Our commitment is to consistently create herbal & nutritional products of the highest clinical quality. We call our commitment Quality First™.
Ensuring Quality First requires our passionate focus on:
Firstly, our dedicated team of scientists & expert practitioners ensure that our products represent a cutting-edge combination of traditional knowledge, scientific research & clinical applications. Then, our in-house team of experienced practitioners & our advisors design & comment on our formulations. Finally, the recommended dosages for each product are established by extensive review of clinical & traditional literature & clinical experience. Our formulations are designed for professional recommendation:
When it comes to high quality, efficacious tablets ,our patented balls or propriotory vegan capsules we take our responsibility to provide you with the best products.
All manufacturing & testing is performed in compliance with the Code of Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) from Japan Health Food & Nutrition Food Association (JHFNFA). Each ingredient & finished ball product undergoes stringent testing within a pharmaceutical grade analytical laboratory. This laboratory is recognised as one of Japan’s leading botanical/pharmaceutical testing facilities. Each product is then released only after conforming to all relevant test specifications. All testing methods used comply with the relevant compendium standards.
We use state-of-the-art manufacturing operation, using innovative processes such as water-based vegetable glazing, eliminating solvents from the coating process & enteric coating for capsule products, ensuring greater bioavailability for your patients & customers. The way we utilise fermentation & chelation in all our products, increase the absorption levels of every herb, mineral or vitamin. Our 200 years of Japanese traditional medicine know-how, use of organic & natural ingredients & deep-rooted experience in the use of over 10,000 herbs, plants, mushrooms has gained us the reputation paralleled by none.
This is perhaps the reason that we have been commissioned by the Japanese Imperial Household & trusted for years by numerous Japanese & International companies.
Until now, the only treatment of food allergy has been the elimination of the offending food from the diet. However, recent studies indicate that probiotic bacteriotherapy has great potential in controlling the allergic inflammation associated with food allergy. Probiotics are microbial cell preparations or components of microbial cells which have a beneficial effect on the health and well-being of the host. Most of the strains in question belong to the genera of lactobacilli or bifidobacteria, and their general characteristics include human origin, assessed safety for human use, acid and bile stability, and ability to bind to the human intestinal mucosa. Conventionally, probiotics have been regarded as food supplements with a potential as nonspecific balancers of the gut microflora and potentiators of immunity.
In new approaches, functional foods are used like pharmaceuticals, directing well-defined physiological effects at specific clinical targets. With the use of probiotics, there is great scope in the management of food allergy, as they have been shown to potentiate the gut defence barrier by nonimmunologic and immunologic means, while the unwanted effects appear to be minimal. Probiotics normalize increased intestinal permeability and altered gut microecology, and potentiate the immunologic defence barrier of the host, at least by enhancing the IgA response and by alleviating the intestinal inflammatory response. The latter effect is due to modifications such as reduced activity of phagocytes, enhanced degradation of food antigens, and modulation of cytokine secretion toward the Th2 pattern, resulting in reduced IgE response.
Currently, the clinical data supporting the efficacy of probiotic therapy in the management of food allergy are limited. More information is needed to screen for optimal dosage regimens, to characterize the requisite properties of probiotics with an eye to strain selection, and to extend our knowledge of safety aspects. Due to the differences between systemic and gut immunity, efforts should also be focused on developing immunologic models which closely resemble the in vivo conditions in the gut and take full advantage of existing mucosal in vitro models such as the recently introduced M cell model.
Background: The gastrointestinal microflora is an important constituent of the gut mucosal defense barrier. We have previously shown that a human intestinal floral strain, Lactobacillus GG (ATCC 53103), promotes local antigen-specific immune responses (particularly in the IgA class), prevents permeability defects, and confers controlled antigen absorption.
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical and immunologic effects of cow's milk elimination without (n = 14) and with (n = 13) the addition of Lactobacillus GG (5 × 108 colony-forming units/gm formula) in an extensively hydrolyzed whey formula in infants with atopic eczema and cow's milk allergy. The second part of the study involved 10 breast-fed infants who had atopic eczema and cow's milk allergy. In this group Lactobacillus GG was given to nursing mothers.
Methods: The severity of atopic eczema was assessed by clinical scoring. The concentrations of fecal α 1-antitrypsin, tumor necrosis factor-α, and eosinophil cationic protein were determined as markers of intestinal inflammation before and after dietary intervention. Results: The clinical score of atopic dermatitis improved significantly during the 1-month study period in infants treated with the extensively hydrolyzed whey formula fortified with Lactobacillus GG. The concentration of α 1-antitrypsin decreased significantly in this group (p = 0.03) but not in the group receiving the whey formula without Lactobacillus GG (p = 0.68). In parallel, the median (lower quartile to upper quartile) concentration of fecal tumor necrosis factor-α decreased significantly in this group, from 709 pg/gm (91 to 1131 pg/gm) to 34 pg/gm (19 to 103 pg/gm) (p = 0.003), but not in those receiving the extensively hydrolyzed whey formula only (p= 0.38). The concentration of fecal eosinophil cationic protein remained unaltered during therapy.
Conclusion: These results suggest that probiotic bacteria may promote endogenous barrier mechanisms in patients with atopic dermatitis and food allergy, and by alleviating intestinal inflammation, may act as a useful tool in the treatment of food allergy. (J Allergy Clin Immunol 1997;99:179-85.)
In recent years probiotics (microorganisms that can provide health benefits) have received a lot of attention thanks in part to several companies advertising products with probiotics (for example, think of recent yogurt advertisements). These products are often touted for their gastrointestinal and immunological benefits. Research has indicated that some strains may also stimulate antioxidant activity by promoting antioxidant enzymes and reducing inflammation-derived oxidative stress. To determine if probiotics may be effective supplements for athletes the authors evaluated the effect of two probiotics (Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus paracasei; taken together) on oxidative stress in male amateur cyclists during a 4-week period of intense physical activity. This study was a retrospective analysis evaluating 24 cyclists that were randomly assigned to a control group or probiotic group. After 4 weeks of training, there were no differences in reactive oxygen metabolites (a sign of oxidative stress) between groups. However, further analyses revealed that only the control group had significantly higher levels of reactive oxygen metabolites after exercise when compared to baseline. Furthermore, the probiotic group had increased plasma antioxidant levels after training than the controls.
The authors propose that athletes may benefit from the ability of these probiotics to increase antioxidant levels and control the effect of oxidative stress. This is an interesting first step but definitely not enough for us to promote the use of probiotics among athletes. Randomized clinical trials specifically designed to test probiotics among athletes will be needed to indicate whether probiotics warrant changes in our recommendations. Furthermore, various strains of probiotics are available and we will need to gain a better understanding of which strains infer the greatest benefits. Regardless, studies like these will likely gain in the sports community. We should acknowledge that preliminary findings for specific types of probiotics have been positive but that we don’t know if this will hold up with more research. Over the years, many of us have witnessed passing nutritional fads and then watched them not hold up under further scrutiny. It’s impossible to say if this will be another case of that but probiotics seems to be something that we will need to monitor over the next few years.
A ground breaking new study from a European Group suggests that supplements of pre- and probiotics can reduce levels of biomarkers linked to oxidative stress.
The synbiotic formulation containing oligofructose prebiotics (Beneo-Orafti) and a mixture of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium probiotics was associated with a reduction in oxidation of LDL, linked to the development of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.
This is the first time that a link between prebiotics (and synbiotics) and oxidative stress has been reported in humans, despite previous being demonstrated in rodents.
