered beneficial for health and wellbeing.
Fructans – a group of naturally occurring complex sugars called oligosaccharides and fructooligosaccharides and which are found in onions, bananas, wheat, artichokes, garlic and other wholefoods. Resistant starches – found in raw potatoes, unripe fruits like bananas, and in cooked and cooled starchy products.
The incidence of probiotic use by athletes is not currently known; however, there has been a steady rise in probiotic intake in the US over the last 10 years. Researchers from South Africa (7) have done a great job explaining the overall hypothesis of overtraining syndrome. This increase in cytokines is linked to behaviours such as depression, loss of appetite and sleep disturbances (see figure 2). Even though there is a lack of evidence surrounding probiotics and athletic performance enhancement, there are studies that show probiotics improve markers of immune function(9), increase natural killer cell activity (a certain type of immune cell)(10) and improve gastrointestinal health(11), all of which could be presented as another potential way to help the overtrained athlete.
They discovered that fatigued athletes had clinical characteristics consistent with the reactivation of EBV infection and had significantly less secretion of interferon (IFN – proteins that help immune function) from immune cells in the blood.
Another study by Finnish scientists evaluated the effect of probiotic supplementation on respiratory infections and gastrointestinal symptoms in marathon runners (11). The probiotic bacteria used in commercial productstoday are largely members of the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. To understand why probiotics are important, we first need to understand how valuable beneficial bacteria are to our health, and how prevalent they are in our bodies. In our gut, good bacteria can displace bad bacteria and influence our overall health, metabolism, digestion, and body composition. Gut bacteria are involved in immunity and help to ensure our immune system doesn’t have an itchy trigger finger (think food sensitivities).
Adequate consumption of probiotics can help to eliminate abdominal pain, gas, bloating, reflux, allergies, nausea, food poisoning and vomiting.
While our intestinal bacteria are pretty tough little critters, their health can be compromised.
And speaking of diet, if you eat animal foods, the gut health of the animal is important too. Probiotics are found in yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and bacterially cultured cheese. As with all products containing living bacteria,probiotic products must be cooled during storage. Probiotics seem to improve overall health, metabolism, immunity, digestion, and body composition. If you are healthy, aim for 1-2 servings of probiotic rich foods each day (use the food source list above).
If you are healthy, aim for 2-3 servings of prebiotic rich foods each day (use the food source list above). Take note: You may actually feel worse before you feel better since bacteria release toxins.
In it you’ll learn the best eating, exercise, and lifestyle strategies — unique and personal — for you.
These bacteria should maintain the balance of the intestinal flora by altering favorably the gut environment in such a manner that the growths of friendly beneficial bacteria are promoted and harmful disease-causing organisms are inhibited. Effect of Lactobacillus ingestion on the gastrointestinal mucosal barrier alterations induced by indomethacin in humans.
Oral lactobacilli in chronic periodontitis and peri -odontal health: species composition and antimicrobial activity.
Enhanced clearance of Candida albicans from the oral cavities of mice following oral administration of Lactobacillus acidophilus. The purpose of this article is to break down what probiotics actually are, how they work, why people use them, and how some recent studies may lead to more research to fill an obvious void.
Although the adult bacterial flora in the colon is generally stable in composition, age, nutritional requirements, immune status, antibiotic use, stress, alcohol use, acidity, transit time and presence of material in the gut can disrupt this delicate balance. I always recommend food first and supplement second; however, getting an adequate amount of live bacteria into the diet can be difficult because the commercial availability of these foods is quite limited. These products are also confusing because the low level of probiotics may be masked by the high levels of starter bacteria. Specifically, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium types seem to have the ability to use prebiotic fibre as food. With the abundance of studies done on probiotics and different aspects of health, there is a noticeable void in the literature when it comes to probiotics and performance. Furthermore, these immune changes seem to leave athletes more susceptible to developing infection while concurrently increasing the incidence of allergies in those who are genetically predisposed (8).
This group recognised that fatigue and impaired performance in athletes has been loosely linked to overtraining, and that reduced concentrations of IgA (a large protein antibody molecule important to the immune system) in the saliva and increased shedding of the Epstein Barr virus (EBV – the virus associated with glandular fever) have been associated with intense training in athletes. They had the athletes take 20,000,000,000 (20 billion) cfus of L acidophilus per day for one month. These athletes were not elite athletes, but were undergoing significant training load associated with their event.
There was no difference in the number of respiratory infections or in GI episodes (a drop in the immune cell count in the gastrointestinal system) between the two groups.
