Whether you've heard about them yet or not, Prebiotics and Probiotics are rapidly gaining scientific popularity as safe and effective agents that help regulate the body's micro-environment. The word Probiotic comes from the Greek word meaning "for life." Probiotics were first identified in 1953 to denote all organic and inorganic food complexes in contrast to harmful antibiotics. The micro-environment of your body varies from place to place but is ideally made up of healthy micro-organisms that not only thrive in a healthy ecosystem with us but are sometimes as beneficial to us as we are to them.
Probiotics are defined as live micro-organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host (1).
Probiotics preparations involve the use of both single as well as mixture of micro-organisms (2).
Probiotics tend to maintain the delicate balance between the gastro intestinal tract and the immunological system of the body. Whenever this balance is disturbed and disease develops. Probiotics competitively inhibit the over stimulation of immune system by pathogenic bacteria by adhering themselves to the gastro intestinal mucosa in place of pathogenic bacteria and thus inhibiting their colonization (2).
They have proved to be beneficial in the case of allergies/eczema, diarrhea, hyperlipidemia, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, liver cirrhosis, gastric ulcer, hypertension, inflammation, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, peptic ulcer and cancer etc., It is also beneficial in case of antibiotic resistance or antibiotic associated side effects (2).
Mechanism by which Probiotics could improve health includes (3).
1. Production of acids, peroxides or bacteriocins, bactericidal to groups that negatively impact health.
2. Competition with pathogens for mucosal binding sites.
3. Competition for substrates.
4. Stimulation of immune system.
Prebiotics are defined as organisms which stimulate growth and/or activity of some presumably beneficial colonic bacteria and thereby have the potential to improve health, possibly through the actions of fermentation end products including butyrate.
Some ingested oligosaccharides and resistant starches elevate levels of Bifido Bacteria and Lactobacilli, decrease bacteroides, entero bacteria and clostridia.
Prebiotic consumption can protect against pathogens, reduce the risk of colon cancer, enhance mineral absorption, influence lipogenesis (4).
Mechanism by which Prebiotics could improve health includes:
Prebiotics promotes fermentation in the colon and changes in gut microflora. The human large intestine is one of the most diversely colonized and metabolically active organs in the human body.
The colonic environment is favourable for bacterial growth due to its slow transit time, readily available nutrients and favourable pH. Such a metabolic profile is typical for lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria this led to the initiation of the Human Gut Microbiome Initiative (HGMI), an effort to identify this bacterial ecosystem. They together with the gut, immune system, colonic and mucosal microflora contributes significantly to the barrier that prevents pathogenic bacteria from invading the gastrointestinal (GI) tract (5).
Prebiotics stimulate mineral absorption and improve BMC (bone mineral content). They attribute to increase solubility of minerals because of it increase in bacterial production of short chain fatty acids through increased supply with substrate enlargement of the absorption surface by promoting proliferation of enterocytes mediated by bacterial fermentation products, predominantly lactate and butyrate and increased expression of calcium binding protein (6).
Life On Probiotic-Life Plus has a perfect blend of 5 unique species of useful bacteria such as Lactobacillus Acidophillus, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium Bifidus, Bifidobacterium Breve, Sacchromyces Boulardii.
Probiotics plays role in Human Health and Disease such as Lactose Maldigestion, Bowel Transit, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Gastrointestinal Infections, Prevention of Systemic Infections, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Allergy by Atopic diseases are caused by exaggerated or imbalanced immune responses to environmental and harmless antigens (allergens) (7).
Contributes in Reducing the prevalence and duration of infectious and antibiotic-associated diarrhea; It reduces the inflammation and symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel disease; It exert protective effects to prevent colon cancer; It enhances the bio-availability and uptake of minerals, including calcium, magnesium and possibly iron; It lowers some risk factors for cardiovascular disease and promote satiety and weight loss and prevent obesity (5).
1. Health benefits and health claims of Probiotics: bridging science and marketing British Journal of Nutrition, page 1 of 6 doi:10.10.17
2. Probiotics: A Medieval To Modern Era Prospective, International Journal of Toxicological and Pharmacological Research 2013; 5(3):63-68
3. Probiotics: functionality and commercial status, biotechnology advances, vol 16, no 03, pp 581-608 copyright, 1998, elsevier science inc.
4. Prebiotics and human health the state of the heart and future perspectives, Scandinavian Journal of nutrition, vol 45:13-21,2001.
5. Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health Benefits Nutrients. 2013 Apr; 5(4): 1417–1435.Published online 2013 Apr 22.
6. Prebiotics, Probiotics and Synbiotics Affect Mineral Absorption, Bone Mineral Content and Bone Structure, The Journal of Nutrition.
7. Probiotics: Their Potential to Impact Human Health, Council For Agricultural Science And Technology, Number 36 October 2007.