The results of the study - the EU and MicroFunction Project - were presented recently at the University of Ulster 2007 Nutrition Society meeting and the abstract is published in Proceedings of the Nutrition Society.
The randomised, double-blind (cross-over), placebo-controlled trial included 53 healthy Estonian adults. The subjects were randomly assigned to receive either the daily supplements of oligofructose (Orafti P95, 6.6 g/day) and probiotics (Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3, Lactobacillus paracasei 8700:2 and Bifidobacterium longum 46) or placebo (maltodextrin) for three weeks.
The researchers, from the University of Reading (UK), the University of Tartu (Estonia) and Orafti, report that the total antioxidant activity of the subjects receiving the synbiotic supplements was higher than the corresponding placebo subjects: 42.4% vs 41.9%, respectively.
Furthermore, levels of oxidation of LDL were reduced in the synbiotic group, compared to placebo, reported the researchers (12.6 compared to 14.6 micromoles, respectively.Faecal measures of bifidobacteria were also higher after symbiotic supplementation, compared to placebo, and the researchers report that these increases were more pronounced when baseline levels were low before starting supplementation.Significantly, higher faecal butyrate concentrations were reported with the synbiotic (10.0 vs. 8.1 mm for the placebo
Several studies in animals and humans have shown positive effects of nondigestible oligosaccharides (NDO) on mineral absorption and metabolism and bone composition and architecture. These include inulin, oligofructose, fructooligosaccharides, galactooligosaccharides, soybean oligosaccharide, and also resistant starches, sugar alcohols, and difructose anhydride. A positive outcome of dietary prebiotics is promoted by a high dietary calcium content up to a threshold level and an optimum amount and composition of supplemented prebiotics. There might be an optimum composition of fructooligosaccharides with different chain lengths (synergy products). The efficacy of dietary prebiotics depends on chronological age, physiological age, menopausal status, and calcium absorption capacity. There is evidence for an independent probiotic effect on facilitating mineral absorption. Synbiotics, i.e., a combination of probiotics and prebiotics, can induce additional effects. Whether a low content of habitual NDO would augment the effect of dietary prebiotics or synbiotics remains to be studied. The underlying mechanisms are manifold: increased solubility of minerals because of increased bacterial production of short-chain fatty acids, which is promoted by the greater supply of substrate; an enlargement of the absorption surface by promoting proliferation of enterocytes mediated by bacterial fermentation products, predominantly lactate and butyrate; increased expression of calcium-binding proteins; improvement of gut health; degradation of mineral complexing phytic acid; release of bone-modulating factors such as phytoestrogens from foods; stabilization of the intestinal flora and ecology, also in the presence of antibiotics; stabilization of the intestinal mucus; and impact of modulating growth factors such as polyamines. In conclusion, prebiotics are the most promising but also best investigated substances with respect to a bone-health-promoting potential, compared with probiotics and synbiotics. The results are more prominent in animal models, where more studies have been performed, than in human studies, where experimental conditions are more difficult to control.
Several studies in animals and humans have shown positive effects of nondigestible oligosaccharides (NDO) on mineral absorption and metabolism and bone composition and architecture. These include inulin, oligofructose, fructooligosaccharides, galactooligosaccharides, soybean oligosaccharide, and also resistant starches, sugar alcohols, and difructose anhydride. A positive outcome of dietary prebiotics is promoted by a high dietary calcium content up to a threshold level and an optimum amount and composition of supplemented prebiotics.
Probiotics could have a potential effect on bone accretion independent of that of prebiotics. This could occur via microbial production of metabolites or enzymes or synthesis of vitamins because several vitamins are also involved in calcium metabolism and are required for bone matrix formation and bone accretion as are vitamin D, C, or K or folate. One may expect that the optimum combination of probiotics and prebiotics would gain the best results, and this optimum depends on the disease or risk that is aimed to be prevented or reduced. Few studies have investigated the effects of probiotics or synbiotics on the metabolism of minerals or trace elements or on bone health.
When infant formula containing Lactobacillus reuteri supplement (9 x 106 cfu) was given to infant rhesus monkeys, hematocrit was improved, but no effect on the retention of calcium, iron, and zinc was observed. This experiment, however, was not designed to investigate the effect of this microorganism on mineral balance. The primary outcomes of this experiment were nutritional status, gut colonization, and the ability to resist gastrointestinal infection.
Synbiotics stimulated the fecal bacterial counts of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in human subjects, but little effect was seen when only the probiotic (Bifidobacterium lactis HN019) or the prebiotic (galactoologosaccharides) was given. Such observation may allow one to assume a more effective stimulation of mineral absorption by synbiotics compared with prebiotics or probiotics alone. The effect of an oral application of Bifidobacterium longum, either alone or in combination with lactulose, on the breaking force was tested in rats. Bifidobacterium longum alone induced a significant rise in bacterial counts but only tended to increase the breaking force. Only when Bifidobacterium longum was given together with lactulose was the breaking force significantly higher compared with that in the control group. In that experiment, the effect of lactulose alone was not tested.
It was reported that probiotic yogurt containing strains of Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus reuteri, and Lactobacillus gasseri increased apparent calcium absorption and BMC in growing rats. However, bone weight was 35% higher than that of the control group, and no information on food consumption and body weight was given.
Probiotic antiarthritic effect. In addition, other probiotic bacteria (Enterococcus faecium) are shown to have a bone-preserving effect through their antiarthritic potential. The loss of whole-body BMD in this model was reduced with methotrexate treatment. This effect was more pronounced when Enterococcus faecium was added to the treatment but not when it was given alone. This observation may be caused by the observed antiinflammatory effect of Enterococcus faecium in a rat model for adjuvant arthritis, leading to a healthier gut and thus mineral-absorbing surface and to less bone resorption.
Probiotic stimulation of calcium uptake by enterocytes. It has been shown that milk fermented with Lactobacillus helveticus had some effects on calcium metabolism in postmenopausal women. In the short term it reduced plasma parathyroid hormone and increased serum calcium but had no effect on carboxy-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen. This modulating effect on calcium metabolism may result from facilitated calcium uptake by enterocytes. An increase of calcium uptake was demonstrated in Caco-2 cells for some probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacillus salivarius (UCC 118) but not for such others as Bifidobacterium infantis
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in America and, by now, almost all of us recognize that high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides increase heart disease risk. Unfortunately, with all we know, there are still millions of Americans who suffer from high blood levels of each.
While medical drugs may help to reduce cholesterol levels, their side effects may make them less desirable than a safe natural remedy. Or it may be you want to hedge your bets, so to speak, using both drugs and natural therapies. Probiotics and probiotic-rich foods would make a good part of your supplement program.
The American Heart Association says that changes in life habits—cutting down on calories, reducing saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet, reduced alcohol intake and a regular exercise program—can help in the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia, the technical name for elevated triglycerides, an independent heart disease risk factor. Triglycerides are the form in which fat is found in the bloodstream. Here’s some good probiotic news. Several studies have indicated that consumption of certain cultured dairy products resulted in reduction of serum cholesterol, as well as triglycerides.
One team found that serum cholesterol levels in men from a tribe of African Maasai warriors decreased after consumption of large amounts of milk fermented with a wild lactobacillus strain. Other researchers have found that serum cholesterol levels in bottle-fed babies decreased as the numbers of Lactobacillus acidophilus in their stools increased. Consumption of yogurt has also been shown to decrease serum cholesterol levels in humans and rabbits. We also have reviewed reports showing a significant decrease in plasma cholesterol in rats fed milk feremented by Streptococcus thermophilus. Yet more studies find a significant decrease in serum cholesterol in rats fed milk fermented with L. acidophilus. And germ-free swine, after being exposed to L. acidophilus and developing normal flora, also experienced decreased serum cholesterol levels. Even laying hens find reduced cholesterol levels when fed L. acidophilus.
