Now a days probiotics are emerging as alternatives for antibiotics and antivirais in the treatmentof many gastrointestinal diseases as these probiotics are devoid of side effects.Probiotics are live microorganisms, native of human gut, which can colonize in the alimentary tract and produce beneficial effects for the host. They offer an alternative and additional therapy for usual intestinal problems such as diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome etc. and acts as nutritional support. Acting through different mechanisms, probiotics help to restore the normal flora in the GIT. This article emphasizes the importance of probiotics in our daily life.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that when ingested, survive, passage through the GIT and results in beneficial effects for the host, including amelioration or prevention of a specific disease state.The organisms that protect and enhance our life are known as Probiotics as they play beneficial role in treatment of Travellers diarrhoea, antibiotic associated diarrhoea, infective
diarrhoea, inflammatory bowel diseases," imtable bowel syndrome and colon cancer. The organisms used in probiotics are known as Bio-TherapeuticAgents.
Gut is sterile at birth. Bacteria start appearing as soon as the baby starts feeding. These bacteria comprise the bowel flora. The composition of bowel flora also depends on age, race, and diet of the person. The actual number of the bowel bacteria varies in different parts of the digestive system.The oesophagus contains the bacteria swallowed with food. But very few of them survive in stomach acid. The no. of bacteria increases as we move down the alimentary tract. There may belO million bacteria/ml offaecal fluid. Examples of Intestinal Flora
· Lactobacillus acidophilus
· Saccharomyces bulardi
· Lactic acid bacillus
· Lactobacillus GG
· Bifidus longum
Due to various drug therapies or improper diet intake or due to infectious conditions, the bowel microflora balance may get disturbed. They must be replaced by using probiotics.
Advantages and Investigative Results of Probiotics
1. Probiotics produce important nutrients, eliminate toxins, protect food from putrefaction and enhances the body immune system. Lactobacillus bulgaricus helps by suppressing the toxin production of putrefactiv bacteria in intestine.
2. The bacteria present in administered probiotics synthesise vitamins for the host consumption. They also produce antibiotics that can kill foreign species of bacteria invading ourgut.
Lactobacilli produce Lactolin, an anti-biotic like substance and Lactobrevin, Lactocidin, Lactobacin, acidolin, acidophilin which have counter action on S.aureus. Lactobacillus bulgaricus acts upon enterotoxic action of E.coli. L.bulgaricus prevents coliform associated
diarrhoea. Lactobacillus acidophilus produce Koumiss, Kefir, which are anti-bacterial substances which inhibit the growth of E.coli. They have bacteriostatic or bactericidal action on E.coli, S.aureus B.subtilis, B.cereus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
3. Lactobacillus organisms like Lactobacillus GG has proven to be particularly valuable in preventing intestinal problems. They produce antibacterial substance that can kill E.coli, Streptococcus and Salmonella species.
4. Probiotics are more effective in treatment of viral diarrhoea,than bacterial diarrhoea suggesting immune enhancement as mechanism of their action.
5. L.GG has already shown to reduce the incidence colon cancer chemically induced colon cancer.Continuous interactions occur in the gut between the microflora and the immune system.
Mechanism of Action of ProbioticsThe recent experiments on probiotics have proven that they show the therapeutic effects by the following mechanisms.
1. They reduce the activity of some carcinogenic microorganisms.
2. They enhance the resistance to infection like diarrhoea, Irritable bowel syndromeeto.
3. Strengthen the activity of intestinal microflora against some allergic reactions.
For example, Lactobacillus species show their action by following ways on diarrhoea-affected person.
1. Probiotic agents acidify the gut lumen.
2. Produce antimicrobial substances. (like Lactolin, Koumiss, Lactobrevin) and act on pathogenic microorganisms like E.coli, S.aureus.
3. Inhibit the pathogenic bacterial adhesion to intestinal mucosal surface.
4. The probiotics act either by the cytokine production or by immunomodulation.
5. Decreased bacterial translocation and altered mucosal barrier.
Probiotics-Key Role in Treatment of Diseases
Probiotics have been used predominantly in the prevention and treatment of diarrhoea. They have shown to reduce the duration and severity of viral diarrhoea, specifically rotavirus in infants.They have also shown to reduce the risk of incidence of travellers diarrhoea, antibiotic-associated diarrhoea. The potential use of probiotics include control of inflammatory diseases like Crohnsdisease or ulcerative colitis.
Frequently Employed Probiotic Strains
Dozens of microorganisms have been shown to have desirable probiotic qualities in vitro. However, ingested bacteria were normally killed in stomach. A small no, of strains have been shown to colonize the human GIT in clinical trials.
Probiotic Strains : These are clinical strains which show the following positive characters.
1. In vitro adherence toepithelial cells.
2. In vitro antimicrobial ativity.
3. In vitro resistance to bile, hydrochloric acid and pancreatic juice.
4. Anti- carcinogenic activity in clinical trials.
5. Immune modulation or stimulation in human clinical trials.
6. Reduction of intestinal permeability in human clinical trials.
7. Colonization of the Gl tract inhuman clinical trials.
Implantable Strains: Any microbial strain native to the GIT of man shown to survive passage through the GIT (appear live in stools) or persist on biopsies of Gl mucosa after cessation of feeding are called implantable strains.Example: Lactobacilli, LGG
ldpal Charactpristir.s of Prohiotic Strains
1. They must be of human origin
2. They must be non-pathogenic
3. Acid and bile tolerant. They should remain viable during processing and transit through the gastrointestinal tract.
4. Ability to withstand technological processes and should remain viable during the food shelf-life period.
Clinically Important Probiotic Strains
Commercially Available Probiotic FormulationsThe commercially available probtotics have main components as soil organisms (HSO). These organisms are naturally occurring in colony forming and in non-mutated forms which are collected from unpolluted soil and plants. These HSO are of nutrient rich superfoods orovidina vitamins, minerals, traceelements etc. These strains are made dormant using the microflora delivery system. They are delivered directly into GIT where they multiply. Composition of Primal Defense, a Probiotic PreparationHso Probiotic Blend 1 billion Cfu
Action ofHSO (Homeostatic Soil Organisms)
Impervious to stomach acids and the digestive process, the micro organisms move through the stomach to the intestinal tract where they form colonies along the intestinal walls. HSO multiply in intestine and compete with harmful bacteria, and yeast forreceptor sites. Once established, the organism quickly begins producing the proper environment to absorb nutrients and helps
to re-establish the proper pH. Ø HSOs work from the inside of intestines dislodging accumulated decay on the wall and flushing out waste. HSOs break down hydrocarbons, a unique ability to split food into its most basic elements allowing almost total absorption through the digestive system. This increasesoverall nutrition and enhances cellular devetopment. HSOs produce specific proteins that act as antigens, encouraging the immune system to produce huge pools of uncoded antibodies. HSOs are very aggressive against pathological molds, yeasts, fungi, bacteria, parasites and viruses. HSOs work in symbiosis with somatic (tissue or organ) cells to metabolise proteins and eliminate toxic waste. HSOs stimulate the body to produce natural alpha interferon. Alpha - interferon is a potent immune system enhancerand a powerful inhibitorof viruses.
Precautions to be taken During Probiotic Therapy