However, when you delve into the research on probiotics, there is little linking it directly to athletic performance leaving a grey area when it comes to recommendations. If you extracted all of the microbes that live in your body, you’d have over a quart of sludge.
Scientists estimate that we have over 50 genera of bacteria that provide over 500 different species!
Probiotics may even alleviate irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and dermatitis. When good bacteria flourish, bad bacteria and other micro-organisms such as yeasts and fungi are pushed out. Traditional methods of meat preservation (such as the curing of salami) also use fermentation of Lactobacilli to preserve the food, although arguably industrially produced cured meats no longer have health benefits. Fermentation intensifies the stimulant properties of the leaves and produces black and oolong varieties. We don’t digest prebiotics, which come mainly from oligosaccharides (complex starches), but probiotics love them.
If you’re hoping to prevent or alleviate a medical problem, you may need to increase the dose. Digestive enzymes are like chemical grinders that chew up substances and break them down for us so we can absorb them.
Traditional food-processing and preparation practices to enhance the bioavailability of micronutrients in plant-based diets. The role of diet- and host-related factors in nutrient bioavailability and thus in nutrient-based dietary requirement estimates.
Probiotic modulation of symbiotic gut microbial-host metabolic interactions in a humanized microbiome mouse model. Probiotic food supplement reduces stress-induced gastrointestinal symptoms in volunteers: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. The utility of probiotics in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review.
Probiotic-induced changes in the intestinal epithelium: implications in gastrointestinal disease. Probiotic safety in pregnancy: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces spp.
For example, fermented foods such as Yoghurt and Kefir are sources of beneficial bacteria, a probiotic, which your body requires for health.
Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and bifidobacteria are the most common types of microbes used as probiotics; but certain yeasts and bacilli may also be helpful. Some of the commonly used probiotic bacteria include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria, and the yeast Saccharomyces boulardii.
The probiotic concept states that consuming the right types of microbes can support the important roles that intestinal microbes play in human health (2).
Beneficial prebiotics are frequently used in combination with probiotics to stimulate their numbers and their overall functionality. The consumption of probiotics can help to restore balance by re-establishing correct acidity and producing different antimicrobial substances.
Also, many fermented foods do not contain live cultures as finished products because modern food processing approaches designed to improve product consistency or shelf life decrease the amount of potentially helpful microbes.
These traditionally live active culture foods may not be as potent a source of probiotics as once thought. In addition to the difficulty in generalising about dosing, maintaining the viability of a probiotic can be challenging. There are a variety of foods that provide fermentable fibre that helps with colon health but prebiotics themselves are specialised ingredients targeted to enhance specific bacteria, their fermentation end products, and possible health effects (2).
Inulin is added to increase the fibre content and sometimes to reduce calorie intake (because it’s indigestible). Instead of looking directly for performance enhancing effects of probiotics we can look instead at what prevents the athlete from training and performing at their best.
This results in tissue trauma with associated chronic inflammation and a release of cytokines (signalling cells associated with a challenged immune system). They wanted to determine whether athletes presenting with fatigue and impaired performance had an immune defect relevant to defective containment of the EBV infection and whether a probiotic (Lactobacillus acidophilus) could enhance immunity and reverse any detected abnormality.
After one month of taking the probiotics, the secretion of IFN from T cells had significantly increased to levels found in healthy control athletes. In this study Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) was given in the form of a milk-based fruit drink containing a total of 40,000,000,000 cfus of LGG.
What is true, however, is that emerging research is showing that probiotics can help the athlete improve their overall health, enhance immune function and even restore a suppressed immune function as a result of overtraining, and it’s in these circumstances that athletes may benefit from probiotic use.
This could be increased to 10 billion if you are hoping to alleviate a specific health concern. For a right dose and selection of probiotics, I would encourage you to discuss with a personal health professional.
Probiotics are commonly consumed as part of fermented foods with specially added active live cultures; such as in yogurt, soy yogurt, or as dietary supplements. Apart from their use as drugs, they are most commonly used in the form of probiotic dairy products and probiotic fortified foods. When probiotics and prebiotics are mixed together they form a synbiotic relationship, meaning that the two are working together to create the best possible results. It is this process that results in the sour taste of foods such as yogurt and in the lowering of pH (increase in acidity) to reduce spoilage.