At the Metabolic Research Group, VA Medical Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, two controlled clinical studies were performed to examine effects of consumption of one daily serving of fermented milk on serum lipids. In the first study, fermented milk containing L. acidophilus was accompanied by a 2.4 percent reduction of serum cholesterol concentration. In the second study, a different L.acidophilus strain reduced serum cholesterol concentration by 3.2 percent. Since every one percent reduction in serum cholesterol concentration is associated with an estimated two to three percent reduction in risk .
For coronary heart disease, regular intake of fermented milk containing an appropriate strain of L.acidophilus has the potential of reducing risk for coronary heart disease by six to ten percent.
“Recent medical studies at the Shinshu University in Japan find that Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria can suppress the reabsorption in the liver of bile acids carrying cholesterol and improve the removal of cholesterol from blood through stool excretion,” notes Aristo Vojdani, Ph.D., M.T. “In another study in Argentina, lactobacilli bacteria were found to lower total blood cholesterol by 22 percent and triglycerides by 33 percent. A research report from Denmark published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition notes that lactobacilli bacteria significantly lowered blood pressure in men and women 18 to 55 years of age after eight weeks of supplementation. Those in the control group not receiving lactobacillus bacteria had no reduction in their high blood pressure. Such scientific evidence provides valuable insight toward reducing the risk of unhealthy cholesterol levels associated with heart disease.”
Frederic Vagnini, M.D., medical director of the Cardiovascular Wellness and Longevity Centers of New York, says probiotic supplementation is a wise strategy for optimal cardiovascular health. Author of The New York Times best-selling book, The Carbohydrate Addict’s Healthy Heart Program, Dr.Vagnini says beneficial bacteria consumed on a regular basis help keep cholesterol levels within healthy ranges. Food absorption and liver functions improve. Also, probiotic supplements offer a safer way to clean up excess cholesterol without the side effects of cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Thus, we see probiotics, in addition to their many other health benefits, can play an important complementary role in cholesterol-lowering regimens. They do so through the assimilation of cholesterol in the digestive tract. Such assimilation in the small intestine may be important in reducing the absorption of dietary cholesterol from the digestive system into the blood.
Be sure your probiotic formula is combined with FOS (Prebiotics), which will amplify the benefits of probiotics by also reducing levels of triglycerides. In particular, FOS, often added to quality probiotic supplements, selectively modifies the colon’s bacterial populations and liver’s formation of lipids. Both of these, in turn, help the body to beneficially lower serum blood lipids. What’s more, FOS is completely nontoxic and without any drug or nutrient interactions whatsoever. C.M.Williams of the Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition, Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Reading, Reading, UK, notes that “convincing lipid-lowering effects of the fructooligosaccharide and inulin have been demonstrated in animals . . .”
Biochemical studies with isolated liver cells have demonstrated that by altering gene expression inulin reduces the activity of the liver’s key enzymes, which are related to formation of fatty acids or assembling triglycerides. This pathway is relatively inactive in humans unless one is consuming a high carbohydrate diet. But if you like pastries, baked goods, candy and soft drinks or other forms of starch and carbohydrates such as rice and potatoes—then a probiotic-FOS combination could be your best friend, as it can really help to lower blood lipids including cholesterol and triglycerides. The studies indicate that the triglyceride lowering effect takes about eight weeks to establish.
Probiotics and probiotic-rich foods aid in lowering cholesterol and triglycerides. Use quality probiotic supplements containing lactobacillus and bifidus cultures fortified with FOS and take daily. Be sure to follow the recommended label instructions and work with your physician.
Probiotics are live microbial organisms that are administrated as supplements or in foods to benefit the host. It is the recommendation that they may be helpful in the prevention and treatment of acute diarrhea in adults and children, the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in adults and children, and the maintenance of remission and prevention of pouchitis. Although early results indicate that probiotics may also be useful in immunologic modulation to prevent atopy, treatment of radiation intestinal disease, vaginosis, ulcerative colitis, and the irritable bowel syndrome, the studies available are not sufficient to say they are definitely helpful. Even fewer data are available to recommend probiotics for the treatment of H pylori and Crohn disease and for the prevention of cardiovascular risk factors or other degenerative diseases. Clearly, larger and better-designed studies of probiotics are necessary, including comparative and dose-ranging trials.
Probiotics Therapy is based on the concept of a healthy well-balanced gut microbiota. Apart from restoring aberrant gut microbiota to normal, probiotics have been attributed with immunomodulatory effects, particularly at an early age, when establishing an indigenous microbiota has a particularly strong impact on the immunophysiological regulation in the gut. Activation of toll-like receptors by members of microbiota bacteria has proved crucial for protection against gut injury, thus substantiating the beneficial effects of probiotics in clinical conditions with impaired gut barrier function such as allergic diseaseand rotavirus diarrhea. The conception of probiotics, including the definition, has revolved concomitant with the recent resurgence of research interest in host microbe cross-talk according to the traditional definition, the live active culture beneficially affects the host by improving its intestinal microbial balance, while the current conception is based on specific clinical effects of clearly defined strains. Moreover, the advent of new molecular methods has made it possible to characterize gut microbiota alterations at different ages on one hand, and in health and disease on the other. With identification of new Bifidobacterium and Lacbacillus species and strains in the gastrointestinal tract of healthy subjects, better target and age specific probiotics may be devised. In the future, these may be recognized as agents for reducing the risk of human disease.
Findings reported at the European Conference on Probiotics suggest that good bacteria could help protect against autoimmune diseases
New results from a clinical trial showed that higher numbers of different types of increased white blood cells after subjects had consumed probiotics – good bacteria, increased white blood cells that have previously been linked to the protection against type 1 diabetes. “it’s difficult to say how much this would do for a patient at this stage,” said Dr. Bengstsson. But he added that the results could have an important role in future research into diseases in which the immune system attacks the body, such as diabetes, MS and rheumatism. Further, the findings show “for the first time that you can get differential effects on the immune system by eating certain bacteria,” Dr. Bengtsson told ruchephils.com. The findings were reported at the European Conference on Probiotics and their Application in Krakow, Poland last 2006. in another arm of the trial, carried out on 59 healthy people at the Sahlgrenska Hospital in Gotenborg, Sweden, significant increase in white blood cells known to fight disease, including CD4+ and CD8. “These are markers of how healthy your immune system is,” said Dr. Bengtsson. “Since the results are obvious in healthy people, you would imagine that they could be quite significant in people who are ill”, he added.
Like rheumatoid arthritis, insulin-dependent diabetes is also an auto-immune disease. In this case it inappropriately attack the pancreas, the organ that manufacture insulin. Following pancreatic destruction, patients require daily intake of insulin injections to control blood sugar. Using a mouse strain that develops diabetes a situation that mimics the onset of human insulin-dependent Diabetes mellitus, researchers recently investigated whether or not administration of immunomodulatory probiotic strain, Lactobacillus casei would prevent this mice from preventing diabetes.
