Probiotic strains and their Human benefits

Probiotic strains and their Human benefits

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are living microorganisms that are intended to have health benefits when consumed or applied to the body. They are majorly found in milk products like yogurt, cheese, fermented foods, and food supplements.

The Science of microorganisms has shown that most bacterial characteristics are similar morphologically and even on biochemical characterization but not all microorganisms are harmful. Some like probiotics are very helpful in digestion, killing some disease-causing bacteria and producing helpful vitamins.

There are probiotics groups that belong to the bacterial groups which include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, Escherichia and Bacillus (ods.od.nih/gov/factsheets). There is also a class of Yeast known as  Saccharomyces that confer health benefits as well. The effects of these probiotics differ in the functions they perform and how they react against disease-causing pathogens.

Probiotic strains and their Human benefits

Image Sources: PARSNIPS AND PASTRIES, NetClipart, Sound Probiotics

Effects of Probiotics

Probiotics exert their effects usually in the gastrointestinal tract, where they may influence the intestinal microbiota. Probiotics can transiently colonize the human gut mucosa in highly individualized patterns, depending on the baseline microbiota, probiotic strain, and gastrointestinal tract region.

Probiotics may have a variety of effects in the body, and different probiotics may act in different ways, including

  • Help your body maintain a healthy community of microorganisms or help your body’s community of microorganisms return to a healthy condition after being disturbed
  • Produce substances that have desirable effects
  • Influence your body’s immune response.

The mechanism of probiotics can range from non-specific, strain-specific and species-specific mechanisms. The non-specific mechanisms; inhibition of the growth of pathogenic microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract (by fostering colonization resistance, improving intestinal transit, or helping normalize a perturbed microbiota), production of bioactive metabolites (e.g., short-chain fatty acids), and reduction of luminal pH in the colon. Species-specific mechanisms can include vitamin synthesis, gut barrier reinforcement, bile salt metabolism, enzymatic activity, and toxin neutralization. Strain-specific mechanisms, which are rare and are used by only a few strains of a given species, including cytokine production, immunomodulation, and effects on the endocrine and nervous systems. Through all of these mechanisms, probiotics might have wide-ranging impacts on human health and disease

Selected Probiotic strains and their Benefits

There are several benefits of probiotics including the production of natural antibiotics that can kill other pathogens or/and inhibit their growth. Inhibiting pathogenic growth is important to prevent progressing clinical manifestations that would require severe drug administration.



Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG
  • Diabetes management by increasing glucose control Immunity Boosting Effects against bacterial infections
  • Reduce Allergies And Inflammation of eczema
  • Infant and Baby Benefits by fighting diarrhea caused by rotavirus and stimulate infant growth; decrease colic
  • Cancer-Fighting And Prevention by stimulating tumor-killing activity; decrease colon cancer risk
  • Digestive Benefits by decrease leaky gut symptoms; decrease constipation
  • Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Lactobacillus helveticus ———–
  • Reduce blood pressure(for hypertensive patients)
  • Increase levels of serum calcium in the blood
  • Decrease Parathyroid Hormone (associated with bone loss) in menopausal women
  • Normalize microflora colonization composition for infants fed formula
  • assist in Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitor production
Bifidobacteria infantis
  • Improve our digestion and to protect us against infection & sickness.
  • to fight allergies and help prevent kidney stones by producing large amounts of acid to make our digestive tracts (and the vagina) inhospitable to foreign bacteria and parasites
  • Reduce Irritable Bowel Symptoms and Acute Diarrhea caused by Rotavirus and Non-rotavirus
  • Establish infant microflora
  • Reduce death and increase immunity among very low birth weight infants
  • Improve Immune System efficiency and reduce inflammatory responses
  • improve immune system efficiency
  • reduce inflammatory allergic response
  • Reduce Risk of Kidney Stones by reducing the production of urinary oxalate
Bifidobacterium Lactis DN-173 010 Enhances immunity, fights tumor growth, improves digestion and can lower cholesterol i.e

