Healing Power of Probiotics Impresses Researchers

By Stephen Daniells
Nutra Ingredients

Probiotic bacteria may affect gene activity and the cellular reactions they control in the human intestine, a study has revealed for the first time.

Consumption of a dairy drink containing three strains of probiotic bacteria was associated with changes in the activity of hundreds of genes, with the changes resembling the effects of certain medicines in the human body, including medicines that positively influence the immune system and those for lowering blood pressure.

Researchers from NIZO Food Research, Maastricht University, UMC St Radboud and Wageningen UR – within the framework of TI Food and Nutrition – report their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

“Probiotics cause a local reaction in the mucosa of the small intestines,” said Prof Michiel Kleerebezem of NIZO food research. “These effects are similar to the effects of components that the pharmaceutical industry applies to medicines, but less strong.”

The researchers used dairy drinks containing the commercial probiotics Lactobacillus acidophilus Lafti-L10 (DSM), L. casei CRL-431 (Chr. Hansen), and L. rhamnosus GG (Valio) and compared this with a placebo drink. Seven healthy volunteers participated in the study.

Six hours after consumption of these drinks, the researchers took biopsies from the upper part of the small intestine (duodenum) and genetically analysed them. The researchers observed “hundreds of differentially expressed genes that participate in (the regulation of) basal mucosal pathways, some with clinical relevance.

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One response to “Healing Power of Probiotics Impresses Researchers

  1. I am thrilled that more and more research is being conducted on the benefits of probiotics to all of us! We have seen them work in our family because our little boy has had terrible food allergies and intolerances that cause severe eczema – and the one and only thing to really help him has been his Belly Boost chewable probiotic! It astonished us as well as his doctors! It’s been life changing and we are so grateful that our prayers were heard 🙂

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