PROBIOTICS – healing properties, types and sources (part 1/2)

Probiotics, i.e. the so-called good bacteria, have therapeutic properties confirmed by numerous tests – they support, among others, treatment of diarrhea, allergy, atopy, inflammatory diseases of the intestines and liver, strengthen the body’s immunity Probiotics occur naturally in some foods and are available as supplements In order for a bacterial strain to be considered probiotic, it must meet a number of requirements.


What are probiotics – definition

The probiotic name is derived from the Greek” pro bios “- for life According to the FAO / WHO definition of 2002, probiotics are live microorganisms that, when administered in the right amounts, have beneficial health effects, most commonly used as probiotics are lactic acid bacteria from the Lactobacillus species and Bifidobacterium, but proheptogenic properties are also exhibited by some species of Escherichia and Bacillus bacteria and yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae ssp boulardi. Probiotic activity refers to a specific strain of the microorganism, not to the genus or species, it is not enough that the microorganism belongs to the lactic bacteria to show probiotic properties The name of the probiotic consists of three generic name elements (eg Lactobacillus), a generic name (e.g., rhamnosus) and a literal-digital strain (eg GG).


Any microorganism recognized as a probiotic must have a documented pro-health effect: microbial strains must meet many requirements and can be considered a probiotic if:

have the ability to adhere (attach) to intestinal epithelial cells,

they easily colonize the digestive tract,

they do not produce toxic products of metabolism harmful to the human body,

they are resistant to low pH of gastric juice,

remain alive in the presence of bile,

act antagonistically against pathogenic bacteria of the gastrointestinal tract,

they were isolated from the human body,

demonstrate the stability and the ability to produce large-scale biomass,

demonstrate clinically documented beneficial effects on human health (studies on randomized subjects – a double-blind method with placebo),

they have established taxonomic affiliation (genus, species, strain) by modern genetic methods.


The use of probiotics in the prevention and treatment of diseases

Probiotic microorganisms have a very wide range of activities, some of which are supported by well-documented scientific research, others are only under investigation, and the results are promising. The beneficial health effects of probiotics include:

supporting the immune system,

prevention of urinary tract infections,

support of digestion,

treatment of diarrhea,

treatment of inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract,

eradication of Helicobacter pylori,

prevention of AD in children,

treatment of kidney stones,

coll treatment,

prevention of gingivitis,

combating bacteria resistant to antibiotics,

treatment of liver diseases,

fight against colon cancer,

lowering cholesterol,

alleviating lactose intolerance,

fight against overweight,

treatment of autism.


Probiotics and treatment of diarrhea

Different probiotic strains reduce the duration of acute diarrhea by about 1 day Probiotics are more effective in the case of viral diarrhea than bacterial and parasitic .The best effects are observed at high doses, or 1011 CFU (colony forming units), and the most effective in diarrhea in children are strains of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii lyo and Enterococcus faecium LAB SF68. In adultant and children’s diarrheal diarrhea, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii and Lactobacillus casei DN-114001 have the best effect, which is also effective in Clostridium difficile infection. they are helpful in shortening the diarrhea after irradiation in the treatment of cancer.


Probiotics and eradication of Helicobacter pylori infections

The effectiveness of probiotics in the control of Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract and responsible for peptic ulcer disease has been demonstrated in in vitro and in vivo animal studies, while randomized studies in humans are not conclusive, suggesting that it is necessary to combine probiotics with antibiotics. Eradication of Helicobacter pylori is quite an invasive therapy, and the inclusion of probiotics statistically significantly increases tolerance of treatment, improving the intestinal ecosystem and general health of patients.


Probiotics and treatment of allergy and atopy

Research suggests that probiotic supplementation is important in allergy, and much more promising results are achieved in the prevention of allergy development than in its treatment.” Probiotic prenatal and postpartum delivery has been proven (by the mother when the woman is breastfeeding the baby When it is artificially fed, it prevents the development of atopic dermatitis in children at high risk.In over 90% of children up to 12 months with allergy to milk proteins administered probiotics in combination with an elimination diet, a reduction in allergic eczema has been observed, whereas the diet itself the elimination level has improved over 50% of children.


Probiotics and intestinal diseases

The use of probiotics in ulcerative colitis seems promising. The administration of Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG or Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 at high doses prevents the disease from returning with similar efficacy to the drug, and also speeds remission. There are no conclusive results to confirm the effectiveness of probiotics in Crohn’s disease, whereas probiotics may be effective in irritable bowel syndrome Many strains reduce pain and bloating in patients with IBS, but more accurate testing is needed.

Recent analyzes show that fructooligosaccharides (SYN1) and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. Lactis Bb12 reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, as evidenced by a change in markers indicating the development of this disease in cancer patients as well as after polypectomy. Probiotics in the prevention of cancer are not clear, however, after consumption of synbiotics (probiotics in combination with prebiotics), a smaller degree of DNA damage was observed, as well as a smaller degree of intestinal cell proliferation.


Probiotics and obesity

Studies are conducted on mice that show that the composition of the intestinal microflora may be responsible for overweight and obesity. The promising treatment of obesity may be Lactobacillus rhamnosus PL60


Most commonly used probiotic strains and their healing properties

Probiotic Strain. Medicinal properties of probiotics documented by clinical studies

Lactobacillus acidophilus LC1 Stimulation of the immune response, adjuvance action in oral vaccines, adherence to the human intestinal epithelium, determination of the intestinal microflora balance

Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFO 1748 Prevention of diarrhea and other undesirable effects after radiotherapy and after treatment with antibiotics, treatment of constipation, reduction of enzymes in stool

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG Treatment and prevention of diarrhea after rotavirus infections, treatment of recurrent diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile, prevention of acute bacterial diarrhea, alleviation of Crohn’s disease and childhood rheumatoid arthritis, antagonist of bacteria associated with dental caries, prevention of recurrent vaginosis

Lactobacillus casei Shirota Inhibitory effect on the development of surface bladder and colorectal cancer, protection against intestinal disorders, treatment of rotavirus diarrhea, maintaining balance of intestinal microflora, positive effects in the treatment of bladder cancer, reduction of enzyme activity, protection against food mutagens

Lactobacillus Johnson La1 (NCC533) Stimulation of the immune system, adhesion to human intestinal cells, positive effects in the treatment of gastrointestinal catarrh

Lactobacillus casei DN 114 001 Stimulation of the immune system, prevention and treatment of intestinal infections, reduction of frequency and reduction of the duration of acute diarrhea in children

Bifidobacterium bifidum Treatment of rotavirus diarrhea, restoration of intestinal flora balance, antiulcer properties, elimination of Helicobacter pylori

Bifidobacterium breve Yakult Antiulcer properties, protection against food mutagens, maintaining balance of intestinal microflora, protection against diarrhea

Lactobacillus reuteri ATC 55730 Reduction of fecal enzymes

Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii Prevention of traveler’s diarrhea, prevention and treatment of diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile