Bacteria in our gut?
The human gut is a highly complex environment and contains a plethora of different bacterial colonies which is continually evolving in composition depending upon eating habits. In the healthy gut these organisms perform vital roles in aspects of health and digestion such as metabolism, immune protection, and absorption of energy, vitamins and minerals. Should harmful bacteria be consumed or healthful bacteria removed, detrimental effects will be caused to digestion and the risk to general health in terms of autoimmune, allergic and inflammatory diseases and infection is increased. Other causes of disruption to the efficient function of the gut include malnutrition, stress, antibiotics, immunosuppressants, toxin ingestion as well as simply failing to intake enough probiotics or probiotic supplements in the diet.
Lactic acid bacteria make up the majority of the species in the probiotic supplement. The benefits of these normal flora have been well researched and recorded. Blended using a proprietary polysaccharide compound which preserves the organisms whilst they travel through the acid conditions of the stomach so that they may provide their full potential benefit to the gut, this probiotic supplement enriches the flora of the gastrointestinal tract, providing a healthy and balanced environment for digestion as well as supporting the immune system. As the normal flora thrive in the gut, these desirable bacteria also produce beneficial nutrients such as vitamins B (thiamine, biotin, B12 and folate) and K. The probiotic bacteria also compete with other less beneficial and pathogenic bacteria (including Staphylococcus, Listeria, Salmonella and E.coli) and yeast species by producing acids, hydrogen peroxide and bacteriocins which are all toxic to these organisms. In addition to this, the healthful bacteria introduced by the probiotic supplement simply compete with undesirable organisms for nutrients in the gut. Benefits to the immune system are thought to be brought about by stimulating and enhancing the production of immune cells and their activity.
Probiotic supplements bolster colonies of bacteria which aid digestion and absorption of food. This includes the breaking down of complex carbohydrates and sugars into glucose, proteins into amino acids and amino acids into fatty acids which support the lining of the colon. Some proteins which cause allergic reactions, such as gluten and casein, in addition to cancer causing agents, which may accumulate in the gut or may be absorbed into the body, are digested by these bacteria. They also support many functions of the gut wall itself, such as the absorption of minerals, water and salts, in addition to aiding blood flow and nutrient transportation through the gut wall.
High Potency Probiotic Supplements
High potency probiotic supplements have been shown to be more effective in improving the conditions in the gut than less potent ones. Also, as the supplement is required to pass through the harsh conditions of the digestive tract, if the probiotic does not have an acid stable coating, like Fundamental Probiotic, the survival rate for the bacteria is only around 25%. In order to impact upon the vast population of mixed species in the gut (1 trillion CFU per gram of colon content), a greater potency supplement is also considered to be more effective in competing with existing harmful flora or contributing to the numbers of beneficial bacteria. This complete probiotic supplement formulation combines more than 25 Billion CFU per dose with acid stabilizing technology to maximize the number of bacteria that end up in the area of the gut in which they are most beneficial. The proprietary polysaccharide acid-stable technology blended with the bacteria forms a protective barrier when in contact with acidic conditions that would otherwise destroy the bacteria, subsequently dissolving in the small intestine where they provide their greatest benefit.
Multiple Bacteria Species
The interaction of the multiple bacteria in the gut has a greater beneficial effect on health than a single strain of bacteria would. When considering how many different bacteria populate the gut, these synergistic interactions are most certainly highly intricately woven. Some of the interactions are known, and involve one species producing and secreting compounds, such as carbon dioxide, pyruvate and acetate as well as peptides and amino acids which stimulate the growth of other species. They may also change the ambient pH, by releasing acids or alkaline compounds, or the oxygen content of the surrounding environment. All of these different bacteria however act in unison in suppressing pathogenic bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
These are the most common bacteria in the human gut. These bacteria respire anaerobically, producing lactic acid or a combination of lactic and other substances as a byproduct of this process. There are more than 50 known species of these bacteria. Some of them are indigenous to the bowel, such as L.gasseri, L.crispatus and L.johnsonii, whereas others may be introduced and remain in the gut by being ingested on a regular basis. This type of bacteria benefit the gut by producing digestive enzymes and vitamins B and K. They also benefit the immune system, having an anti-inflammatory effect, as well as suppressing pathogenic organisms. These important bacteria are sustained in the gut by way of a healthy balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables, and are typically absent in a diet high in processed foods.
