Nutrition for Body and Soul

Health Benefits of Probiotics

on August 15, 2014

Beyond Digestion
& Immunity

Health Benefits of

Probiotic cultures, once known only
for their role in making fermented
foods, have perked the interest of
scientists. New studies are uncovering
the many benefits of probiotics that
go well beyond their traditional role in
digestive health. They have been found
to promote a strong immune system,
weight management, oral health, and
even brain health and skin health.
There has been a huge increase in
consumer awareness and demand for
foods and supplements that promise
probiotics, with increasing scientific
evidence supporting their health impact.
The recognition of the importance of
colonizing microbes by the scientific
community is reflected in the top priorities
of the US National Institutes of Health
(NIH)-funded medical research. A 7-year
project scheduled to be completed in
2015, called the Human Micro-biome
Project , aims to develop tools and
datasets for the research community
studying the role of these microbes in
human health and disease.1
The importance to consumers is
demonstrated by the fact that probiotics
have become one of the fastest growing
supplement segments with double-digit
growth globally, and 14% growth
for probiotic products in the US reported
by SPINS for 2012. Global market for
Probiotics is expected to exceed US
$31 Billion by 2015.2
In this issue of News You Can Use,
we have highlighted some of the new
scientific applications of Probiotics in
order to help you choose the one that
is right for you.

prebiotics and cobiotics

Prebiotics are non-digestible food
ingredients that stimulate the growth and/
or activity of beneficial bacteria. These are
long-chain polysaccharides such as inulin
and fructooligosaccharides found in raw
foods such as bananas, agave, asparagus,
Jerusalem artichokes, and onions.
You can think of them as
‘fertilizer’ that helps the
probiotic ‘seeds’ to grow.

Cobiotics, unlike prebiotics,
are food nutrients that are utilized by us as
well as our probiotic flora and encourage
the growth of good bacteria. Emerging
research is pointing towards polyphenols,
such as those found in berries to provide
gastrointestinal and glucose modulation
benefits due to their cobiotic effect.

What Are Probiotics?
The word probiotic literally
means “for life.” Probiotics
are beneficial bacteria that
can help promote digestive
system balance, improve
regularity, strengthen immunity,
and even help synthesize certain
vitamins in the body.
The World Health Organization (WHO)
defines probiotics as, “cultures of live
microorganisms that when ingested
in adequate amounts, confer health
benefits on the host.” While the thought
of having live microbes in the body may
be disconcerting to some, the fact is
the human body contains trillions of
microorganisms—outnumbering human
cells by 10 to 1, making up about 2-6
pounds of our body weight.3
Awareness about beneficial bacteria
and their positive impact on health
is relatively new, but continuing to
gain understanding and acceptance
among the general public.
The gastrointestinal tract is home to a
diverse and complex bacterial ecosystem
called the intestinal microflora, which
can contain both “good” and “bad”
bacteria. Most are harmless, but when the
intestinal microflora is out of balance,
it can affect overall health. Probiotics
are “good” bacteria that in addition to
providing health benefits keep the
“bad” bacteria in check—thereby helping
restore the natural, healthy intestinal
microflora balance.

What Can Probiotics
Do For Us?
Normalize Intestinal
• Aid in digestion: help restore normal
intestinal functions and even support the
production of some digestive enzymes.
• Improve lactose intolerance4,5,6: by
secreting lactase, an enzyme that helps
digest lactose found in dairy products.
This helps those that get indigestion
resulting from insufficient lactase.
• Inhibit the growth of disease causing
bacteria: produce lactic acid, thereby
increasing the acidity of the intestines
and inhibiting growth of pathogenic
bacteria such as Clostridium, Salmonella,
Shigella and E. coli.
• Aid the absorption of minerals:
especially calcium due to increased
intestinal acidity.
• Prevent diarrhea associated with
antibiotic use7,8.
• Prevent traveler’s diarrhea: Improve
gut barrier function by fortifying the
epithelial layer thereby preventing
access for harmful bacteria.

Regulate Immune
In more recent years probiotics have
gained attention for their properties
of boosting the body’s resistance,
preventing infection and suppressing
• Immune development9,10 : by
strengthening innate immunity. There
is evidence that suggests that probiotic
consumption enables people to stay
healthy by reducing the incidence
of common infections and diseases
thereby reducing absence from work
or daycare. A recent double-blind
placebo controlled study with 425
people published in the European
Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed
hay fever sufferers may benefit from
daily probiotic supplements.11
• Natural infection prevention12:
Probiotics have been associated with
the production of a wide range of
antibiotic substances (acidophilin,
bacteriocin, etc.), which help control
the level of pathogenic bacteria and
fungi such as Candida. Research has
shown that probiotics may boost
immune health in children, and prevent
many viral and bacterial infections.13
• Alleviating food allergy symptoms in
infants. Studies have also suggested
that probiotics reduce the incidence
of atopic dermatitis when given to
babies born to families at risk for
allergic disorders.