  • Fight Cancerous Tumors by increasing tumoricidal activity
  • Improve Digestive Conditions including general digestive comfort; decrease intestinal permeability, lactose intolerance, IBS, constipation; normalize bowel movements; treat acute diarrhea
  • Improve Oral Health by decreasing cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth and fight dental caries
  • Enhance Immunity by reducing frequency & severity of respiratory diseases; increasing vaccination immune response; increasing immunity among the elderly; inhibit H. pylori (can cause ulcers); increasing T-cell activity as needed; strengthen the immune system
  • Reduce Allergies and Inflammation by decreasing atopic dermatitis symptoms and sensitivity and inflammatory responses
  • Increase blood glucose control
  • Improve Cholesterol levels
Bacillus subtilis  ———-
  • Activate the production of specific antibodies, interferons, and cytokines that help white blood cells fight infections and cancers
  • Decrease the duration of respiratory infections in children
  • Endospore capsule is being added to HPV vaccines to improve their effectiveness
  • Industrial production of enzymes such as amylase (a prebiotic) and hyaluronic acid (useful in skin health, joint lubrication, and acid reflux).
Lactobacillus fermentum Supplementing these probiotics in the diet helps improve immunity, fight digestive diseases and even reduce LDL cholesterol by;

  • Producing antioxidants (glutathione);
  • Stimulating immune responses;
  • fighting intestinal infections;
  • Reducing bad cholesterol;
  • Reducing infection in infants (respiratory and intestinal);
  • Fighting IBS, and bacterial vaginosis (BV)

Other Probiotic Strains include:

  • L. Bulgaricus
  • L. Plantarum
  • L. Salivarus
  • B. Bifidum
  • L. Reuteri
  • L. Casei
  • Lactobacillus gasseri
  • S. thermophilus
  • L. Brevis/Breve
  • B. coagulans

NOTE: These probiotics can have side effects including;

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite

Synthetic engineered probiotics

Bio-Engineered probiotics are actively been manufactured and this modification has played a vital role in disease treatment, representing the next generation of whole-cell mediated biotherapeutics. this involves genetically engineering the already available probiotic to enhance their effects and mechanisms on the immune responses of the host.

A combination and advancement of Synthetic biology with Genomic engineering and DNA sequencing and synthesis have enabled the designing and development of probiotics with increased stress tolerance and the ability to target specific pathogens and their associated toxins and mediated targeted delivery of vaccines, drugs, and immunomodulators directly to the host cells.

For example,

  • The Deletion of a gene of Lactobacillus acidophilus, which is commonly found in yogurt, has been scientifically proved that the enzyme this gene manufactures increases inflammation, a defining characteristic of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. But the unaltered form of the bacterium also triggered the production of a beneficial immune molecule, IL-10m, which helps to regulate the immune system. The goal of the engineering the microbes was to deliver the beneficial effects without the harmful ones.
  • The synthetic genetic system that allows a laboratory strain of Escherichia coli to sense and kill Pseudomonas aeruginosa in vitro. The modified version of the system, including a gene encoding an anti-biofilm enzyme, and use the probiotic strain Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 as host, shows in vivo prophylactic and therapeutic activity against P. aeruginosa during gut infection in two animal models (Caenorhabditis elegans and mice). These findings support the further development of engineered microorganisms with potential prophylactic and therapeutic activities against gut infections.


  1. Babasola S. O., Eamonn P. C., Roy D. S., Engineered Probiotics: Applications and Biological Containment; Annual Review of Food Science and Technology Vol. 8:353-370 (2017)
  4. In Y. H. ,Elvin K., Adison W., John C. M., William E. B.,Yung S. L.,Matthew W. C., Engineered probiotic Escherichia coli can eliminate and prevent Pseudomonas aeruginosa gut infection in animal models; Nature Communication 15028 (2017).


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Probiotic strains and their Human benefits

2 thoughts on “Probiotic strains and their Human benefits”

  1. I decided to do this edit because some of my colleagues and former classmates from India are doing research projects on Natural Probiotics and their functions especially in the treatment of Intestinal Bowel Syndrome and Vibrio cholerae. This is only a basic brief on the various strains but you can do more research because there are a lot of scientific articles on probiotics.
    I hope it’s helpful not only to them but to all of us on this platform.
    Thank you for publishing it. Am grateful.


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