Therefore, your best bet when it comes to foods and good bacteria are going to be dairy products with the additional bacteria added back (2,6). Probiotics are sensitive in a strain-dependent manner to heat, moisture, acidity and oxygen. Although there was no significant difference, there was a clinical difference and advantage shown with the probiotic supplementation. Fermentation organisms produce alcohol, lactic acid, and acetic acid, preservatives that retain nutrients and prevent spoilage. Today, there is emerging evidence that probiotics offer innumerable benefits to the host by alleviating symptoms of lactose intolerance. Prebiotics can enhance the benefits of probiotics by helping them compete with harmful bacteria and by complementing overall activity because prebiotics work mainly in the large intestine (2).
In general, microbes will survive better at lower temperatures, but there are many properly stabilised non-refrigerated products on the market.
This revolutionary study is the first evidence of a T cell defect in fatigued athletes and the reversal following probiotic therapy.

Today, specific health effects are being investigated and documented including alleviation of chronic intestinal inflammatory diseases, prevention and treatment of pathogen-induced diarrhea, urogenital infections, and atopic diseases. There are also different types of coating technologies available to companies developing probiotics.
In the real world, this shows that for the overtrained athlete, probiotics, specifically the aforementioned dose and strain, may be beneficial in helping both overtrained and healthy athletes. Research has also shown that probiotics help to prevent the recurrence of cancers, especially bladder and colorectal cancers. These technologies help to improve probiotics’ survival in our highly acidic stomachs. Probiotics may be more effective in older people than in younger ones since more mature bellies may have fewer good bacteria. There is also some evidence that genetic factors, that is, how much good and bad bacteria you have in your gut, can affect your reaction to probiotics. However, tablets, capsules, powders and sachets containing the bacteria in freeze dried form are also available.
Probiotics were first seriously studied at the Pasteur Institute in Paris at the turn of the 20 th century by several leading microbiologists, including Henry Tissier and Eli Metchnikoff. Metchnikoff, who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1908, hypothesized that encouraging the colonies of non-harmful gut flora by adjusting the pH of the stomach could reduce many of the health problems associated with aging.
Increases immune response to viral challenge.''Bifidobacterium LAFTIA® B94'' Bifidobacterium spLAFTI B94DSMProtects against Salmonella typhimurium in mice.
Although his idea of using fermented dairy products to manage the pH proved incorrect, the concept of his theory gained attention and further research was conducted. In 1953, the name "probiotics" was officially given to the group of bacteria strains that had been found to positively enhance the functioning of the digestive tract. Probiotics are "Live microorganisms administered in adequate amounts that confer a beneficial health effect on the host" (according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). Utilises prebiotics for improved colonisation Reduces inflammation in an IBDReduces allergic responses in an allergy Reduces the severity of H.pylori infection of the stomachmucosaInhibits pathogenic bacteria (H. Much more scientific knowledge is needed about probiotics, including about their safety and appropriate use.
Effects found from one species or strain of probiotics do not necessarily hold true for others, or even for different preparations of the same species or strain.
They are there because they help keep harmful pathogens at bay, making it difficult for them to do you harm. There is now good evidence that certain strains of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria can influence immune function through a number of different pathways including effects on enterocytes, antigen presenting cells (including both circulating monocytes and local dendritic cells [DCs]), regulatory T cells, and effector T and B cells. Importantly, however, the relationship between the various reported effects and clinical consequences of treatment are unknown. Because there are very few studies in which several allegedly probiotic strains have been compared, it is not known to what extent a finding using a certain bacterial strain is relevant for other strains, even of the same species. A study in 2004 testing the immune system of students given either milk or Actimel over a 6 week exam period (3 weeks of studying, 3 weeks of exams) tested 19 different biomarkers.
To date, there are only a few strains, limited to Lactobacilli, which have been reasonably well documented in clinical studies, mostly against infectious gastroenteritis and lactose intolerance. Of these 19 biomarkers only 2 were shown to be different between the two groups, increased production of lymphocytes and increased production of CD56 cells. Locally in the gut, there is evidence that commensal gut bacteria help reduce local inflammation, [6] and at least 1 probiotic strain has the capacity to maintain the integrity of the intestinal barrier, [7] potentially reducing systemic antigen load.
At least some of the anti-inflammatory effects appear to be mediated through toll-like receptors (TLR), including TLR98 and possibly TLR2 and TLR4 expressed on enterocytes. Intestinal microbiota also promotes enterocyte production of TNF-b and prostaglandin E2, which promote the development of tolerogenic DCs. In animal studies, probiotic supplementation can induce regulatory T-cell populations (bearing TGFb), [13] and human studies also suggest an increase in the in vitro production of regulatory cytokines (IL-10) after probiotic ingestion.
