The Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for human, especially your digestive system.
Note: In general, bacteria are accused of being pathogenic, but in reality, less than 1% of bacteria causes disease in humans
- They synthesize a variety of vitamins and amino acids
- They transform your bile into an even more potent health-giving chemical called TUDCA
- Microbiota produce enzymes and break down your food to help provide you with energy
- They produce critical chemical constituents and short chain fatty acids
- They provide antimicrobial protection from dangerous microbes
- They support your immune system and can help prevent allergies
- These microbes produce hormones and neurotransmitters affecting your mood and memory
- They even impact your sleep
- central appetite regulation
How Do Probiotics Work?
Researchers are trying to figure out exactly how probiotics work. Some of the ways they may keep you healthy:
- When you lose “good” bacteria in your body, for example after you take antibiotics, probiotics can help replace them.
- They can help balance your “good” and “bad” bacteria to keep your body working the way it should.
However, benefits have not been conclusively demonstrated, and not all probiotics have the same effects.
The History of Probiotics
The concept behind probiotics was introduced in the early 20th century, when Nobel laureate Elie Metchnikoff, known as the “father of probiotics,” proposed that consuming beneficial microorganisms could improve people’s health. Researchers continued to investigate this idea, and the term “probiotics”—meaning “for life”—eventually came into use.
The best case for probiotic therapy has been in the treatment of diarrhea. Controlled trials have shown that Lactobacillus GG can shorten the course of infectious diarrhea in infants and children (but not adults). Although studies are limited and data are inconsistent, two large reviews, taken together, suggest that probiotics reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 60%, when compared with a placebo.
More common than diarrhea is the opposite problem — constipation. In a search for studies on the benefits of probiotics in treating constipation, researchers found that probiotics slowed “gut transit time” by 12.4 hours, increases the number of weekly bowel movements by 1.3, and helped to soften stools, making them easier to pass.
Research has been promising for these friendly critters. Potential benefits of probiotics have been seen in the treatment or prevention of
- irritable bowel syndrome
- ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s disease
- pylori (the cause of ulcers)
- vaginal infections. From the four studies conducted in this area, all four demonstrate improvements in vaginal lactobacilli after probiotic capsules or suppositories were used.
- vulvovaginal candidiasis in women
- urinary tract infections
- recurrence of bladder cancer
- infection of the digestive tract caused by Clostridium difficile
- pouchitis (a possible side effect of surgery that removes the colon)
- eczema in children.
- preterm labor
- gestational diabetes
- allergic and asthma diseases
- pneumonia in patients hooked up to respirators
- speed up the treatment for certain intestinal infections
- Inflammatory bowel disease(IBD)
- Infectious diarrhea (caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites)
- Diarrhea caused by antibiotics
- Oral health
- prevent stomach ulcers from forming
- prevent or treat vaginal yeast infections
- Lactose intolerance
- Preventing and treating yeast infections
- Decreasing inflammation, such as from rheumatoid arthritis
- prevent or treat colds or flu, by increasing immune system. While the exact mechanism for this is not clear, probiotics might influence immune responses by stimulating production and improving activity of cells that fight respiratory infections. But only three studies have shown these benefits in healthy adults.
- it can increase the concentration of “good” bacteria. So, if an imbalance of digestive system bacteria does occur in healthy adults (due to poor lifestyle, the use of antibiotics, or ageing), probiotic supplementation may help restore the balance.
- it can reduce abdominal discomfort caused by irregular bowel movements and constipation
We also found little evidence that probiotic supplements can reduce cholesterol in healthy adults. And there is little evidence to show that probiotics can improve glucose (blood sugar) and insulin responses in healthy adults. Taking probiotics won’t reduce heart disease risk, or prevent you from developing type 2 diabetes.
What Kinds of Microorganisms Are in Probiotics?
There are many kinds of Probiotic, some of them are:
- Lactobacillus. This may be the most common probiotic. It’s the one you’ll find in yogurt and other fermented foods. Different strains can help with diarrhea and may help people who can’t digest lactose, the sugar in milk.
- Bifidobacterium. You can find it in some dairy products. It may help ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and some other conditions.
- Saccharomyces boulardii is a yeast found in probiotics. It appears to help fight diarrhea and other digestive problems.