Oral administration of heat-killed Lactobacillus rhamnosus did, indeed. Reduced development of diabetes in the subjects furthermore unlike other subjects, that developed diabetes, the probiotic-treated mice gained weight normally and did have the evidence of any pancreatic inflammation, and that probiotics has reduced and prevented intestinal inflammation. Implications for humans are huge especially for individuals who are suffering from inflammation bowel disease. Along the same lines, it may also be possible to genetically modify probiotics bacteria to secrete digestive enzymes like lactose or lipase to aid in digestion of sugars and fats. (Draunault, et. al. 2001)
Probiotics are like friendly bacteria that promote good health. Found in foods such as yogurt and in pill supplements, they have become an instant hit in American supermarkets and health food stores with their marketing promises of easing stomach ailments. In recent research, probiotics have proven to be important to type 1 and type 2 diabetics. The hope is that using probiotics to alter the type of bacteria in the gut may prevent type 1 diabetes, and that probiotics may one day be a part of the treatment strategy for type 2 diabetics.
The word probiotic translates to "for life," and if you've been down the aisle of a health supplement store or read yogurt labels lately, chances are you've seen the term actively marketed on product packages. Probiotics are live, active bacteria. They are also called cultures. In your digestive tract right now is a layer of healthy bacteria often referred to as gut or intestinal flora; like plant life, healthy bacteria are "fertile soil that contribute to colon health" and the health of your whole body, says AskDrSears.com. Two of the most common strains include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Probiotics promote healthy digestion by making your digestive tract a more acidic environment, thus discouraging harmful bacteria that cause stomach upset. They can help with regular bowel movements and may give you some relief with diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and lactose intolerance.
Probiotics have important applications for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Researchers at the University of Florida reported in May 2011 in "Future Medicine" that probiotics can prevent or delay the onset of type 1 diabetes. The premise echoes what scientists have known for some time. Your gut is your body's largest immune system, and taking probiotics is a way of fighting off illness. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. The University of Florida is marketing applications to license a novel approach to combating the disease using isolates of Lactobacillus as a food additive. The university claims the approach modifies gut microbiota, decreases oxidative stress and inflammation and reduces intestinal leakage.
The gut flora in type 2 diabetics may be different from people without diabetes. So say the authors of a report published online in Feb. 2010 by "PLoS One," who suggest there is a link between metabolic diseases and the composition of bacterial populations in the intestines. In their sample, people with diabetes had lower proportions of phylum Firmicutes and class Clostridia and higher levels of Betaproteobacteria. In addition, the balance of some bacteria to one another was highly dependent on blood sugar levels. They suggest that gut bacteria should be factored into strategies to control diabetes.
Probiotics may help prevent and treat yeast infections, which is a common problem in diabetes caused by high blood sugar. According to authors of a Nov. 2008 report in "American Family Physician," healthcare providers are advising patients to take probiotics when they take antibiotics. The idea is that probiotics can mitigate some of the side effects of antibiotics, which include destroying healthy bacteria. The most common way to get probiotics is to eat them, which means you're not likely to get them covered under your insurance. Dairy products, especially yogurt, are the most common sources of added probiotics. Look for the label to read "contains live active cultures." Miso, tempeh and some soy beverages are growing in probiotic use. Probiotics also come as supplements in pill and cream form. In clinical settings, probiotics can be injected directly into the intestines.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that can affect the host in a beneficial manner. Prebiotics are nondigestible food ingredients that stimulate the growth and activity of probiotic bacteria already established in the colon. Efficacy of probiotic compounds has been shown in a wide range of gastrointestinal diseases. Lactobacillus GG alone, or the combination of Bifidobacterium bifidum and Streptococcus thermophilus, is effective in the treatment of Clostridium difficile, as well as in preventing the frequency and severity of infectious acute diarrhea in children. Prevention of antibiotic-induced diarrhea with the concomitant administration of either Lactobacillus GG or Saccharomyces boulardii has been demonstrated. The most successful studies involve the use of Lactobacillus GG at a dose of 1 x 1010 viable organisms per day and the yeast boulardii at a dose of 1 g/day. A probiotic preparation (VSL#3 - 6 g/day) that uses a combination of three species of Bifidobacterium, four strains of Lactobacillus and one strain of Streptocccus has shown promise in maintaining remission in ulcerative colitis and pouchitis, as well as in preventing the postoperative recurrence of Crohn's disease. The mechanism of action of probiotics may include receptor competition, effects on mucin secretion or probiotic immunomodulation of gut-associated lymphoid tissue. Oral administration of probiotic compounds has been demonstrated to be well tolerated and safe. However, while probiotics have the potential to improve human health and to prevent and treat some diseases, major improvements are needed in labelling and quality assurance procedures for probiotic compounds. In addition, well planned and controlled clinical studies are necessary to delineate fully the potential for probiotic compounds.
BACKGROUND: Probiotic bacteria exhibit a variety of properties, including immunomodulatory activity, which are unique to a particular strain. Thus, not all species will necessarily have the same therapeutic potential in a particular condition. We have preliminary evidence that Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 may have utility in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to confirm the efficacy of the probiotic bacteria B. infantis 35624 in a large-scale, multicenter, clinical trial of women with IBS. A second objective of the study was to determine the optimal dosage of probiotic for administration in an encapsulated formulation.
METHODS: After a 2-wk baseline, 362 primary care IBS patients, with any bowel habit subtype, were randomized to either placebo or freeze-dried, encapsulated B. infantis at a dose of 1x106, 1x 108, or 1 x1010, cfu/mL for 4 wk. IBS symptoms were monitored daily and scored on to a 6-point Likert scale with the primary outcome variable being abdominal pain or discomfort. A composite symptom score, the subject's global assessment of IBS symptom relief, and measures of quality of life (using the IBS-QOL instrument) were also recorded.
RESULTS: B. infantis 35624 at a dose of 1x108 cfu was significantly superior to placebo and all other bifidobacterium doses for the primary efficacy variable of abdominal pain as well as the composite score and scores for bloating, bowel dysfunction, incomplete evacuation, straining, and the passage of gas at the end of the 4-wk study. The improvement in global symptom assessment exceeded placebo by more than 20% (p < 0.02). Two other doses of probiotic (1x106 and 1x1010) were not significantly different from placebo; of these, the 1x1010 dose was associated with significant formulation problems. No significant adverse events were recorded.
CONCLUSIONS: B. infantis 35624 is a probiotic that specifically relieves many of the symptoms of IBS. At a dosage level of 1x108 cfu, it can be delivered by a capsule making it stable, convenient to administer, and amenable to widespread use. The lack of benefits observed with the other dosage levels of the probiotic highlight the need for clinical data in the final dosage form and dose of probiotic before these products should be used in practice.
Background : Irritable bowel syndrome is a gastrointestinal disorder of unknown aetiology. The effect of probiotics in this syndrome remains unclear.
Aim : To investigate whether a probiotic mixture containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, L. rhamnosus LC705, Bifidobacterium breve Bb99 and Propionibacterium freudenreichii ssp. shermanii JS is effective in alleviating irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
Methods : A total of 103 patients fulfilling the Rome I or II criteria took part in this 6-month, randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial. The patients received a probiotic capsule or a placebo capsule daily. Gastrointestinal symptoms and bowel habits were recorded.
Results : At the end the total symptom score (abdominal pain + distension + flatulence + borborygmi) was 7.7 (95% CI: −13.9 to −1.6) points lower in the probiotic group (P = 0.015). This represents a median reduction of 42% in the symptom score of the probiotic group compared with 6% in the placebo group. In individual symptoms, borborygmi was milder in the probiotic group (P = 0.008), and for the rest of the symptoms there was a non-significant trend.