For many of the potential benefits, research is limited and only preliminary results are available. The effects may be limited to certain species, as indicated by a recent study in which Lactobacillus reuteri and Lactobacillus casei, but not Lactobacillus plantarum, primed monocyte-derived DCs to drive the development of regulatory T cells.
Recent research on the molecular biology and genomics of ''Lactobacillus'' has focused on the interaction with the immune system, anti-cancer potential, and potential as a biotherapeutic agent in cases of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, travellers' diarrhoea, pediatric diarrhoea, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
Animal studies have demonstrated that some LAB can protect against colon cancer in rodents, though human data is limited and conflicting. The gastrointestinal tract makes up a critical part of the integrated common mucosal immune system, which includes mucosal surfaces across anatomically remote locations (namely the gastrointestinal tract and respiratory tract). Most human trials have found that the strains tested may exert anti-carcinogenic effects by decreasing the activity of an enzyme called I?-glucuronidase Clinical trials have demonstrated that probiotics may decrease the incidence of respiratory tract infections and dental caries in children. LAB foods and supplements have been shown to be aid in the treatment and prevention of acute diarrhea, and in decreasing the severity and duration of rotavirus infections in children and travelers' diarrhea in adults.Helicobacter pyloriLAB are also thought to aid in the treatment of ''Helicobacter pylori'' infections (which cause peptic ulcers) in adults when used in combination with standard medical treatments. Partial lactose digestion and stimulation of the intestinal mucosal lactase activity has been postulated as a possible mechanism against some types of diarrhea. However more studies are required into this area.Antibiotic-associated diarrheaAntibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) results from an imbalance in the colonic microbiota caused by antibiotic therapy. Microbiota alteration changes carbohydrate metabolism with decreased short-chain fatty acid absorption and an osmotic diarrhea as a result.
Another consequence of antibiotic therapy leading to diarrhea is overgrowth of potentially pathogenic organisms such as ''Clostridium difficile''.Probiotic treatment can reduce the incidence and severity of AAD as indicated in several meta-analyses. However, further documentation of these findings through randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trials are warranted.Efficacy of probiotic AAD prevention is dependent on the probiotic strain(s) used and on the dosage. Gastrointestinal mucosa is the primary interface between the external environment and the immune system.
The nonpathogenic probiotic bacteria interact with the gut epithelial cells and the immune cells to start the immune signals. These bacteria must interact with M cells in the Peyer's patches, with gut epithelial cells, and with associated immune cells. Results have been varied on these studies, and in vivo studies are still required in this area to determine efficacy. Secretory IgA plays an important role in mucosal immunity, contributing to the barrier against pathogenic bacteria and viruses. The increase in the number of IgA-producing cells was the most remarkable property induced by probiotic organisms and also by fermented milk yogurt.
The release of cytokines is induced to up or down regulate the immune responses and maintain intestinal homeostasis. Interactions between probiotic microorganisms and GALT (Gut-associated lymphoid tissue), mechanisms of immunomodulation, and anti-inflammatory properties are not yet fully understood. Those given the good bacteria were ''more'' likely to develop a sensitivity to allergens.Some hospitals have reported treating lactobacillus septicaemia which is a potentially fatal disease caused by the consumption of probiotics by people with lowered immune systems or who are already very ill. Probiotics and general health Probiotics have traditionally been used to treat diseases related to the gastrointestinal tract. Studies suggest that probiotics may be useful in treatment of patients with hypertension, urogenital infections, lactose intolerance, and elevated levels of cholesterol.
Other areas of application include probiotic effects against Helicobacter pylori infections in the stomach, alcoholic liver disease, small bowel bacterial overgrowth, ulcerative colitis, allergy to milk protein, juvenile chronic arthritis, antioxidative effects, asthma, hepatic encephalopathy, and their use as vaccine delivery vehicles. Microorganisms generally considered as probiotics may not have oral cavity as their inherent habitat and, subsequently, their possibility to confer benefit on oral health is then questionable. Studies suggest that lactobacilli as members of resident oral microflora could play an important role in the micro-ecological balance in the oral cavity. The studies further demonstrated that Lactobacilli strains with probiotic properties may indeed be found in the oral cavity. Yet, there is no evidence whether these Lactobacilli strains were detected due to the frequent consumption of dairy products leading to temporary colonization only, or if the oral environment is their permanent habitat.