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus bulgaricus
- Lactobacillus casei
- Lactobacillus gasseri
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Bifidobacterium bifidum
- Bifidobacterium lactis
- Bifidobacterium longum
- Enterococcus faecium
What Is microbiome, Microbiota, Probiotics?
The Microbiome: refers to the collection of genomes from all the microorganisms in the environment.
The Microbiota : on the other hand, usually refers to specific microorganisms that are found within a specific environment. This means that there are localized differences in the microbiota of each person, depending on where in the body the microbiota is collected from. In each person, their gut microbiota can be radically different to their skin microbiota – care needs to be taken when talking about where microbiota come from.
The Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for human, especially your digestive system.
The Microbes: Microorganisms that cannot be seen with the naked eye, including bacteria (germs), viruses, fungi, yeasts, parasites, and others.
How many bacteria vs human cells are in the body?
Prof Rob Knight, from University of California San Diego, told the BBC: “You’re more microbe than you are human.”
Originally it was thought our cells were outnumbered 10 to one.
“That’s been refined much closer to one-to-one, so the current estimate is you’re about 43% human if you’re counting up all the cells,”. While they do not take into account fungi, viruses, and archaea which all make up the human microbiome and would increase the ratio of microbes to human cells.
The Weizmann scientists redid the estimate and found that there were about 39 trillion bacterial cells in the body, they also estimated the number of human cells in the body 30 trillion human cells in the body.
While this results in about 1.3 bacterial cell per human cell, the numbers may vary significantly from person to person and could change significantly with each defecation. They estimate that the range of bacterial cells goes from about 30 to 50 trillion in each individual. Women may also have a higher ratio of bacterial cells than human cells because they have fewer human cells, specifically red blood cells than men.
The microbes in the body are so small that they make up only about 2 to 3 percent of the total weight of the human body, despite outnumbering the cells.
9 things that can cause harm to your gut bacteria:
Not Eating a Diverse Range of Foods
A diet lacking in a variety of different whole foods can result in a loss of gut flora diversity. This may have a number of negative health effects.
Lack of Prebiotics in the Diet
Prebiotics are a type of fiber commonly found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. They are important for increasing healthy gut bacteria like Bifidobacterium.
Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Generally speaking, alcohol consumption has a harmful effect on gut bacteria. However, the polyphenol content in red wine may have a protective effect on gut bacteria when consumed in moderation.
Antibiotics can affect the diversity and composition of the gut flora, even in cases of short-term use. This can have harmful effects on gut bacteria that may last for as long as two years. , antibiotics (in pills, but also in conventionally-raised meat/eggs/dairy products)
Lack of Regular Physical Activity
Regular physical activity promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, including Bifidobacterium and Akkermansia. These positive effects are not seen in individuals who are inactive.
Smoking has detrimental effects on nearly even organ in the body. Giving up smoking can improve gut health by increasing the diversity of the gut flora, and this can occur after only nine weeks.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
The body has a 24-hour internal clock called the circadian rhythm. Sleep deprivation can disrupt the circadian rhythm, and this appears to have harmful effects on gut bacteria
Too Much Stress
Excess stress has been shown reduce gut flora diversity and alter gut flora profiles by increasing harmful bacteria like Clostridium and reducing beneficial bacteria like Lactobacilli.
, chlorine and fluoride in drinking water
Here are 11 skin conditions that actually begin in the gut
- Acne vulgaris
- Cystic acne
- Seborrhoeic dermatitis
- Dermatitis herpetiformis
- Oral mucosal lesions (mouth sores)
Reviews looking at the treatment or prevention of all of these treatments show some positive results. But the authors note that the studies are almost all of low quality, small in size, and often funded by companies with significant conflicts of interest.
Moreover, research is done on probiotic supplements, it usually involves a specific organism, defined by genus, species and even strain. When used in studies, they are pure and carefully dosed. But when we buy probiotics off the shelf, especially when they are in food products, we often have no idea what we’re getting
While sounds of probiotic supplements’ benefits like great news, let’s not get carried away. Our review also found the changes appear to be short-lived. In other words, you need to keep taking the probiotic supplements for the effects to last. If you stop taking them, your gut bacteria are likely return to their pre-supplementation condition within one to three weeks.