Conclusions : The results indicate that this probiotic mixture is effective in alleviating irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. Considering the high prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome and the lack of effective therapies, even a slight reduction in symptoms could have positive public health consequences.
Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) has been rarely evaluated as a primary endpoint in the assessment of the effect of probiotics on the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
To study the effects of fermented milk containing Bifidobacterium animalis DN-173 010 and yoghurt strains on the IBS in a multicentre, double-blind, controlled trial.
A total of 274 primary care adults with constipation-predominant IBS (Rome II) were randomized to consume for 6 weeks either the test fermented milk or a heat-treated yoghurt (control). HRQoL and digestive symptoms were assessed after 3 and 6 weeks on an intention-to-treat population of 267 subjects.
The HRQoL discomfort score, the primary endpoint, improved (P < 0.001) in both groups at weeks 3 and 6. The responder rate for the HRQoL discomfort score was higher (65.2 vs. 47.7%, P < 0.005), as was the decrease in bloating score [0.56 ± (s.d.)1.01 vs. 0.31 ± 0.87, P = 0.03], at week 3 in the test vs. the control group. In those subjects with <3 stools/week, stool frequency increased (P < 0.001) over 6 weeks in the test vs. control group.
This study suggests a beneficial effect of a probiotic food on discomfort HRQoL score and bloating in constipation-predominant IBS, and on stool frequency in subjects with <3 stools/week.
Combining probiotics with perinatal dietary counselling could help reduce the risk of diabetes in mothers and provide a “safe and cost-effective” tool in addressing obesity in children, according to a new study from Finland.
Published in the British Journal of Nutrition, the study found that probiotic supplemented dietary counselling could help reduce the risk of diabetes during pregnancy, improve blood glucose control and improve child health. “Taken together, long-term health benefits for mothers and children may be conferred by balanced maternal nutrition during pregnancy and lactation and by promoting the healthy gut microbiota in the mother and the child. The results of the present study add weight to the argument that the continuing burden of Western lifestyle diseases is modifiable,” write the researchers.
Initiated in 2002, the study included 256 women, who were randomized during their first trimester of pregnancy into a control and a dietary intervention group.
The women, none of whom had any chronic diseases, all received dietary counselling provided by welfare clinics according to a national program. The intervention group received additionally intensive dietary counselling at every study visit provided by a nutritionist, the aim being a dietary intake complying with current recommendations, combined with conventional food products with favourable fat and fibre contents for use at home, said the researchers.
The intervention group was further randomised at baseline in a double-blind manner to receive either placebo capsules or probiotics (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG supplied by Valio, and Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12 supplied by Chr. Hansen) at a dose of 1010 colony-forming units/d each.
The capsules were taken once per day, and the intervention period extended from the first trimester of pregnancy to the end of exclusive breast-feeding.
The researchers evaluated pregnancy outcome and fetal and infant growth during the 24 months’ follow-up. All pregnancies were of normal duration, and there were no adverse events noted in mothers or in children, which confirms the safety of this approach, said the researchers.
They noted that those women who had taken probiotics had a reduced frequency of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM): 13 percent for the diet/probiotics group, compared to 36 percent for the diet/placebo group and 34 percent for the control group.
In addition, the dietary counselling during pregnancy reduced the risk of fetal overgrowth, which is thought to predispose to later obesity. “Probiotic intervention reduced the risk of GDM and dietary intervention diminished the risk of larger birth size in affected cases,” wrote the researchers. “The results of the present study show that probiotic supplemented perinatal dietary counselling could be a safe and cost-effective tool in addressing the metabolic epidemic. In view of the fact that birth size is a risk marker for later obesity, the present results are of significance for public health in demonstrating that this risk is modifiable.”
OBJECTIVE. Live probiotic bacteria and dietary prebiotic oligosaccharides (together termed synbiotics) increasingly are being used in infancy, but evidence of long-term safety is lacking. In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, we studied the safety and long-term effects of feeding synbiotics to newborn infants.
METHODS. Between November 2000 and March 2003, pregnant mothers carrying infants at high risk for allergy were randomly assigned to receive a mixture of 4 probiotic species (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and LC705, Bifidobacterium breve Bb99, and Propionibacterium freudenreichii ssp shermanii) or a placebo for 4 weeks before delivery. Their infants received the same probiotics with 0.8 g of galactooligosaccharides, or a placebo, daily for 6 months after birth. Safety data were obtained from clinical examinations and interviews at follow-up visits at ages 3, 6, and 24 months and from questionnaires at ages 3, 6, 12, and 24 months. Growth data were collected at each time point.
RESULTS. Of the 1018 eligible infants, 925 completed the 2-year follow-up assessment. Infants in both groups grew normally. We observed no difference in neonatal morbidity, feeding-related behaviors (such as infantile colic), or serious adverse events between the study groups. During the 6-month intervention, antibiotics were prescribed less often in the synbiotic group than in the placebo group (23% vs 28%). Throughout the follow-up period, respiratory infections occurred less frequently in the synbiotic group (geometric mean: 3.7 vs 4.2 infections).
CONCLUSION. Feeding synbiotics to newborn infants was safe and seemed to increase resistance to respiratory infections during the first 2 years of life.
Objectives: Probiotics may be useful in preventing acute infectious diarrhea. Bifidobacteria are particularly attractive as probiotics agent because they constitute the predominant colonic flora of breastfed infants and are thought to play a role in the decreased incidence of diarrhea in breastfed infants.
Methods: This was a multicenter, double-blind, controlled study to evaluate the efficacy of a milk formula supplemented with viable Bifidobacterium lactis strain Bb 12 (BbF) in the prevention of acute diarrhea in infants younger than 8 months living in residential nurseries or foster care centers.
Results: Ninety healthy children received either the BbF or a conventional formula (CF) daily. The mean duration of the stay in the residential center was similar (137 v 148 days). At enrollment, there were no differences between the two groups with respect to age (3.7 ± 2.1 months), gender, anthropometric data, history of allergy or gastrointestinal disease, frequency of breast-feeding in the neonatal period or timing of introduction of solid food. Altogether, 28.3% of the BbF infants had diarrhea during the study compared with 38.7% of controls (NS). There was a statistically insignificant trend for shorter episodes of diarrhea in the BbF group (5.1 ± 3.3 days v 7 ± 5.5 days, NS). The number of days with diarrhea was 1.15 ± 2.5 in the BbF group with a daily probability of diarrhea of 0.84 versus 2.3 ± 4.5 days and 1.55, respectively, in the CF group (P = 0.0002 and 0.0014). Feeding infants with the BbF reduced their risk of getting diarrhea by a factor of 1.9 (range, 1.33-2.6). Analysis of the cumulative incidence of diarrheal episodes showed a trend that the first onset of diarrhea occurred later in the BbF group.
Conclusion: These results provide some evidence that viable Bifidobacterium lactis strain Bb 12, added to an acidified infant formula, has some protective effect against acute diarrhea in healthy children.
Gastroenteritis is a significant cause of childhood morbidity even in the developed world. It represents 16% of all illnesses reported in children younger than 5 years in the United States of America. The incidence of acute diarrhea in children years has been estimated at 1.3 to 2.3 episodes per child per year, but is 2 to 5 times higher in children attending day care centers and residential facilities, where nosocomial acute diarrheal illness more common and can result in prolonged hospital stays and increased medical costs (2). Thus, the development of effective methods to prevent acute gastroenteritis is an important goal for infant health.
