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.
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.
|STRAIN DESIGNATION||MECHANISM OF ACTION|
|Bifidobacterium Lactis||DN-173 010||Enhances immunity, fights tumor growth, improves digestion and can lower cholesterol i.e
|Lactobacillus fermentum||Supplementing these probiotics in the diet helps improve immunity, fight digestive diseases and even reduce LDL cholesterol by;
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;
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
- 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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