Help in
Weight Loss
Recent study published in the British
Journal of Nutrition showed that certain
probiotics could help women lose weight
and keep it off by helping reset the balance
of the intestinal microbiota in favor of
bacteria that promote a healthy weight.14
Aid in
Research has shown that healthy
populations of beneficial micro flora
also play a crucial role in detoxification
of harmful chemicals in the colon. They
decrease the production of a variety
of toxic or carcinogenic metabolites.
For instance, Lactobacillus acidophilus
can suppress the formation of cancer causing
amines and cancer-promoting
enzymes in the intestines.

foods rich in
Sour cream
Acidophilus milk
Bulgaricus milk

Promote Long-term
Colon Health
In addition to reducing the levels of toxic/
mutagenic compounds, Lactobacilli and
bifidobacteria also actively support
healthy colon cells.15 Recent research
cited in the Journal of Experimental
Medicine revealed that the makeup of
gut microbes might be a risk factor for
colorectal cancer and intestinal tumors
in addition to genetics.16

Most people do not associate gut health
with heart health, but according to the
results of a recent review consumption
of certain probiotics may help lower
LDL cholesterol and other risk factors
for CHD. The study examined 26 clinical
studies and two meta-analyses. It also
lowered total cholesterol and improved
inflammatory biomarkers.17

Oral Health
A review of scientific studies published
in the European Journal of Dentistry,
focusing on probiotics lactobacilli and
bifidobacteria reported an association
of consumption of products containing
these cultures with periodontal disease,
dental caries, oral candida as well as
halitosis (bad breath).18

Why a Supplement?
Due to our diet and lifestyle there are
many challenges to healthy intestinal
microflora balance that increase
the need for supplementation with
probiotics. These challenges include
diet and alcohol consumption, use
of prescribed antibiotics, and age.
A typical modern diet includes
processed foods and is deficient in
the natural fiber crucial for the growth
of good bacteria. Additionally, alcohol
consumption and exposure to toxic
substances reduces the number of
good bacteria, allowing the balance to
shift in favor of bad bacteria. And while
prescribed antibiotics play a critical role
in combating infection, they can destroy/
eliminate both good and bad bacteria.
While foods such as dairy products
contain probiotics, they may not contain
the necessary live probiotics. Moreover,
the strains that they contain may not
be able to survive the acidic conditions
in the stomach. The use of probiotic
supplements can ensure that you are
getting an adequate number of the
right type of active probiotic cultures.

The Right Probiotic
What to look for…
Many products are available today
that claim to be effective probiotic
supplements. While these products
may contain different bacterial genera,
species, or even strains of the same
species, not all microbes sold as
probiotics have been tested for health
effects in human studies. Therefore,
not all products should be expected
to work the same. Additionally, the
presence of live cultures is crucial
for efficacy. A study published in the
British Medical Journal19 showed that
many of the probiotic supplements
sold on store shelves contained little
to no active bacteria. Here are a few
things to look for when choosing the
right probiotic supplement:
• Presence of live cultures: In order
for probiotics to confer their health
benefits, they must be live and active at
consumption and stay active until they
reach the intestines.
• Whole food derived: Lactic acid bacteria
found in dairy products have been used
for thousands of years to produce yogurt,
cheese, and fermented milk. Beneficial
bacteria isolated from cultured dairy
foods have been shown to support a
healthful balance of microorganisms
in the gastrointestinal tract.
• Broad spectrum of clinically tested
bacterial strains: Each strain of
beneficial bacteria is unique. Each
produces special enzymes, detoxifies
different substances, and colonizes
distinct territories in the intestine.
For this reason, a broad spectrum of
organisms with clinically proven benefits
is recommended. Recent research
shows that a combination of different
probiotic strains—as opposed to single
strains—reduces the ability of potentially
pathogenic bacteria—bad bacteria—to
colonize the gut.20
• Concentrated: Concentrated supplements
of active probiotics are valuable since they
provide many more beneficial bacteria
than traditional food sources—such as
yogurt and acidophilus milk—and are
more convenient to consume daily.
• Potent, with guaranteed delivery: In
order to provide full benefit, a supplement
must be potent—with an adequate
number of live microorganisms—and
provide these good bacteria with protection
against the stomach acid which can
inactivate them. This protection ensures
delivery into the intestine where the
probiotics deliver their benefits.