Breast-feeding is associated with a decreased incidence of gastrointestinal infections, possibly because it promotes the growth of bifidobacteria in the intestine creating an acidic environment inhospitable to infectious organisms. Formula and fermented milk containing various bacteria have been used for many years for their potential benefit on intestinal digestion and function. It seems reasonable that modifying the intestinal flora by providing exogenous nonpathogenic bacteria might also prevent or treat infectious diarrhea. Bifidobacteria are particularly attractive as potential probiotic agents because they are the predominant colonic flora of breast fed infants and are felt to contribute to the mechanisms by which breast-feeding protects against diarrhea. Bifidobacteria appear to delay the onset of symptoms in rotavirus infection of laboratory animals. The efficacy of supplemental nonpathogenic bacteria in preventing infantile gastroenteritis has been assessed in few controlled clinical trials, including only one study with an infant formula containing Bifidobacterium lactis Bb 12. Thus, we conducted a multicenter, double-blind, controlled study to assess the efficacy and tolerability of an acidified milk formula containing this strain of bifidobacteria for the prevention of acute diarrhea in infants living in residential nurseries or foster care centers.
Perinatal administration of the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG (ATCC 53103), reduces incidence of atopic eczema in at-risk children during the first 2 years of life (infancy). We have therefore assessed persistence of the potential to prevent atopic eczema at 4 years. Atopic disease was diagnosed on the basis of a questionnaire and a clinical examination. 14 of 53 children receiving lactobacillus had developed atopic eczema, compared with 25 of 54 receiving placebo (relative risk 0.57, 95% CI 0.33—0.97). Skin prick test reactivity was the same in both groups: ten of 50 children previously given lactobacillus compared with nine of 50 given placebo tested positive. Our results suggest that the preventive effect of lactobacillus GG on atopic eczema extends beyond infancy.
An altered microbial exposure may underlie the increase of allergic diseases in affluent societies. Probiotics may alleviate and even prevent eczema in infants.
To prevent eczema and sensitization in infants with a family history of allergic disease by oral supplementation with the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri.
Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, which comprised 232 families with allergic disease, of whom 188 completed the study. The mothers received L reuteri ATCC 55730 (1 × 108 colony forming units) daily from gestational week 36 until delivery. Their babies then continued with the same product from birth until 12 months of age and were followed up for another year. Primary outcome was allergic disease, with or without positive skin prick test or circulating IgE to food allergens.
The cumulative incidence of eczema was similar, 36% in the treated versus 34% in the placebo group. The L reuteri group had less IgE-associated eczema during the second year, 8% versus 20% (P = .02), however. Skin prick test reactivity was also less common in the treated than in the placebo group, significantly so for infants with mothers with allergies, 14% versus 31% (P = .02). Wheeze and other potentially allergic diseases were not affected.
Although a preventive effect of probiotics on infant eczema was not confirmed, the treated infants had less IgE-associated eczema at 2 years of age and therefore possibly run a reduced risk to develop later respiratory allergic disease.
Probiotics may reduce the incidence of IgE-associated eczema in infancy.
Probiotics appear to be useful in the prevention or treatment of several gastrointestinal disorders, including infectious diarrhea, antibiotic diarrhea, and traveler's diarrhea. Results of preliminary human and animal studies suggest that patients with inflammatory diseases, and even irritable bowel syndrome, may benefit from probiotic therapy. Probiotics represent an exciting therapeutic advance, although much investigation must be undertaken before their role in gastroenterology is clearly delineated. Questions related to probiotic origin, survivability, and adherence are all important considerations for further study. More important, each probiotic proposed must be studied individually and extensively to determine its efficacy and safety in each disorder for which its use may be considered.
Background: Oral administration of live Lactobacillus casei strain GG is associated with the reduction of duration of diarrhea in children admitted to the hospital because of diarrhea. The purposes of this work were to investigate the clinical efficacy of oral administration of Lactobacillus in children with mild diarrhea who were observed as outpatients, and to see whether Lactobacillus GG can reduce the duration of rotavirus excretion.
Methods: Duration of diarrhea was recorded in 100 children seen by family pediatricians and randomly assigned to receive oral rehydration or oral rehydration followed by the administration of lyophilized Lactobacillus casei, strain GG. Rotavirus was looked for in the stools of all children and, in those in whom results were positive, stools were examined again 6 days after the onset of diarrhea.
Results: In 61 children results were positive for rotavirus and in 39 results were negative. Duration of diarrhea was reduced from 6 to 3 days in children receiving Lactobacillus GG, with a similar pattern in rotavirus-positive and -negative children. Six days after the onset of diarrhea, stools in only 4 out of 31 children that received Lactobacillus GG were positive for rotavirus compared with positive findings in 25 out of 30 control subjects.
Conclusions: Oral administration of Lactobacillus GG is effective in rotavirus-positive and rotavirus-negative ambulatory children with diarrhea. Furthermore, it reduces the duration of rotavirus excretion.
Background. Certain strains of lactobacilli have been shown to promote recovery from rotavirus enteritis in hospitalized children. Few studies have examined the effect of probiotics in nonhospitalized children with mild diarrhea.
Methods. We studied in a randomized placebo-controlled trial the effect of lyophilized Lactobacillus rhamnosus 19070-2 and Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 12246, 1010 colony-forming units of each strain twice daily for 5 days, on acute diarrhea in children in a cohort of children recruited from local day-care centers. The duration of diarrhea and assessment of stool consistency were recorded by the parents.
Results. In patients treated with the selected Lactobacillus strains, the mean duration of diarrhea after intervention was reduced (76 h in patients treated with probiotics vs. 116 h in the placebo group;P = 0.05). In patients with diarrhea for <60 h before start of treatment (early intervention), a more pronounced effect of probiotics was found. The time to recovery after early treatment was 79 h vs. 139 h in the placebo group (P = 0.02); 1 of 17 patients treated early vs. 6 of 13 in the control group still had loose stools 120 h after start of treatment (P = 0.03).
Conclusions. In children from day-care centers with mild gastroenteritis, the combination of L. rhamnosus 19070-2 and L. reuteri DSM 12246 was effective in reducing the duration of diarrhea.
Background: The aging process can lead to a decline in cellular immunity. Therefore, the elderly could benefit from safe and effective interventions that restore cellular immune functions.
Objective: We determined whether dietary supplementation with the known immunostimulating probiotic Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 could enhance aspects of cellular immunity in elderly subjects.
Design: Thirty healthy elderly volunteers (age range: 63–84 y; median: 69 y) participated in a 3-stage dietary supplementation trial lasting 9 wk. During stage 1 (run-in), subjects consumed low-fat milk (200 mL twice daily for 3 wk) as a base-diet control. During stage 2 (intervention), they consumed milk supplemented with B. lactis HN019 in a typical dose (5 x 1010 organisms/d) or a low dose (5 x 109 organisms/d) for 3 wk. During stage 3 (washout), they consumed low-fat milk for 3 wk. Changes in the relative proportions of leukocyte subsets and ex vivo leukocyte phagocytic and tumor-cell-killing activity were determined longitudinally by assaying peripheral blood samples.
Results: Increases in the proportions of total, helper (CD4+), and activated (CD25+) T lymphocytes and natural killer cells were measured in the subjects' blood after consumption of B. lactis HN019. The ex vivo phagocytic capacity of mononuclear and polymorphonuclear phagocytes and the tumoricidal activity of natural killer cells were also elevated after B. lactis HN019 consumption. The greatest changes in immunity were found in subjects who had poor pretreatment immune responses. In general, the 2 doses of B. lactis HN019 had similar effectiveness.