So, if you have a poor diet (you eat too much take-away food and not enough fruit, vegetables and whole-grain products, or you drink alcohol too much and too often) and don’t exercise regularly, your digestive bacteria may benefit from probiotic supplements, though you’ll have to keep taking them to get lasting effects.
But if you are otherwise healthy, probiotic supplements are likely to be a waste of money. Here’s some simple advice: take what you spend on probiotic supplements, and use it to buy and eat more fruit and vegetables.
Evidence supporting the health benefits of probiotics in healthy adults is very limited
None of these warnings have prevented probiotics from becoming more popular. In 2012, almost four million Americans used them. In 2014, the global market for probiotics was more than $32 billion. <<It’s not clear why.>>
What do we know about the safety of probiotics?
In healthy people, probiotics usually have only minor side effects, if any. However, in people with underlying health problems (for example, weakened immune systems), serious complications such as infections have occasionally been reported.
One of the best (and tastiest!) ways to boost your intake of probiotics is through fermented foods!
Fermentation happens when microorganisms (bacteria & yeast which represents probiotics) along with enzymes convert carbohydrates into alcohols or organic acids. For example, lactobacilli are a strain of bacteria that eat lactose (a carbohydrate) and convert it into lactic acid (an organic acid).
Here are Fermented Foods to Boost Your Intake of Probiotics:
The natural fermentation (where the bacteria turn the lactose into lactic acid), causes the milk to thicken and develop a sour taste, which helps prevent spoilage. Yogurt is a great source of protein, calcium, phosphorous, and B vitamins.
Benefits of yogurt
- Reduces the risk for gastrointestinal disease.
- Improves lactose intolerance, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, allergies and respiratory diseases, bone and dental health and pregnancy outcomes
Probiotic levels in yogurt: Varies by yogurt process, a few brands known:
Danactive – 10 billion (1010) CFUs per serving
Activia – 5 to 10 billion CFUs per 4 oz. container
Danimals – 1 billion (109) CFUs
Yo-Plus and Stonyfield – contain well-studied probiotic strains but in undisclosed amounts
Pickles (also known as gherkins) are cucumbers that have been pickled in a solution of salt and water.
Pickled cucumbers are a great source of healthy probiotic bacteria which may improve digestive health.
They are low in calories and a good source of vitamin K, an essential nutrient for blood clotting.
Keep in mind that pickles also tend to be high in sodium.
It is important to note that pickles made with vinegar do not contain live probiotics. ®
Some Types of Cheese
most types of cheese are fermented, it does not mean that all of them contain probiotics.
The good bacteria survive the aging process in some cheeses, including Gouda, mozzarella, cheddar and cottage cheese
Natto is another fermented soybean product, like tempeh and miso.
Kefir is a fermented probiotic milk drink. It is made by adding kefir grains to cow’s or goat’s milk.
Sauerkraut has one of the easiest fermentation processes out of all fermented foods, making it simple to make on your own. All you need is a glass jar, shredded cabbage and salt! Then wait for natural fermentation to begin, which takes approximately one to two weeks.
In addition to eating sauerkraut, you can drink the juice of sauerkraut for probiotics (be sure to save some of the juice as a “starter” for you next batch.
Benefits of sauerkraut:
- Reduces pathogenic bacteria.
- Has anti-cancer, antioxidant compounds and helps with iron absorption and restoration of intestinal flora.
- Rich in minerals, vitamin C, dietary fiber, and phytochemicals.
Every tablespoon of sauerkraut juice contains 1.5 trillion CFU of probiotics. Many probiotic supplements are measured in the billions, with a product containing 50 billion CFU or higher considered “high potency.” Of course, the way the sauerkraut is processed matters.
Olives that are brine-cured are an excellent source of probiotics. Like with salted gherkin pickles, try to select company that advertises about quantity of probiotics.
: fermentation of black tea
: Miso is a Japanese seasoning.
The Problem With Probiotics:
There are potential harms as well as benefits, and a lot of wishful thinking and imprecision in the marketing of products containing them
- The trouble is that the proven benefits involve a very small number of conditions, and probiotics are regulated less tightly than drugs. They don’t need to be proved effective to be marketed, and the quality control can be lax.
