Probiotic Strains

What do you need to know from the manufacturer about the probiotics in a product?
Is there a recommended dose for probiotics? The level of daily intakes of probiotics used in research with demonstrated health benefits usually is one billion cfu per day. Food Standards Australia and New Zealand requires that fermented products contain 1,000,000 cfu per gram.
Look for products that demonstrate levels well in excess of I billion cfu per serve early in shelf life with levels remaining in excess of one billion per serve for the full shelf life.
How often do you need to take probiotics to have benefits? Most studies have used daily doses although some research shows colonization by probiotics of the large intestine which can last several days
Are probiotics safe? The only concerns with probiotic use have been found in people who are immuno-compromised or have severe illnesses
Do all probiotics of the same type function in the same way? Different probiotics have different functions. Even within the same class of bacteria there can be variations in the benefits from probiotic ingestion.

 

aBc PROBIOTICS: La-5® Lactobacillus acidophilus; BB-12® bifidobacterium; L.casei 431®.

This information is based on research supporting probiotic benefits for these strains. It is important to know which probiotics are in a product as not all probiotics have measurable benefits.

1. Identification of the genus, species and strain of each probiotic La-5® Lactobacillus acidophilus BB-12® bifidobacterium L.casei 431®
2. What published human studies have been conducted on the product or the specific strains in the product? LA-5® has been tested in vitro for its tolerance to gastric acid and bile and has the robustness necessary for a probiotic strain.
The activity of probiotic bacteria takes place primarily in the small intestine and the colon, and therefore tolerance to gastric acids and bile salts are considered as important properties.
When tested in a strong acidic environment BB-12® shows excellent survival rates. BB-12® also tolerates exposure to bile. Survival through the gastrointestinal tract has also been demonstrated in vivo.i L.casei 431® has been tested in vitro for tolerance to gastric acid and bile and has the robustness necessary for a probiotic strain.
 3. What benefits were observed in those studies? AB cultures in fermented milk drinks can diminish the need for laxatives in the elderly and severely immobilized patients.ii
AB cultures in yoghurt can suppress H. pylori infection in humans
AB cultures in yoghurt given to H pylori infected subjects receiving triple therapy reduced side effects; improved eradication rates and restored normal bowel flora within 1 month after therapy.iv Similar improvements were seen with AB yoghurt used with quadruple therapy.v
Fermented milk containing AB cultures reduced daily stool frequency in patients with restorative protocolectomy for ulcerative colitis.vi
AB cultures in fermented milk drinks can diminish the need for laxatives in the elderly and severely immobilized patients.vii
AB cultures in yoghurt can suppress H. pylori infection in humans.viii AB cultures in yoghurt given to H pylori infected subjects receiving triple therapy reduced side effects, improved eradication rates and restored normal bowel flora within 1 month after therapy.ix Similar improvements were seen with AB yoghurt used with quadruple therapy.
Bifidobacterium in drink increases faecal amounts and changes bacterial profile.x
Fermented milk containing AB cultures reduced daily stool frequency in patients with restorative protocolectomy for ulcerative colitis.xi
Yoghurt with
bifidobacterium increased faecal frequency in subjects with usual frequency of less than 4 times a week.xi xii xiv 
Multiple studies show reduced diarrhoea in infants and children fed fermented milk products containing lactobacillus casei and lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium.  Other studies show that this C culture enhanced immune function.xi xii xiv
 4. Is the product formulated to contain the same level of probiotic through the end of shelf life as was shown to be beneficial in the studies?  Benefits in studies seen in the range one billion cfu per day or more