The many and varied microbial associations within the oral cavity include some that appear critical for maintaining health, according to Socransky DNA probe studies of 40 taxa of oral bacteria obtained from subgingival plaque samples of healthy individuals and others with periodontal disease indicate that several bacterial taxa, including those associated with gingival health, co-occur in the periodontal crevice. This group, designated the "green cluster," includes Capnocytophaga species, Campylobacter concisus, Eubacterium nodatum, and Streptococcus constellates.
In 1954, a beneficial effect of lactic acid bacteria on inflammatory infections of the oral mucosa was reported. Koll-Klais et al.[17] reported that resident Lactobacilli flora inhibits the growth of Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia in 82 and 65%, respectively. These authors registered a 10 to 12-month remission period after periodontal treatment by application of the periodontal dressing that comprised collagen and L. Al-Zahrani [18] have shown an inverse association between the intake of dairy products and prevalence of periodontitis. Yoshihiro Shimazaki [19] concluded that the routine intake of lactic acid foods may have a beneficial effect on periodontal disease. The incidence of yeast infections is higher at older age and under conditions of impaired immunity.
Continuous consumption of probiotics led to almost undetectable numbers of fungi in the oral cavity, maintaining the protective effect for a prolonged period after cessation of application.
However, there is not yet any true evidence on the effect of probiotic therapy on periodontal disease, and the effect of the ingested probiotics needs further investigation. However, consider the case of growing body as evidence about the role of probiotics on caries pathogens, it has been suggested that the operative approach in caries treatment might be challenged by probiotic implementation with subsequent less-invasive intervention in clinical dentistry.
Given that oral microorganisms, especially those on the tongue, are the primary cause of halitosis, current treatments focus on the use of chemical or physical antibacterial regimes to reduce the numbers of these bacteria. However, most of these treatments exhibit only a temporary effect or are associated with undesirable side effects when used over a long period of time.
Kang et al.[23] have shown a definite inhibitory effect on the production of volatile sulfur compounds (VSC) by F. Streptococcus salivarius, also a possible candidate for an oral probiotic, has demonstrated inhibitory effect on VSC by competing for colonization sites with species causing an increase in levels of VSC. However, the few studies published on the role of probiotics in the treatment of halitosis do not entitle any evidence-based conclusions.
Probiotics are often regulated as dietary supplements rather than as pharmaceuticals or biological products. Thus, there is usually no requirement to demonstrate safety, purity, or potency before marketing probiotics.
This can lead to significant inconsistencies between the stated and actual contents of probiotic preparations, as shown in a recent South African study. From the safety point of view, the putative probiotic microorganisms should not be pathogenic, should not have any growth-stimulating effects on bacteria causing diarrhea, and should not have an ability to transfer antibiotic resistance genes.
One theoretical concern with the safety of probiotics is that some have been designed or chosen to have good adherence to the intestinal mucosa, and this is considered important for their mechanism of action. Adherence to the intestinal mucosa may also increase bacterial translocation and virulence. Lactobacillus bacteremia is a rare entity, and data on its clinical significance are mainly found through case reports. Clinical characteristics of Lactobacillus bacteremia are highly variable, ranging from asymptomatic to septic shock-like symptoms. Any viable microorganism is capable of causing bacteremia, however, especially in patients with severe underlying diseases or in immunocompromised state. Nevertheless, the present literature supports the conclusion that the incidence of Lactobacillus bacteremia is unsubstantial and that all the cases where it has been registered are individuals with other systemic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, malignancies, or organ transplant patients. The absence of acquired antibiotic resistances is another safety criterion to be tested in potential probiotic candidates.
Some probiotics are closely related to opportunistic bacteria and this may also cause transferral of antimicrobial resistance genes in between microorganisms. Several results from antibiotic susceptibility tests claim that the test (W) and test (S) genes in some probiotic Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria strains are responsible for gentamycin, sulfamethoxazole, polymyxin B, and tetracycline resistance.
These investigations emphasize the need for a minimal safety evaluation during the selection of strains for probiotic use.
Probiotics are microorganisms that transfers a tiny number of congenital health benefits to the host and have numerous applications in food and medicines.
Application of probiotics in a wide range of food and drink delivery format, and have multiple health extension platform enhancements that are sold. Provide additional benefits beyond the promise of taste and convenience more and more new products.Balanced intestinal flora are primarily composed of good bacteria that work relentlessly to ensure that our body is protected against microbes and other infectious germs, maintaining a healthy digestive system. Probiotics have been shown to be helpful in treating lactose intolerance, lowering cholesterol, preventing colon cancer, improving immune system function, lowering blood pressure, and improving nutrient absorption.