Conclusion:B. lactis HN019 could be an effective probiotic dietary supplement for enhancing some aspects of cellular immunity in the elderly.
The intestine is an extremely complex living system that participates in the protection of the host through a strong defense against aggressions from the external environment. This defensive task is based on 3 constituents that are in permanent contact and dialog with each other: the microflora, mucosal barrier, and local immune system. We review herein current knowledge about these important functions. The gut microflora play a major role against exogenous bacteria through colonization resistance, but the mechanism of action is not yet established, although it is linked to the bacteria colonizing the gut. This colonization involves bacteria-bacteria dialog, bacteria-mucins interactions, and bacteria-colonocytes cross-talk associated with environmental factors. The intestinal mucosa is a cellular barrier and the main site of interaction with foreign substances and exogenous microorganisms. It is a complex physicochemical structure consisting of a mucous layer linked to cellular and stromal components that participate in the defense of the host through mucosal blood flow, mucosal secretions, epithelial cell functionals, surface hydrophobicity, and defensin production. The intestine is the primary immune organ of the body represented by the gut-associated lymphoid tissue through innate and acquired immunity. This immune system can tolerate dietary antigens and the gut-colonizing bacteria and recognizes and rejects enteropathogenic microorganisms that may challenge the body’s defenses. In cooperation with these endogenous barriers, some in-transit bacteria, such as probiotics, can act as partners of the defense system of the intestine.
INTRODUCTION: Uremic syndrome consists of nitrogenous waste retention, deficiency in kidney-derived hormones, and reduced acid excretion, and, if untreated, may progress to coma and eventual death. Previous experience suggests that oral administration of a probiotic formulation of selected microbial strains may extend renoprotection via intra-intestinal extraction of toxic waste solutes in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD)stages 3 and 4. This report presents preliminary data from a pilot study.
This was a 6-month prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial of a probiotic bacterial formulation conducted in four countries, at five institutions, on 46 outpatients with CKD stages 3 and 4: USA (n=10), Canada (n=113), Nigeria (n=115), and Argentina (n=8). Outcomes were compared using biochemical parameters: blood urea nitrogen (BUN), serum creatinine, and uric acid. General well-being was assessed as a secondary parameter by a quality of life (QQOL) questionnaire on a subjective scale of 1-10.
Oral ingestion of probiotics (90 billion colony forming units [CFUs]/day) was well tolerated and safe during the entire trial period at all sites. BUN levels decreased in 29 patients (63%, P<0.05), creatinine levels decreased in 20 patients (43%, no statistical significance), and uric acid levels decreased in 15 patients (33%, no statistical significance). Almost all subjects expressed a perceived substantial overall improvement in QOL (86%, P<0.05).
The main outcomes of this preliminary trial include a significant reduction of BUN, enhanced well-being, and absence of serious adverse effects, thus supporting the use of the chosen probiotic formulation for bowel-based toxic solute extraction. QOL and BUN levels showed statistically significant differences in outcome (P<0.05) between placebo and probiotic treatment periods at all four sites (46 patients). A major limitation of this trial is the small sample size nd elated inconsistencies.
When a woman discovers she is pregnant, digestion issues quickly become an issue of concern. Increasing hormones, fatigue and stress disturb the healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut and cause a sluggish digestive system often leading to constipation, indigestion, nausea and vomiting.
Obstetricians will often prescribe mild pharmaceuticals to aid a woman's discomfort; however, all medication crosses the placenta and there is no real definitive research on the effects they can have on unborn child. These medications do nothing to resolve the problem, and if effective, only mask the symptoms. Probiotic consumption, however, treats the problem by restoring the balance of healthy bacteria in the intestines and by promoting regularity.
The skin is our first line of defense from infection. However, many people are unaware that 60-70% of our immune system lies within our intestines. Pregnancy causes the immune system to work harder, and increased intake of probiotics may decrease the risk of colds and respiratory infections. Research shows that probiotics also help prevent urinary tract infections, yeast infections and skin inflammations like dermatitis; all of these complaints are common during pregnancy.
Probiotic benefits are also extended to the fetus and help promote a strong immune system at birth. Studies show that mothers who increase their probiotic intake during pregnancy reduce their child's risk of allergies by as much as 50%, specifically in eczema, asthma and atopic dermatitis. Probiotic supplementation in children with dermatitis greatly reduces the symptoms and often provides complete resolution. Breastfeeding mothers who take probiotics will continue to pass this immune benefit to their child through breast milk.
May 7, 2009 -- New research suggests that probiotics -- widely viewed as "friendly" bacteria that improve digestion and gut health -- may help women keep belly fat under control after pregnancy.
Researchers from the University of Turku in Finland enrolled 256 pregnant women in a study on weight gain, dividing them into three groups during their first trimesters.
Women in two of the groups received dietary counseling consistent with what doctors recommend for healthy weight gain and optimal fetal development.
They also were sent home with foods such as spreads and salad dressings with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as fiber-enriched pasta and breakfast cereal.
Women in one of those two groups also received daily capsules containing lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, the most commonly used probiotics -- bacteria that help maintain a healthy bacterial balance in the gut. The other group received dummy capsules along with counseling.
A third group received dummy capsules and got no dietary counseling.
All of the women were weighed at the start of the study. They were weighed again at 12 months after childbirth; researchers then measured each woman's waist circumference and skin fold thickness.
Central obesity -- defined as a body mass index of 30 or more and a waist circumference over 80 centimeters (31.5 inches) -- was found in 25% of the women who had been given the probiotics as well as advice on what to eat.
Those not given probiotics didn't do as well. Central obesity was found in 43% of the women who got dietary counseling alone and 40% of the women who got neither probiotics nor dietary advice.
The average body fat percentage in the probiotics group was 28%, compared with 29% in the diet-advice-only group and 30% in the third set of women.
"The women who got the probiotics fared best," says Kirsi Laitinen, a nutritionist and senior lecturer at Turku. "One year after childbirth, they had the lowest levels of central obesity as well as the lowest body fat percentage."
Central obesity combined with a "particularly fat belly is considered especially unhealthy," Laitinen says.
She adds that more research is needed to confirm the potential positive role of probiotics on belly fat. Also, she says her team of researchers will continue to track the women and their babies to determine whether giving probiotics during pregnancy has any influence on the health of the children.
The findings were released during the 17th European Congress on Obesity in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Mothers who drank milk with a probiotic supplement during and after pregnancy were able to cut the incidence of eczema in their children by almost half, a new study published in the British Journal of Dermatology has shown.
The randomized, double-blind study, conducted by researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), compared mothers who drank one glass of probiotic milk a day to women who were given a placebo. Use of the probiotic milk – which the mothers drank beginning at week 36 in their pregnancy up through to three months after birth -- reduced the incidence of eczema by 40 percent in children up to age two, the researchers found. The study is a part of a larger research project at the university called the Prevention of Allergy Among Children in Trondheim, or PACT, an ongoing population-based intervention study in Norway focused on childhood allergy.
Researchers followed 415 pregnant women and their children from pregnancy until the children were two years old. The participants were randomly selected among pregnant women in Trondheim - and then randomly divided into two groups, one of which was given milk with probiotics, and the other a placebo milk. Mothers in the study did not know whether they were given the probiotic milk or the placebo milk.
The children were checked for eczema throughout the period, as well as for asthma and allergy at age two. Afterwards, the incidence of asthma, eczema and allergy was compared in the two groups.