REFERENCES

i. Malinen  et al (2002). PCR-ELISA II: Analysis of Bifidobacterium populations in human faecal samples from a consumption trial with Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12 and a galactooligosaccharide preparation. Syst Appl Microbiol ;25:249-58
ii.Aim  et al (1993) Effect of a new fermented milk product "CULTURA" on constipation in geriatric patients. 1st Lactic Acid Bacteria Computer Conference Proceedings. Horizon Scientific Press. Norfolk. England.
iii.Wang et al (2004) Effects of ingesting Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium- containing yoghurt in subjects colonized with Heliobacter pylori. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 80:737-41
iv. Shue et al (2002) Impact of supplement with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium containing yoghurt on triple therapy for Heliobacter pylori eradication. Aliment. Pharmacol. Ther 16. 1669-1675
v. Sheu (2006) Pretreatment with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium containing yoghurt can improve the efficiency of Quadruple therapy in eradicating residual Heliobacter pylori infection after failed triple therapy. Am J CLin Nutr 83: 864-9
vi.Laake et al (1999) Influence of fermented milk on clinical state, fecal bacterial counts and biochemical characteristics in patients with ileal-pouch-anal-anastomosis. Microbiol Ecology in Health and Disease, 11:211-217
vii. Aim  et al (1993) Effect of a new fermented milk product "CULTURA" on constipation in geriatric patients. 1st Lactic Acid Bacteria Computer Conference Proceedings. Horizon Scientific Press. Norfolk. England.
viii.Wang et al (2004) Effects of ingesting Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium- containing yoghurt in subjects colonized with Heliobacter pylori. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 80:737-41
ix.Sheu (2006) Pretreatment with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium containing yoghurt can improve the efficiency of Quadruple therapy in eradicating residual Heliobacter pylori infection after failed triple therapy. Am J CLin Nutr 83: 864-9
x. Shioya (2000) Effect of fermented milk containing bifidobacterium lactis Fk 120 on the fecal flora and fecal properties in healthy female volunteers. Food Health and Nutrition Research (Journal of Nutritional Food) 3:7-18
xi Laake et al (1999) Influence of fermented milk on clinical state, fecal bacterial counts and biochemical characteristics in patients with ileal-pouch-anal-anastomosis. Microbiol Ecology in Health and Disease, 11:211-217
xii Mastsumoto et al (2001) Effect of yoghurt with Bifidobacterium lactis LKM512 in improving fecal microflora and def3cation of healthy volunteer. Intestine Microbiology Magazine. 14:97-102
xiii Nishida et al (2004) Effect of Yoghurt containing bifidobacterium lactis BB-12 on improvement of defecation and fecal micro flora of healthy female adults. Milk Science 53: (2):71-80
xiv Uchida et al (2005) Effect of fermented milk containing bifidobacterium lactis BB-12 on stool frequency, defecation, fecal microbiota and safety of excessive ingestion in healthy female students – 2nd report. Food Health and Nutrition Research (Journal of Nutritional Food) 8(1):39-51
xv De Vrese M & Martell R (2007) Probiotics and prebiotics;effect on diarrhea. J Nutr. 137(3 Suppl 2):803S-11S.
xvi Salminen, S. (1996) Development of selection criteria for probiotic strains to assess their potential in functional foods. A Nordic and European approach, Biosci Micro. 15 (2) 61-67
xvii Miettinen, M (1996) Production of human tumor necrosis factor alpha interlueukin-6 and interleukin 10 is induced by lactic acid bacteria.  Infect & Immun 64: 5403-540

More Research

To read more probiotic research summaries, click on this link for information about La-5 and this link for information about BB-12 and this link for information about L.Casei 431  

These two studies in particular, referenced in the links above, may be of interest:

Health Effect On: Diarrhea / Constipation / Intestinal Health

Chr. Hansen Probiotic Strain: Bifidobacterium BB-12

Study Design: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with the objective to
assess how fermented oat drink with two selected Bifidobacterium longum
strains influenced bowel movements among elderly nursing home residents,
209 residents were randomized to receive daily a fermented oat drink with 1)
Bifidobacterium longum strains or 2) BB-12 or 3) without viable bacteria
(placebo) for 7 months. Regularity of bowel movements (no movements or
functioning) and consistency of stools (normal, soft or diarrhoea) were
recorded for each resident on a daily basis.

Dosage: 1 billion CFU/day
Total CFU/Day: 1 billion CFU/day

Reported Results Conclusions:
The fermented oat drinks were well taken by the subjects (85% compliance). It
was possible to normalize bowel movements in frail nursing home residents,
as the groups receiving active products had more frequent bowel movements
than did the placebo group (B. longum group normal functioning 28.5% of
follow-up days, BB-12 group 26.9%, and placebo group 20.0%, respectively).

The differences between the B. longum and the placebo group (mean 7.1,
95% CI 2.3 - 11.9, p=0.004) and between the BB-12 group and the placebo
(mean 6.7, 95% CI 2.5 - 10.9, p = 0.002) were significant even when diarrhoea
and constipation in the 3 months prior to the study were used as covariates.

Date: 2007

Research Facility: Helsinki University Hospital, Department of Medicine, Clinics of General
Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Helsinki, Finland

Published Source: Pitkälä KH, Strandberg TE, Finne Soveri UH, Ouwehand AC, Poussa T,
Salminen S. Fermented cereal with specific bifidobacteria normalizes bowel
movements in elderly nursing home residents. A randomized, controlled trial. J
Nutr Health Aging. 2007 Jul-Aug;11(4):305-11.

Health Effect On:  Diarrhea / Constipation / Intestinal Health

Chr. Hansen Probiotic Strain: Bifidobacterium BB-12 Lactobacillus acidophilus LA-5 Lactobacillus bulgaricus LBY-27 Streptococcus thermophilus STY-31

Study Design: In a double-blind, placebo controlled study, 94 healthy tourists on a 2 week trip to Egypt consumed either placebo or probiotic capsules, starting 2 days before departure and continuing throughout the trip.

Dosage: 3 capsules (3 billion CFU/capsule) daily.
Total CFU/Day: 9 billion

Reported Results Conclusions: Frequency of diarrhea was significantly reduced (P=0.019) with the probiotic. Protection rate against traveler's diarrhea was 39%.

Date: 1989

Research Facility: Egypt

Published Source: Black, F.T., Anderson, P.L., Orskov J., Orskov, F., Gaarslev, K., Laulund, S. Prophylactic efficacy of lactobacilli on traveler’s diarrhea. 1989. Travel Medicine, 333-335.