According to the definition adopted by the Joint Food and Agriculture Organisation/World Health Organisation Working Group (2002) and International Scientific Associationfor Probiotics and Prebiotics the probiotics are “Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”. Prebiotics are non-digestible substances that when consumed provide a beneficial physiological effect on the host by selectively stimulating the favorable growth or activity of a limited number of indigenous bacteria (Gibson and Roberfroid, 1995).
The lactic acid bacteria are famous for their role as major biological regulators of thegastrointestinal tract (Ljungh and Wadström, 2007). Their health benefits range from regulation of bowelactivity and increasing of well-being to more specific, such as exerting antagonistic effect on pathogenic bacteria (Enterobacteriae, Staphylococci, etc.) and yeasts (Candida albicans), neutralising food mutagens produced in colon, shifting the immune response towards a Th2 response, and thereby alleviating allergic reactions, and lowering serum cholesterol (Tannock, 2002).
Presently there is an increasing amount of relevant scientific evidence for the healthy probiotic features of Lactobacillus bulgaricus. Lactobacillis acidophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus are traditionally used for production of fermented milks (“acidophilic” milk and Bulgarian yoghurt, respectively) and are widely utilized as constituents of probiotic preparations (Ljungh et al., 2006). Consumption of probiotics containing L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus can reduce the incidence and severity of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea (Hickson et al., 2007; Cremonini et al., 2002).
Strains of Lactobacillus bulgaricus exhibit profound immunistimulatory and immunomodulatory effects, activate the gut mucosal immunity and induce cytokine response, and reduce the risk of allergic diseases (Isolauri et al., 2001; Galdeano and Perdigon, 2004). Recently, a cytoprotective agentproduced L. bulgaricus, which might contribute to its well known antiproliferative, antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic activity (Johns et al., 2007; Pessi et al., 1996; Wollowski et al., 2001; Burns and Rowland, 2004) was discovered (Johns et al., 2007). Additionally, L. bulgaricus cultures can provide a source of dietary antioxidants (Lin and Yen, 1999; Saide and Gilliland, 2005).
There are up today indications that imply that probiotics, probiotics and symbiotics CAN assist in the following health conditions including inflammation or diseases:
- Diarrhoea: In cases that express diarrhoea after treatment with antibiotics, probiotics, may help before and after infection of a retrovirus.
- Spastic colitis (Irritable bowel syndrome)
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Stomach ulcer (Probiotics, prebiotics and symbiotics help in fighting Helicobacter Pylori.
- After a surgical operation of colon in prevention and therapy of the inflammation that occurs
- Intolerance in lactose
- Prevention of intestine’s cancer
- Prevention and treatment of fungi inflammation in women’s vagina for vaginitis, cystisis, urethritis)
- For the prevention of eczema for kids.
- Assistance in obesity
- Increase of absorption of minerals from the organism such as magnesium and calcium
- Stimulation of the immune system of the organism in inflammation of the intestine.
A patented innovatiove model that combines all the above in relation of prebiotics, probiotics, and symbiotics is being expressed with the patented Swiss formula with the names Probioflor® and Probioflor plus®.
The microbial strains included in Probioflor® comprise only of bacteria which are not genetically modified, isolated from ecologically preserved natural sources. These products have been successfully undertaken in clinical trials and it is a modern model of production with all the international health and safety standards.
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Ljungh, A and Wadström, T. Lactic Acid Bacteria as Probiotics. Curr. Issues Intestinal Microbiol. 2006. 7: 73–90.
Tannock, GW. Probiotics and prebiotics. Where are we going? Norfolk, UK: Caister Acad Press 2002.
Hickson M, D‘Souza AL, Muthu N, Rogers TR, Want S, Rajkumar C, and Bulpitt CJ. Use of probiotic Lactobacillus preparation to prevent diarrhoea associated with antibiotics: randomised double blind placebo controlled trial. BMJ. 2007. 14;335(7610):80.
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Johns P, Pereira SL, Leonard AE, Mukerji P, Shalwitz RA, Dowlati L, Phillips RR, Bergana MS, Holton JD, and Das T. Cytoprotective agent in Lactobacillus bulgaricus extracts. Curr. Microbiol. 2007. 54(2):131-5.
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Lin MY, and Yen CL. Antioxidative ability of lactic acid bacteria. J. Agric. Food. Chem. 1999. 47(4):1460-6.
Saide JA, and Gilliland SE. Antioxidative activity of lactobacilli measured by oxygen radical absorbance capacity. J. Dairy Sci. 2005. 88(4):1352-7.