Individuals who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome and chronic colitis have also noted that probiotic supplements decrease the severity and discomfort of their symptoms.
This system provides the body's protection by means of nonspecific (innate immunity) and specific (acquired immunity) defense mechanisms. Skin, mucous membranes, mucous, and hair are among the body's nonspecific defenses which constitute physical barriers used to reject foreign bodies. The inflammatory reaction is another of the body's nonspecific responses, and is characterized, among other things, by a surge of blood toward the infected region and by the recognition and destruction of the foreign body by phagocytic cells (example macrophages).
This response involves the action of antibodies produced by B lymphocytes (humoral immunity) and T lymphocytes that coordinate the immune response and directly attack the infected cells (cellular immunity). However, stimulation of these intestinal immune responses by commensal bacteria (specific to man) or probiotics does not readily provoke a significant inflammatory response, as it can be observed in the presence of an infectious agent. Because of its direct contact with external invaders capable of inducing infections, the intestine must be able to adequately defend the body.
A person's normal bacterial flora also plays a part in the immune responses through the epithelial cells of the intestine that make up the mucous membrane.
Nutrients like mineral salts (iron, calcium, etc.), vitamins, fatty acids, and fiber are essential to meet the fundamental needs of an individual. During digestion, the cells produce enzymes which break up food into increasingly smaller particles (nutrients) until they can be absorbed by the body. Without these enzymes, the body would not have access to these nutrients and would suffer from severe deficiencies.
They also produce enzymes which break down food in such a way that it can be absorbed and have an effect on the entire body. As a result, they provide the body with a large quantity of good bacteria and facilitate, among other things, the digestion of food and the assimilation of nutrients while improving digestive system health. Lactose intolerance is a physiological state in human beings where they lack the ability to produce an enzyme named lactase or B-galactosidase.

This lactase is essential to assimilate the disaccharide in milk and needs to be split into glucose and galactose. Individuals lacking lactase will not be able to digest milk and it often poses a problem in newborn infants. People with lactose intolerance problem express abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, cramps, flatulence, nausea, vomiting, etc. The resident bacteria in the colon ferment undigested lactose, producing acid and gas, causing symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea. Yogurt contains less lactose than milk and delays gastric emptying, which partly explains why lactose-intolerant individuals tolerate yogurt. However, yogurt tolerance is mainly due to the supply of lactase activity from the lactic acid bacteria present in the yogurt itself. Hence, a person consuming non-milk diet will naturally develop Ca deficiency, leading to osteoporosis.
Birge [34] confirmed that lactose deficiency leads to calcium malabsorption and thereby to osteoporosis. Calcium malabsorption may be due to deletion of diets with milk to avoid the complications of lactose intolerance.
So, if probiotics are fed to lactose-intolerant patients, then milk lactose is hydrolyzed by probiotic strains and lactose is assimilated and calcium absorption is also favored. When a person is lactose intolerant, it means that the cells of the body are unable to produce the enzyme called lactase essential for the metabolism of lactose (found in dairy products). Nowadays, the presence of pathogens in water, food, and public buildings can become a threat to our health.
Moreover, taking medications like antibiotics and anti-acids can destroy intestinal flora, cause diarrhea, and increase the risk of infection. The good bacteria that comprise the intestinal flora are the first line of defense against intruders. They temporarily adhere to the intestinal wall and reinforce the physical barrier against pathogens. The production of organic acids, hydrogen peroxide, and bacteriocins by lactic bacteria, particularly L. The organic acids regulate the intestinal pH to maintain it at a level that reduces the growth of infectious agents. Research has shown that certain probiotics may restore normal bowel function and may help reduce diarrhea that is a side effect of antibiotics, certain types of infectious diarrhea, inflammation of the ileal pouch (pouchitis) that may occur in people who have had surgery to remove the colon.
Well-designed clinical trials (double-blind controlled randomized trials) have been conducted. The results are not actually totally convincing and some questions issued from these trials concerned the doses, the strains, and the number of daily administration. However, in the sub-group of patients with postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome, probiotics seem to be more effective. These friendly bacteria create an environment that is hostile to pathogens by maintaining low pH in the flora and by producing bacteriocins. However, probiotic bacteria could be involved in bile acid deconjugation which limits the reabsorption of cholesterol (Cholesterol is a major component of bile). According to certain research, probiotics can have a protective role in the development of certain cancers, notably colon cancer, by inhibiting the body from producing mutagens and carcinogenic agents.
