Clinical research has shown that probiotics support bowel health and much more. Probiotics help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract and are increasingly important in the diet as we continue to rely on processed foods. Probiotics help to counter the negative effects that processed foods and numerous other factors may have on the bacterial balance in the gastrointestinal tract.
L. plantarum has been shown to promote digestive health. L. plantarum competes for nutrients which the unhealthy bacteria live on. It is able to help reduce unhealthy bacteria (naturally present in the body) while preserving vital nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins. One of the talents of L. plantarum is its ability to synthesise L-lysine, an essential amino acid which is required for countless functions in the body.
L. acidophilus is one of the most highly studied and widely used probiotic organisms. It is a strain of lactic acid producing, rod-shaped microbes that have numerous benefits for bowel health. L. acidophilus produces vitamin K, lactase, and anti-microbial substances such as acidolin, acidophilin, lactocidin, and bacteriocin. Due to the multiple functions of this microorganism, scientists have discovered that administering L. acidophilus orally helps maintain the proper balance within the digestive tract. L. acidophilus has been shown to support bowel health. The lactase that L. acidophilus creates is an enzyme that assists in the breakdown of lactose into simple sugars, which can support lactose metabolism.
L. rhamnosus is a strain of probiotics that aids in balancing the gastrointestinal microflora. It is one of the most intensely studied bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. One of the remarkable things about L. rhamnosus is its ability to tolerate and even thrive in the harsh acidic conditions normally found in the stomach. Research has shown that L. rhamnosus helps maintain the integrity of the stomach lining.
L. salivarius resides in the mouth and small intestine. It has been shown to be effective in helping to reduce at least five potentially unhealthy bacteria in the mouth that are involved in producing dental plaque. L. salivarius appears to support homeostasis within the intestines.
L. casei is a rod-shaped species of Lactobacillus found in milk, cheese and dairy. It is a lactic acid producer like other species within the Lactobacillus genus and has been found to assist in the colonisation of beneficial bacteria and can help relieve occasional diarrhea. L. casei is active in a broad temperature and pH range. It can be found naturally in the mouth and intestine of humans. It is a lactase producer which aids in healthy lactose metabolism and promoting bowel health.
L. helveticus has been well studied for many years and is commonly used in the production of Swiss-type cheeses to enhance flavor. Several beneficial probiotic effects are reported such as the ability to survive in the stomach and to reach the intestine alive, helping to support lactose metabolism and helping to minimize the duration of occasional diarrhea. A number of studies have been conducted in regard to the myriad of potential health benefits offered by L. helveticus.
Bifidobacterium are rod-shaped microbes that have been identified as the most important organisms in the intestine for providing barrier protection. Like Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium are lactic acid producing microbes found in fermented foods such as yogurt and cheese. Despite the fact that when we are born Bifidobacterium makes up approximately 95% of the total gut population, the Bifidobacterium population decreases in our intestines as adults and then declines further as we advance in age. B. bifidum is the predominant bacteria strain found in the microflora of breast-fed infants. It is believed that B. bifidum contributes to the bowel health of breast-fed infants.
B. longum is a branched, rod-shaped bacterium that competes with other bacteria for attachment sites within the bowel. It has a high resistance to gastric acid and shares similar functions as B. bifidum.
B. breve is another branched, rod-shaped bacterium. The job of B. breve in the bowel is to ferment sugars and produce lactic acid as well as acetic acid. B. breve is a champion among probiotic bacteria due to its ability to metabolize many types of food.
B. infantis is a probiotic bacterium that inhabits the intestine of both infants and adults.
According to a study sponsored by P&G Health Sciences Institute and published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, B. infantis may be beneficial for bowel health. B. infantis plays an important role in basic digestion, proper metabolism and overall well-being.