Lactobacillus Acidophilus specializes in breaking down of peptides (which make up proteins), casein and gluten, as well as complex carbohydrates and sugars (including lactose) which must be done in order for these nutrients to be absorbed through the lining of the gut. This probiotic supplement is known to promote bowel comfort, in reducing flatulence, inflammation (including irritable bowel syndrome, IBS) and the presence of carcinogens. It also protects against harmful bacteria including E.coli, Salmonella and Listeria.
Lactobacillus Rhamnosus is known for improving immune function, especially phagocytic and T cell responses. It also protects against the absorption of E.coli through the gut, improves recovery from diarrhea and may play a role in the treatment of Crohn’s disease. Allergic conditions including cow milk allergy, dermatitis and eczema may be ameliorated by this bacteria being present in the gut. It specializes in breaking down a wide variety of peptides.
Lactobacillus Casei is especially good at breaking down casein and gluten peptides, and occurs in dairy and plant produce. It aids the immune system by regulating its response, which might help in lessening allergic or autoimmune reactions and in addition it may help maintain the integrity of the immune system with age. When given to Crohn’s disease sufferers it has been shown to reduce inflammation and cell death in the wall of the gut. In constipation it may improve regularity and stool consistency.
Lactobacillus Salivarius is a bacteria native to the gut with antimicrobial properties, which aids calcium absorption and improves the performance of the gut lining. It may reduce inflammation in diseases such as Salmonella and colitis.
Lactobacillus Plantarum is introduced to the gut from including fruit and vegetables in the diet. This probiotic supplement is able to withstand the acidic conditions in the stomach and upper intestinal tract and its benefits include maintaining the integrity of the gut lining. It also ameliorates a variety of conditions such as C.difficile diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis.
Lactobacillus Paracasei is very tolerant to the acidic conditions of many parts of the gut. It is one of few Lactobaccilli that can break down plant fibers called fructans. It provides benefit to many different illnesses including rhinitis and nonrotavirus diarrhea.
These bacteria make up 95% of the life present in the gut in infants. They are involved in the formation of the system of flora in the gut, as well as in the development of the immune system. Their numbers tend to decline with age, but they remain important as probiotic supplements. They ferment dietary substances that the body and other bacteria in the gut are not able to digest, and they benefit the lining of the colon in providing it specific nutrients.
Bifidobacterium Bifidum is strongly related to immune function and has been shown to be lacking in infants with allergies as well as the elderly. It modulates and improves various aspects of the immune system in response to toxins, and reduces symptoms of diarrhea associated with antibiotics.
Bifidobacterium Longum break down a great many different oligosaccharides and is also involved in immunity and may lessen inflammation of the intestines. When E.coli is present in the gut, this probiotic supplement prevents its passage through the gut wall. Research has shown that B.longum is effective in modulating the body’s response to inhaling allergens, and in reducing the numbers of carcinogen-producing bacteria.
Bifidobacterium Infantis is a bacteria that declines in number in the gut with advancing age. It is thought to reduce inflammation and defend against inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel disease. This probiotic supplement reduces bloating and other symptoms of bowel discomfort. When absent from the gut it is associated with increased levels of harmful organisms.
Bifidobacterium Breve is thought to be involved in priming the immune system in infants and in competing with harmful bacteria, preventing them from populating the gut. It has been shown in animals that this probiotic supplement improves the immune response to viral infection.
Most Complete Probiotic Supplement
Fundamental probiotic supplement is made up of the following 3 beneficial bacterial genus: Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria and Streptococci. Specifically, each probiotic capsule contains 12 healthy bacterial strains and each capsule contains more than 25 billion CFUs (colony forming units) of the species Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus salivarius, Bifidobacterium longum, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus paracasei, Bifidobacterium infantis and Bifidobacterium breve.
The vegetarian capsules of Fundamental Probiotic are made up of inulin, a natural vegetarian fiber derived from chicory root, and are surrounded by a casing that is certified as Kosher. These probiotic supplements contain no dairy products, no soy, no egg, no yeast, no corn, no gluten, and no casein (a protein found in milk) or other common allergens.