Chronic inflammation of the stomachHelicobacter pylori is a bacteria responsible for chronic inflammation of the stomach. Even if the probiotics cannot eradicate this agent, they have demonstrated their ability to reduce the density of this agent in the stomach. His studies are of interest because they are based on a large population of premature babies weighing less than 1 or 1.5 kg.
The supplementation with Bifidobacterium breve since the first day of life showed a significant reduction of infections and mortality. Yamashiro underlines the following two major points regarding his own experience: the importance of the breast-feeding of these babies (they will benefit from gut colonization from their mother's flora) and a very early administration of the probiotic from the first day of life. This is due to the fact that the vagina is like the intestinal tract, a finely balanced ecosystem. The dominant Lactobacilli strains normally make it too acidic for harmful microorganisms to survive.
But the system can be thrown out of balance by a number of factors, including antibiotics, spermicides, and birth control pills.
Probiotic treatment that restores the balance of microflora may be helpful for such common female urogenital problems as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infection. Both oral and vaginal administration of Lactobacilli may help in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis, although there is not enough evidence yet to recommend it over conventional approaches. Food allergies and skin This practice is so well known that even many MDs are recommending probiotics during and after antibiotics. One area of investigative research concerns building the immune system's resistance to allergies that affect the skin.
An obvious example of a skin's allergic reaction is eczema, which tends to occur more often with infants and toddlers. A recent Dutch study gathered over 150 pregnant women with allergic disease histories in their families.
During the last six weeks of pregnancy, they were given either three strains of probiotics or an inactive placebo pill. After those pregnant women gave birth, most of their children were still monitored by the Dutch researchers.
After three months, the rate of eczema occurring among the probiotic subjects was less than half of those given placebos.
As they approached that age, the eczema occurrence gap between the two groups with eczema narrowed somewhat. The study results provided evidence that probiotics can have an effect on offspring from allergy-prone mothers. Another recent study involved probiotics administered to mice, with a focus on food allergies.
All the mice had whey intolerances, and they were fed probiotics and prebiotics while drinking milk. With the addition of probiotics, their intolerance to whey showed considerable improvement with almost no skin reactions. Extending this study to children may prove probiotics as a natural remedy for their food allergies. Prevent post-pregnancy obesity Women who are concerned about excess weight gain post-pregnancy may want to consider taking probiotics. A new study found that women who took probiotics during pregnancy had a reduced risk of obesity after delivery than those who did not take the beneficial bacteria. Probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria shown in many research studies to be helpful in regulating the digestive system, have also demonstrated usefulness in preventing colds and flu and in aiding weight loss after gastric bypass surgery. Autism (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is a disease characterized by a wide group of neurodevelopment disorders, with the most common being impaired social interaction.
However, autism consists of several physical symptoms in addition to the psychological and neurological symptoms. This helps explain where probiotics come into play since probiotics are beneficial in the stomach and intestinal lining of the stomach.
Although it has not been medically determined that bacterium Clostridium is indeed the cause of autism symptoms, it appeared that patients that were given probiotics showed improvement. Probiotics are group of live microorganisms including strains of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus as well as several types of yeast, which when ingested improves the balance of the gastrointestinal tract. Many parents of autistic children are finding that their children have fewer digestive problems when given a daily dose of probiotics. If probiotics can indeed help autistic children with digestive problems, this may help with other symptoms including positive psychological effects. Other recent studies on autistic children included the role that probiotics play on behavior and mood. A group of autistic children was brought together and half of them received probiotics while the other half received "fake" probiotics (the parents were not told which one their child was getting). The result of this test was that the parents whose children were getting the real thing saw remarkable behavioral improvements in their children. They possessed better attention span, better focus, and exhibited a better mood in general. Many feel it does not matter as long as they are showing improvement when using probiotics. First, the world is full of microorganisms (including bacteria), and so are people's bodies-in and on the skin, in the gut, and in other orifices.
Friendly bacteria are vital to proper development of the immune system, to protection against microorganisms that could cause disease, and to the digestion and absorption of food and nutrients.