Acidophilus Plus
Acidophilus Plus supports optimal
digestive and colon health by combining
potency with technology to guarantee
that live microorganisms survive the
stomach acid and reach the intestine
to deliver viable organisms.*
• Each capsule is filled with five billion
‘live’ microorganisms—as many as
in 10 servings of yogurt—all in one
daily serving!
• You receive beneficial bacteria isolated
from cultured dairy foods, so you
get the benefits without the extra
calories from these foods.
• Acidophilus Plus provides an exclusive
blend of five types of clinically
proven lactic acid-producing
bacteria: Lactobacillus acidophilus,
Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus
casei, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and
Streptococcus thermophilus.
• Exclusive Gel-Gard enteric protection
system guarantees delivery by protecting
against harsh stomach acid and ensuring
that maximum numbers of live bacteria
are delivered in the intestine. (for wholesale auto-ship)

Article from…Lifestyle Magazine, Issue 3-2014/News You Can Use/GNLD

Hickson M, D’Souza AL, Muthu N, Rogers TR, Want S,
Rajkumar C, Bulpitt C.J. Use of probiotic lactobacillus
preparation to prevent diarrhea associated with antibiotics:
randomized double blind placebo controlled trial. BMJ. 2007
Jul 14;335(7610):80.
9. Gill HS, Rutherfurd KJ, Cross ML, Gopal PK. Enhancement
of immunity in the elderly by dietary supplementation with the
probiotic Bifidobacterium lactis Am J Clin Nutr. 2001;74:833-
10. Salminen SJ, Gueimonde M, Isolauri E. Probiotics that modify
disease risk. Journal of Nutrition. 2005;135(5):1294–1298.
11. Costa D J, Marteau P, Amouyal M, et al. Efficacy and safety
of probiotic Lactobacillus paracasei LP-33 in allergic rhinitis.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 2014.
12. Alvarez-Olmos MI, Oberhelman RA. Probiotic agents and
infectious diseases: a modern perspective on a traditional
therapy. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2001;32(11):1567–1576.
13. J.-S.Lin, Y.-H. Chiu, N.-T. Lin, C.-H. Chu, K.-C. Huang, K.-W.
Liao, K.-C. Peng. Different effects of probiotic species/
strains on infections in preschool children: A double-blind,
randomized, controlled study. Vaccine 11 February 2009,
volume 27, issue 7, pages 1073-1079.
14. Sanchez M, Darimont C, Drapeau V, et al. Effect of
Lactobacillus rhamnosus supplementation on weight loss and
maintenance in obese men and women. British Journal of
Nutrition, 2013.
15. Saikali J. Fermented milks, probiotic cultures, and colon
cancer. Nutr and Cancer. 2004;49:14-24.
16. Bongers, G., et al. Interplay of host microbiota, genetic
perturbations, and inflammation promotes local development
of intestinal neoplasms in mice. Journal of Experimental
Medicine, March 2014.
17. Nutrition Reviews, Jan 2014. Effect of probiotics on biomarkers
of cardiovascular disease: implications for heart-healthy diets.
19. JMT Hamilton-Miller, Saroj Shah & Craig T Smith, Probiotic
remedies are not what they seem. BMJ. 1996 312:55-56.
20. M.C. Collado, J. Meriluoto, S. Selaminen. In vitro analysis of
probiotic strain combinations to inhibit pathogen adhesion
to human intestinal mucus, June 2007; Food Research
International; volume 40, Issue 5, Pages 629-636.
2. NBJ Monograph, Probiotics Forecast 2013-2014: An in-depth
look at the latest news, innovations and market trends.
4. Saltzman JR, Russell RM, Golner B, Barakat S, Dallal GE,
Goldin BR. A randomized trial of Lactobacillus acidophilus
BG2FO4 to treat lactose intolerance. Am J Clin Nutr.
5. Pelletier X, Laure-Boussuge S, Donazzolo Y. Hydrogen
excretion upon ingestion of dairy products in lactoseintolerant
male subjects: importance of the live flora. Eur J Clin
Nutr 2001;55:509-512.
6. de Vrese M, Stegelmann A, Richter B, Fenselau S, Laue C,
Schrezenmeir J. Probiotics—Compensation for Lactase
Insufficiency Am J Clin Nutr. 2001:421S-429S.
7. Bradsoliel M, Fortier n, Guenette S, L’ecuyer A, Savoie M,
franco M, Lachaine J, Weiss K. Effects of fermented milk
containing Lactobacillus acidophilus CI1285 and Lactobacillus
casei in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea: a
randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial. Can J
Gasroenterol. 2007 Nov; 21 (11):732-6.


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