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article imageEvidence in support of a probiotic for gut health

By Tim Sandle     Apr 27, 2015 in Health
Eating a probiotic encourages the activity of beneficial gut microbes, leading to improved gut health. This is according to a new study using a special live yogurt.
Probiotics are cultures of specific live microorganisms that can theoretically confer a health benefit. The types of microorganisms are commonly lactic acid bacteria. There is some debate about the effectiveness of probiotics with only a handful of studies inferring any benefits and a large industry producing a mass of probiotic products.
A new study goes some way to supporting the probiotic argument, although it should be pointed out that the study is relatively small and further research will be required. Nonetheless, the results are interesting.
In the study, a dozen senior adults were given a yogurt-type drink containing a particular bacterium called Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG). LGG is a popular dietary supplement. After a month, the profiles of other bacteria in the volunteers’ guts changed. These changes were for the better, according to the author's of the research paper: “We found that LGG transiently enriches for functions to potentially promote anti-inflammatory pathways in the resident microbes."
The change in microbial profile was found from an analysis of stool samples. The types of beneficial bacteria that increased in numbers producers help with the production of the short-chain fatty acid butyrate. This fatty-acid is the preferred nutrient for human colonocytes (epithelial cells.) It has anti-inflammatory properties, and decreases epithelial permeability. Furthermore, these short-chain fatty acids benefit the colonocyte by increasing energy production,and cell proliferation and may protect against colon cancer.
The findings have been published in the journal mBio, in paper titled "Functional Dynamics of the Gut Microbiome in Elderly People during Probiotic Consumption."
In related news, reported on earlier by Digital journal, certain bacteria that can eat their way through yeast in the human gut could be the basis for new probiotic treatments for people suffering from bowel diseases,
More about Probiotic, Gut, Intestines, gut health, microbiome
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