This bacterial "balancing act" can be thrown off in two major ways: by antibiotics, when they kill friendly bacteria in the gut along with unfriendly bacteria. Some people use probiotics to try to offset side effects from antibiotics like gas, cramping, or diarrhea. Similarly, some use them to ease symptoms of lactose intolerance-a condition in which the gut lacks the enzyme needed to digest significant amounts of the major sugar in milk, and which also causes gastrointestinal symptoms.
Species are listed as reported by manufacturer, which may not reflect the most current taxonomy. Note that to legitimately be called a "probiotic," strains must have undergone controlled evaluation for efficacy.
The purpose of this table is to give the reader a sense of what is commercially available, not provide recommendations for probiotic strain use. Efficacy and safety dossiers should be reviewed to determine adequacy of substantiation by those interested in using these strains. However, a 2008 study showed that individuals who suffered from acute pancreatitis had increased rates of death when taking a regimen of probiotics.
Food and Drug Administration do not regulate dietary supplements in the same way it regulates medication. A dietary supplement can be sold with limited or no research on how well it works or on its safety. Always tell your doctor if you are using a dietary supplement or if you are thinking about combining a dietary supplement with your conventional medical treatment.
It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on a dietary supplement. A side effect or interaction with another medicine or supplement may make other health conditions worseDietary supplements may not be standardized in their manufacturing. This means that how well they work or any side effects they cause may differ among brands or even within different lots of the same brand. The form you buy in health food or grocery stores may not be the same as the form used in researchThe long-term effects of most dietary supplements, other than vitamins and minerals, are not known. Many dietary supplements are not used long-termThe best part of probiotic therapy is that it is generally considered safe due to the fact that they are already in the digestive system. This also means that probiotics are typically free of side effects, except for people who have an impaired immune function. This is why it is important that if you are going to "self medicate" to address any of the above conditions with probiotics, you talk with your doctor or healthcare provider so that he or she is aware of what you are doing. Lactobacilli solution is an example of a probiotic, usually given to pediatric patients in India.
The latest and recent addition to the list of probiotics in India is ViBact (which is made up of genetically modified Bacillus mesentericus), which acts as an alternate to B-complex capsules. In India, only sporulating Lactobacilli are produced and they are sold with some of the antibiotic preparations. Probiotics are well-defined bacterial types administered to the host in sufficient numbers at the end of product shelf life, to confer defined and proven physiological benefits.
They are not commensal organisms found in the human gut [56] Probiotics are not genera or species, such as L.
These are simply bacterial types, not probiotics until proven to confer a specific benefit. Furthermore, a review of PubMed and dairy literature fails to show convincing evidence that any strain of L. One trial shows alleviation of small bowel bacterial overgrowth, but this needs to be repeated.
Until these strains have been shown to fulfill the guidelines and confer health benefits on a host, they should be termed potential probiotic strains or simply bacterial strains [59] Genetically engineered bacteria can be probiotic, if properly documented.
Studies have shown that a vaccine produced using constructs combining epitopes from mutans streptococcal glucosyltransferases and glucan-binding protein B has great potential to interfere with the development of caries. The creation of a Lactococcus lactis LL-Thy12 strain expressing human interleukin-10 (IL-10) is a development of potential clinical significance (Braat et al., 2006). These strains secrete three microbicides, PRO 542, a recombinant CD4-immunoglobulin G2, macrophage inflammatory protein 1b (MIP-1b), the normal ligand for CCR5, and T-1249, the "next generation" T-20-like peptide fusion inhibitor that retains activity against T-20-resistant HIV-1. None of the three approaches to anti-HIV recombinants included a suicide gene system, and thus containment is not assured. This raises the question of whether or not all genetically modified bacteria created for human use should have a containment system [61] In order to attain more widespread credibility among the scientific and clinical communities, products must contain speciated strains, sufficiently viable at end of shelf life, and with appropriate label claims.
Differences in growth parameters and stress responses are observed among probiotic strains of the same species. Studies are needed to assess the contributions that different delivery vehicles make to the efficacy of products.
For example, dairy foods in which probiotic strains grow will contain metabolic end-products, and it could be these substances, or prebiotic compounds in the milk, that induce biological effects. Likewise, for prebiotics, the necessary quantity and type of substance needed to confer health benefits must be defined in each case. But before bringing probiotics into routine usage, proper evaluation of these products is essential.
Thus, future well-designed placebo-controlled studies with validated results are required for ascertaining the true health benefits of these products. The important point is careful selection of the probiotic agent, its dose standardization, and a thorough knowledge of its beneficial effects over and above the toxic effects, so that this traditional therapy proves to be an effective tool for medical therapy.

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