Every time we hear something about bacteria, we always correlate them with infections, diseases, germs, something dirty, foul smell or rotten. Many consider them unpleasant and need to be disposed or be “killed”. Well that are partly true. However, we are all living with billions of bacteria inside and outside our bodies. Ideally these bacteria outside our bodies like bacteria on our skin will do no harm and bacteria inside our mouth will just stay there and eat some of our left over food stuck between our teeth without causing anything harmful. It is also proven that we have a lot of bacteria found in our colon but still not having diarrhea or abdominal pain. The problems would be if our natural barriers on the skin, in the mouth and intestines break or damage. These broken barriers will possibly invade by these bacteria and that’s the time infections set in. That would be the problem and we need to eliminate them.
Theoretically, good and bad bacteria could cause infections, but because we have our “guardian cells” known as immune system( this is another topic), it protects us against bad effects of bacteria in general. It means we need to strengthen and boost this immune system. This system is so important in the outcome of the disease process.
So, basically if the bad bacteria go to the wrong parts of our body there could be problems, but if good bacteria go to the right spot in our body, for sure the good effects and benefits to our body will happen. There are tons of clinical studies being conducted and some were proven that placing these good bacteria in the right place in our body can be beneficial.
This is where the Probiotics or Good Bacteria will come into place. These Probiotics are mostly known to promote healthy gut and immune system. Now, I’m excited to tell you that Probiotics are innovatively made to prevent and even treat other metabolic diseases like diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and many other illnesses aside from digestion and immune system repair.
If you are excited to learn all the benefits, clinical studies and know the members of probiotics(about 19 strains), make sure to continue reading this article and I will be guiding you towards the new way to healthcare !
What is Probiotics?
Probiotic means “promote- life” (pro-bio). These probiotics were discovered by Elie Metchnikoff in the 20th century and he was known to be the “Father of Probiotics”. The discovery of probiotics by Metchnikoff was very interesting. This happened when he observed that there were a lot of old ages lived in one rural place in Bulgaria despite poor environment and poverty. He found out that people were fond of eating “sour milk”(yogurt) and other dairy products. He explained that health could be improved and old age or senility might be delayed if we put lots of friendly bacteria (he discovered in the sour milk) to the intestinal flora or in the gut. Later on that probiotics discovered in Bulgaria was named Lactobacillus bulgaricus!
Since that wonderful discovery of probiotics, extensive studies and researches were conducted and up to this time the quest for getting more answers on how probiotics do bring benefits in our body.
Here is one organization the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) that that re-examined or investigated the concept of probiotics and came up with newer definition of probiotics. ISAPP also set some guidelines or criteria to differentiate “products containing probiotics” and those containing “live or active cultures”.
ISAPP Definition of Probiotics
“In October 2013, the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) organized a meeting of clinical and scientific experts on probiotics (with specialties in gastroenterology, pediatrics, family medicine, gut microbiota, microbiology of probiotic bacteria, microbial genetics, immunology, and food science) to reexamine the concept of probiotics. They define probiotics as “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.”
“Here the guidelines or criteria to differentiate products containing probiotics and those containing live or active cultures:
- Live or active cultures criteria:
- Any food with fermentation microbe(s)
- Proof of viability at a minimum level reflective of typical levels seen in fermented foods, suggested to be 1 × 109 CFU per serving
- No specific research or evidence is needed to make this claim.
- Probiotics criteria for products that do not make a health claim:
- A member(s) of a safe species, which is supported by sufficient evidence of a general beneficial effect in humans or a safe microbe(s) with a property (for example, a structure, activity, or end product) for which there is sufficient evidence for a general beneficial effect in humans
- Proof of viability at the appropriate level used in supporting human studies
- Probiotics criteria for products that make a health claim:
- Defined probiotic strain(s)
- Proof of delivery of viable strain(s) at efficacious dose at the end of shelf life
- Convincing evidence needed for specific strain(s) or strain combination in the specified health indication”
This is just the beginning of the wonderful stories about probiotics. If you are excited to know about our friendly neighborhood probiotics, just continue to read this site and if you have concerns and inquiries please feel free to leave your comments here.
Your friend in health,