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Human Probiotics

Nobel laureate Elie Metchnikoff, known as the “father of probiotics,” who proposed in The Prolongation of Life: Optimistic Studies that ingesting microorganisms confer substantial health benefits for humans .The term probiotic was derived from the Greek, meaning “for life.” Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer health benefits on the host.

Picturing the human body as a “host” for bacteria and other microorganisms is helpful in understanding probiotics. The body, especially the lower gastrointestinal tract (the gut), contains a complex and diverse community of bacteria. (In the body of a healthy adult, cells of microorganisms are estimated to outnumber human cells by a factor of ten to one.)  Although many individuals think of bacteria as harmful “germs,” but in reality many friendly bacteria actually help the body function properly. Most probiotics are bacteria similar to the beneficial bacteria found naturally in the human gut.

Various mechanisms may account for the effects of probiotics on human health. Possible mechanisms include altering the intestinal “microecology” (e.g., reducing harmful organisms in the intestine), producing antimicrobial compounds (substances that destroy or suppress the growth of microorganisms), and stimulating the body’s immune response.

The physiological effects attributed to probiotic bacteria include:

  1. The reduction of gut pH
  2. Production of some digestive enzymes and vitaminsi
  3. Production of antibacterial substances, e.g., organic acids, bacteriocins, hydrogen peroxide, diacetyl acetaldehyde, lactoperoxidase system, lactones, and other unidentified substances
  4. Reconstruction of normal intestinal microflora after disorders caused by diarrhoea, antibiotic therapy, and radiotherapy,
  5. Reduction of cholesterol level in the blood
  6. Stimulation of immune functions
  7. Suppression of bacterial infections
  8. Removal of carcinogens
  9. Improvement of minerals and vitamin absorption
  10. Ageing

A Diagrammatic Representation of the Physiological Actions

Proposed mechanisms for the benefits of probiotics include:

  1. Adherence and colonization [multiplying of the beneficial bacteria in the gut]
  2. Suppression of growth or epithelial binding/invasion by pathogenic bacteria and production of antimicrobial substances
  3. Improvement of intestinal barrier function
  4. Controlled transfer of dietary antigens, and
  5. Stimulation of mucosal and systemic host immunity

In the neonates or the new-born, the probiotic content is almost non-existent,  it is the mothers vaginal flora, and the probiotic content, that is passed on to the neonate during feeds and later solids, that contribute to the build-up of beneficial or probiotic bacteria in the physiological system, contributing to vital physiolological functions.

Safety and Side-Effects

As many of the probiotics, are either in the spore form or in the live forms, there were concerns regarding the safety of probiotics. However the use of probiotics either as tablets, powders or food additives, did not produce any unwanted side-effects in either the young or the old. Most people do not experience side effects from probiotics.

Some of the adverse effects reported can be attributed to:

  1. Improper manufacturing process, lack of infrastructure and fermentation processes
  2. Identification of wild strains unfit for human consumption
  3. Incompatibility of probiotic strains
  4. Improper control of humidity and manufacturing processes

Sanzyme., has a dedicated team of scientific and skilled personnel, manufacturing / fermentation processes in place, to ensure that no wild strains, or unviable probiotics are sent to the market for human consumption. It is the pioneering effort, of many individuals that has ensured that the quality, viability, compatibility and potency of the probiotics is maintained till the time of expiry

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