Probiotic bacteria are non-pathogenic microorganisms that, when ingested in sufficient viable numbers, exert a positive influence on the host. Some of the beneficial effects of probiotics include balancing of the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract microflora, improvement of immune response, production and improvement of the utilization of nutrients, decrease in the symptoms of lactose intolerance and allergies in susceptible individuals, reduction of the risk of cancer, alleviation of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases.Probiotics
In order to exert their positive effect, the beneficial bacteria must reach the colon in relatively high viable cell concentrations. They must survive the transit through the stomach and the small intestines, where they are exposed to harsh conditions, such as low pH values and pepsin presence and high bile salt concentrations. Thus, the most important probiotic characteristic is the ability of surviving the harsh environment in the upper gastro-intestinal tract. Another key feature is the production of sufficient amount of cells during the cultivation process in the production facilities. Therefore, strains possessing high growth rates and capable of gaining high amount of biomass in a short period are more suitable for industrial production of probiotics and probiotic foods.
The human digestive tract is a home to the largest number of bacteria and the greatest number of species compared to other areas of the body. In fact, there are more bacteria in our gut than there are human cells in our body. The gastrointestinal microflora has several key functions: directly defending against pathogens, fortifying the defense of our organism by its role in developing and maintaining the intestinal epithelium, inducing antibody production, metabolizing indigestible compounds in food, training the developing immune system. The composition of the gut microbiota depends on factors like age, diet, geography, stress factors, etc. When the balance of the microflora is disturbed, various diseases can occur.
In the healthy intestinal tract, the microflora and the host are separated only by the intestinal epithelium, which serves as a barrier that prevents bacteria from entering the body and also protects the bacteria in the gut from attacks by the host immune system. In order for the human organism to function properly, a balance is needed between the so-called “good” and “bad” bacteria. The presence of “bad” bacteria is beneficial to the human health- they protect the body from infections caused by more aggressive pathogens, by creating an environment in which the harmful bacteria cannot grow to disease-causing levels.However, in various disease states, the barrier function of the intestinal epithelium may be compromised.
Thus, it becomes permeable for toxins, pro-inflammatory substances and pathogens. This process has been associated with a range of serious conditions, such as sepsis. Cryobiotyca’s probiotics promote a well-balanced intestinal microbiome, with beneficial effects on the digestive tract, such as reducing the risk of intestinal infection and provide relief of common intestinal health problems. A large part of the immune response is located in the gastrointestinal tract and the microflora there has an important role in it.
Thus, the balance of the composition of the gut microflora directly affects human health. An increasing number of studies have shown that a balanced and nourished intestinal microbiota assists the immune system in multiple ways. Firstly, the beneficial bacteria assist in keeping the protective epithelial and mucus layer of the intestine strong, which decreases the risk of a “leaky” gut. Secondly, they stimulate the secretion of cytokines and antibodies by the lining of the intestinal wall, which support the immune response. The immune system can also be altered due to the gut bacteria's ability to produce metabolites that can affect cells in the immune system. For example short-chain fatty acids can be produced by some gut bacteria through fermentation. They stimulate a rapid increase in the production of innate immune cells. These cells are part of the innate immune system that try to limit the spread of infection. The results are an efficient and balanced immune system. Probiotics can thus support the regulation of the immune system, and may alleviate excessive inflammations and infections, such as common colds, as well as decrease the risk for allergies.
Viral and rotavirus diarrhea in children can lead to dehydration and malnutrition, which in small children could be life threatening. Probiotics shorten the diarrhea attacks and can be used as a prophylactic tool.Diarrhea as a side-effect of antibiotic therapy, affects a significant portion patients treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics kill the “good” bacteria along with the targeted pathogenic microbes. This affects the balance of the gut microflora and leads to diarrhea. Such imbalance can persist and cause further health problems.
The incidence of constipation is 14% of the word population suffers from with higher numbers among women and the elderly. Most non-prescription drugs for constipation are not very effective or have unpleasant side effects. Probiotics improve gut transit time, stool frequency, and stool consistency.
Helicobacter pylori is a Gram-negative bacterium isolated from the gastric mucosa of patients with chronic gastritis, gastric and duodenal ulcers. H. pylori eradication clearly prevents ulcer recurrence, and eradication therapy is now standard in the prevention of peptic ulcer recurrence. H. pylori eradication is achieved in 70–90% of cases, but in some cases occurs resistance to the treatment. The supplementation of the standard therapy with probiotics increases the eradication rates of H. pylori.