- They only contain a handful of microbial strains.Your gut microbiome is made up of over 8,000 strains of bacteria – not to mention all the other important microbes. So, introducing just a few strains with a probiotic may not make much of an impact.
- May lead to infection: In a recent article in JAMA Internal Medicine, Pieter Cohen, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, urges us to consider the harms as well as the benefits. Among immune-compromised individuals, for instance, probiotics can lead to infections with the bacteria found in the supplements themselves
Consumers can’t always count on what they’re getting. From 2016 to 2017, the Food and Drug Administration inspected more than 650 facilities that produce dietary supplements, and determined that more than 50 percent of them had violations. These included issues with the purity, strength and even the identity of the promised product.
Individual studies are similarly disappointing for probiotics. One examining obesity found limited effects. Another showed they don’t prevent cavities in teeth. They don’t help prevent infant colic, either.
How Probiotics Might Be Bad for You:
Because these good bacteria already exist in the body, they’re considered safe for most people. But there are some things to consider:
They can trigger an allergic reaction. They might cause mild stomach problems, especially the first few days you start taking them. You might have stomach upset, gas, diarrhea, or bloating. Those symptoms usually go away after your body gets used to them.
If you have an immune system problem or another serious health condition, you may have a greater chance of issues. Some reports have linked probiotics to serious infections and other side effects. The people most likely to have trouble are those with immune system problems, people who’ve had surgery, and others who are critically ill. Don’t take probiotics if you have any of those issues.
Before we discuss the idea of any probiotic, whether a food or a supplement – can have a benefit to gut microbiome, it must be able to survive the acidity of a stomach, the temperature and the lack of oxygen in the GI tract, and lastly the availability and competition for chemicals and nutrients required for it to exist and colon.
Immediately after swallowing, any bacteria will encounter the enzymes in your saliva before being swallowed and reaching the stomach. Once in the stomach the bacteria is then exposed to a strong acid bath with a pH less than 3 – as well as destructive digestive enzymes, such as pepsin, which break down proteins into smaller amino acids. Most bacteria we consume is not able to survive this.
However, the bacteria that do survive then move to the small intestine where the acidity decreases, but they are exposed to more digestive enzymes such as amylase, lipase and protease as well as bile. Bacteria must be able to survive this process of digestion and recover in order to colonies and grow either in the small intestine or the colon.
According to Bethlehem University, probiotics contained or consumed in milk and other dairy products have a greater chance of survival as the dairy can reduce the effect of the stomach acid, and increase the chances that the probiotic bacteria will reach the small intestines unharmed.
In a similar way the bacteria contained in probiotic supplements will have a greater chance of surviving your stomach acid if the supplement capsule has an enteric coating – a layer that protects the bacteria from the stomach acid. In this way the probiotic bacteria has a greater chance of reaching the intestinal tract unharmed.
In all cases the probiotic bacteria are more likely to survive when consumed in sufficient quantities.
Great ways to help improve your gut flora:
- Eat foods rich in polyphenols: Good sources include blueberries, dark chocolate and green tea. Polyphenols are not digested very efficiently and often make their way to the colon, where they are digested by bacteria.
- Eating a healthy and diverse diet
- getting good sleep
- reducing stress levels
- regular physical activity.
- Don’t Eat Too Many Artificial Sweeteners Artificial sweeteners are widely used as replacements for sugar. However, some studies have shown that they can negatively affect the gut microbiota. Artificial sweeteners may negatively affect blood sugar levels due to their effects on the gut microbiota.
- Eat Prebiotic Foods
- Breastfeed for at Least Six Months
You may be able to get longer-lasting changes by “feeding the healthy bacteria”. Like all living organisms, bacteria need food to survive. Foods that are high in dietary fibre, such as fruit and vegetables, can be used as energy sources (or so called “prebiotics”) for these bacteria.
- Jerusalem Artichoke
The Jerusalem artichoke is also high in thiamine and potassium. These can help your nervous system and promote proper muscle function.
- Garlic Garlic extract may be effective for reducing the risk of heart disease, and has shown antioxidant, anti-cancer and antimicrobial effects. It may also have benefits against asthma.
- Wheat Bran
- Dandelion Greens
- Chicory Root
- Konjac Root
- Burdock Root
- Yacon Root
- Jicama Root
Presented by: Pharmacist. Ruba noueddin