Pennington Nutrition SeriesHealthier lives through education in nutrition and preventive medicine Pub No 51 PROBIOTICS PENNINGTON BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH CENTER WHAT ARE PROBIOTICS? SPECIAL POINTS OF INTEREST: Probiotics are living micro-organisms or bacteria that we consume What are Probiotics? in foods or beverages. Probiotic bacteria are friendly bacteria that Types of Probiotic bacteria live in our bodies and offer many benefits. There are many different Intestinal microflora varieties of friendly bacteria that exist naturally in foods or drinks, or Functions of can be added to foods or beverages to enhance health and well probiotics being. When friendly bacteria are added into foods or beverages Improved immunity through probiotics they are known as functional foods. Probiotics and Probiotic bacteria are also available in intestinal health supplement form. Most supplements Other health conditions contain mixtures of several bacteria. Sources of probiotics Supplements and foods high in probiotic bacteria may be useful after antibiotic therapy to re-colonize the intestinal track with healthy bacteria. Yogurt has friendly probiotic bacteria. TYPES OF PROBIOTIC BACTERIA Some of the most common types of probiotic bacteria are the Lactic acid bacteria. These bacteria are found in yogurt. Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus are some common bacteria in different varieties of yogurt. Other bacteria that are used as probiotics are non-lactic acid bacteria and non-pathogenic yeast.
PROBIOTICS Page 2 INTESTINAL MICROFLORA The intestines are a We have many where the conditions unique and vital organ. organisms that live are very acidic, there The intestines are within our intestinal are living bacteria. Nor- metabolically very track to assure a mal microflora can be active. During and after normal health. The enhanced by ingesting a meal, digestion and weight of all the bacte- products that have absorption break down ria within our friendly bacteria, or the food with a myriad intestines is about 1.5 substances that sup- of reactions happening kg, or a little over 3 port bacterial growth. simultaneously to take pounds, with a total Under normal condi- care of our energy and over 100 trillion. Each tions, the bacteria nutrient needs, as well section of the intestinal thrive, but they can be as letting our brains track has specific bac- killed by antibiotic know that we have teria that live in it. Even therapy. eaten. within the stomach, FUNCTIONS OF PROBIOTICS Probiotic bacteria Probiotics have been treatment for various treatment for offer protection rheumatoid arthritis. used for various intestinal conditions against harmful conditions. They have such as lactose Other conditions that bacteria and been found to modulate intolerance, Crohns have improved due to enhance our immunity, particularly in disease, ulcerative probiotic treatment are immune system. infants. The presence of colitis, Irritable Bowel atopic dermatitis, the friendly bacteria in Syndrome (IBS), candidiasis and urinary the intestinal track diarrhea, and tract infections. activates the immune constipation. Probiotics are also system and boosts Probiotics have been thought to be helpful in important immune successful in lowering preventing cancer, par- components. They are cholesterol. They have ticularly intestinal important as a also been used as a cancers. IMPROVED IMMUNITY THROUGH PROBIOTICS About 80 percent of our tion against invasive either build tolerance immune system func- species. The GALT has against antigens or tion is within the cells such as T and B alter cell chemistry and intestinal track. Within lymphocytes that its response to an the intestinal track we actively defend us allergen. The friendly have what is called gut against pathogens. The bacteria help reduceLymphocytes are important associated lymphoid beneficial bacteria inflammation andcells for helping our tissue or GALT. GALT is activate these stabilize the intestinalimmune system cope with very important when it lymphocytes and cause track.infection. comes to body a release of several immunity and protec- cellular chemicals that
Page 3 PUB NO 51PROBIOTICS AND INTESTINAL HEALTHProbiotics have been probiotic bacteria as with probiotic treatmentused to treat several part of the treatment are Crohns disease,intestinal conditions. It can reduce the severity ulcerative colitis, IBSis thought that when and length of the bouts and constipation. Thethe intestinal track is and can help the infant probiotic bacteriacolonized with healthy recover faster. The normalize the walls ofand friendly bacteria, same is true for the intestinal tract andthe gut is healthier and traveler’s diarrhea. help in the healingtherefore it functions Studies show that there process. Probiotics are Probiotic bacteriabetter. Pediatric is a reduction in days also responsible fordiarrhea is a very affected by traveler’s synthesizing nutrients incommon occurrence diarrhea when probiotic the intestinal tract suchand can have serious treatment is as folic acid, niacin,effects such as administered. Other riboflavin, vitamins B6dehydration. Using conditions improved and B12.OTHER HEALTH CONDITIONSThe probiotic bacteria Probiotic bacteria help is multifaceted and very Probiotic bacteriahave many functions in enhancing the difficult to treat and have variedand they are very me- immune system and for there is no one solution. functions and helptabolically active. In that reason is thought One of the facets of the against manyyoung infants they offer to offer help in disorder is intestinal conditions.help with intestinal tract conditions such as malfunction which canmaturation. They also rheumatoid arthritis be augmented bycontribute to enhanced and atopic dermatitis. treatment with probioticimmunity in the young Probiotics have also bacteria.infant. Probiotics can been found to benefitalso help with skin children that havedisorders such as autism spectrumatopic eczema. disorders. The disorderSOURCES OF PROBIOTICSThe most common makes the product bacteria. Other foodssources of friendly sour. Some cultured that that are eitherbacteria are yogurt, cheeses use bacteria to produced by bacterialcultured buttermilk, and finish the maturation of fermentation, orcheeses. Make sure the cheese. Another process are Japanesethat the yogurt fermented dairy product Miso, Tempeh,packaging states ‘live is kefir. Traditionally sauerkraut, beer,bacteria.’ Cultured yogurt has only one or sourdough bread, Many aged cheeses are fermentedbuttermilk is made with two bacteria whereas chocolate, kimchi, products and containbacteria that produces kefir tends to have olives, and pickles. friendly bacteria .lactic acid, which several friendly
The Pennington Nutrition Series Fact sheets have the latest nutrition information on various health topics from dietary guidelines to functional foods. The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is a world renowned nutrition research center. PENNINGTON BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH CENTER The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is a world- 6400 Perkins Road renowned nutrition research center. Baton Rouge, LA 70808 Mission: Phone: 225-763-2500 To promote healthier lives through research and education in www.pbrc.edu nutrition and preventive medicine. The Pennington Center has several research areas, including: Clinical Obesity Research Visit our Web Site Experimental Obesity www.pbrc.edu Functional Foods Health and Performance Enhancement Nutrition and Chronic Diseases Nutrition and the Brain References Dementia, Alzheimer’s and healthy agingSymposium: Clinical Applications of Diet, exercise, weight loss and weight loss maintenanceProbiotics in Human Health. September 14-15, 2007, Las Vegas, Nevada. The research fostered in these areas can have a profound im- pact on healthy living and on the prevention of common chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hy-Pennington Nutrition Series No 51, 2009 pertension and osteoporosis.Authors The Division of Education provides education and informa- tion to the scientific community and the public about researchHeli J. Roy, PhD, RD findings, training programs and research areas, and coordi-Beth Kalicki nates educational events for the public on various health is- sues.Division of Education We invite people of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the exciting research studies being conducted at the Penning-Phillip Brantley, PhD, Director ton Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. If you would like toPennington Biomedical Research Center take part, visit the clinical trials web page at www.pbrc.edu orClaude Bouchard, PhD, Executive Director call (225) 763-3000.Edited : October 2009