“The results showed that probiotic bacteria reduced the incidence of eczema in children up to age two years by 40 percent. And the kids in ‘probiotics group’ who did have eczema, had less severe cases,” explains Christian Kvikne Dotterud, a student in the Medical Student Research Programme at the Department of Community Medicine at NTNU.
Dotterud and his research colleagues have started a follow-up study of the children to see if they find any preventive effect on allergic diseases, especially asthma, when children have reached six years old.
“Our study is the first to show that certain probiotic bacteria given to the mother during pregnancy and breast-feeding prevents eczema,” says Dotterud.
Previous studies have shown that ingestion of some probiotics by children may prevent eczema, but this is the first study to show a preventative effect when the mother alone consumed the probiotics.
Now for the skin: A study found that patient's eczema and itching improved after using a probiotic cream
Probiotics and prebiotics, the ‘friendly bacteria’ in your Yakult or Activia, have become buzzwords in intestinal health over the past few years. Probiotics and prebiotics, the ‘friendly bacteria’ in your Yakult or Activia, have become buzzwords in intestinal health over the past few years. But you might be surprised to hear that they could be the next big thing in skincare.
Although as a concept it’s still in the early stages, the idea is that probiotics (beneficial bacteria) and prebiotics (essential fuel for the beneficial bacteria) can help improve the balance of bacteria in your skin, in the same way they are known to improve the balance of bacteria in your digestive system.
You might not even know that your skin contains beneficial bacteria, but skin microflora, as they are known, have an essential role to play in preventing undesirable bacteria from developing. The problem comes when their equilibrium is disturbed, for example by using skincare that strips the skin. When this happens, bad bacteria, such as those that cause acne and eczema, are able to take hold.
Conventional treatments for these infections use antibiotics or antibacterial agents that not only attack the bad bacteria, but also the good bacteria. This is where probiotics and prebiotics can help, restoring the balance of the good bacteria so that the skin can heal itself. Sounds great in theory, but does it work in practice? It seems that the answer is yes. Last year, research published in the British Journal of Dermatology suggested that eczema and the associated itching improved after patients were treated with a probiotic cream. And, just this month, the Journal of Dermatological Science devoted coverage to a small study that seemed to show that, using prebiotics, it is possible to reduce the levels of acne-causing bacteria without harming the good bacteria. All this is great news if you suffer from eczema or acne, but is it really beneficial for the rest of us to buy into probiotic skincare? The people behind Nude, one of the first skincare brands based on probiotics, say yes. They insist that as well as maintaining healthy skin, probiotics can help protect it from ageing. ‘When the balance of microflora is damaged, the skin becomes irritated,’ explains Emma Newman, from the brand.
‘The body responds to this irritation by creating free radicals, thought to play a part in premature ageing of the skin, and a collagen-digesting enzyme. Given that collagen is essential to young-looking skin, the last thing you want is to destroy it.’ She argues that probiotics and prebiotics not only help to maintain the correct balance of microflora, thus avoiding these sorts of issues, but that they also help to keep the skin hydrated. Nude might be the only major brand exploiting the value of prebiotics and probiotics, but a number of smaller, more niche brands, such as Cleo Q, Verattiva and Sk1n Probiotic Systems, also incorporate them into their products. But Dr Nick Lowe, consultant dermatologist and spokesperson for the British Association of Dermatologists, cautions against getting carried away with the promise of such products. ‘I’m just not convinced about some of the claims that are being made with regard to anti-ageing,’ he says. ‘Until more microbiological studies can prove it, I’ll continue eating my yoghurt rather than smearing it on my face.
Specific strains of probiotic, have been identified as beneficial to influence the composition and/or metabolic activity of the endogenous microbiota and some of these strains have been also shown to inhibit the growth of a wide range of enteropathogens. The first aim of using probiotics has been to improve the composition of the intestinal microbiota from a potentially harmful composition towards a composition that would be beneficial to the host.
Beyond their capacity to influence positively the composition of the intestinal microbiota, several lines of evidence suggest that some probiotic bacteria can modulate the immune system both at the local and systemic levels thereby improving immune defense mechanisms and/or downregulate immune disorders such as allergies or intestinal inflammation.
Skin reflects the general health status and aging. Different human trials widely suggest that probiotic supplementation might be useful in the management of atopic dermatitis. Based on these properties it appears that, beyond the gut, probiotics might exert their benefits at the skin level.
In a randomized double blind placebo-controlled clinical trial, we investigated whether the probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus johnsonii NCC 533 (La1) could modulate the cutaneous immune homeostasis altered by solar-simulated UV exposure in humans. After, UV exposure to twice 1.5 MED, we demonstrated that La1 intake facilitated an earlier recovery of Epidermal cells allostimulatory function. Thus, this clinical data strengthen the assumption that certain probiotics can contribute to modulate skin immune system leading to the preservation of the skin homeostasis. Altogether the data affords the possibility of designing new strategies based on a nutritional approach for the prevention of UV-induced damaging effects.
In conclusion, this clinical data strengthen the assumption that certain probiotic strains exert their effects beyond the gut confer benefits at the skin level. There are indeed emerging evidences that such probiotics can contribute to modulate skin immune system leading to the preservation of the skin homeostasis.Altogether the data affords the possibility of designing new strategies based on a nutritional approach for the prevention of UV-induced damaging effects.
Lactobacillus johnsonii (La1) has been reported to protect skin immune system homeostasis following ultraviolet (UV) exposure.
To assess the effects of a dietary supplement (DS) combining La1 and nutritional doses of carotenoids on early UV-induced skin damage.
Three clinical trials (CT1, CT2, CT3) were performed using different UV sources: nonextreme UV with a high UVA irradiance (UV-DL, CT1), extreme simulated solar radiation (UV-SSR, CT2) and natural sunlight (CT3). All three clinical trials were carried out in healthy women over 18 years of age with skin type II–IV. In CT1, early markers of UV-induced skin damage were assessed using histologyand immunohistochemistry. In CT2, the minimal erythemal dose (MED) was determined by clinical evaluation and by chromametry. Chromametry was also used to evaluate skin colour. Dermatologists’ and subjects’ assessments were compiled in CT3.
A 10-week DS intake prevented the UV-DL-induced decrease in Langerhans cell density and the increase in factor XIIIa+ type I dermal dendrocytes while it reduced dermal inflammatory cells. Clinical and instrumental MED rose by 20% and 19%, respectively, and skin colour was intensified, as shown by the increase in the ΔE* parameter. The efficacy of DS was confirmed by dermatologists and subjects under real conditions of use.
Nutritional supplementation combining a specific probiotic (La1) and nutritional doses of carotenoids reduced early UV-induced skin damage caused by simulated or natural sun exposure in a large panel of subjects (n = 139). This latter result might suggest that DS intake could have a beneficial influence on the long-term effects of UV exposure and more specifically on skin photoageing.
US researchers from the University of Washington had 50 women suffering from chronic UTI use a probiotic-filled suppository, shaped like a tampon and inserted into the vagina. While all the women in the study had recurrent UTIs, only seven of the 50 women who received the suppository experienced a recurrence over a 10-week period of time, compared with 13 of the 50 women who received a placebo.
Women who have recurring urinary tract infection have alterations in their vaginal bacteria. Researchers noted a reduction in probiotic strain Lactobacillus crispatus being linked to a risk factor of chronic UTI, because a lack of this healthy bacteria can contribute to the growth of bad bacteria that migrates to the urethra.