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Probiotics are live microorganisms that can be found in fermented foods and cultured milk, and are widely used for the preparation of infant food. They are well-known as “health friendly bacteria”, which exhibit various health beneficial properties such as prevention of bowel diseases, improving the immune system, for lactose intolerance and intestinal microbial balance, exhibiting antihypercholesterolemic and antihypertensive effects, alleviation of postmenopausal disorders, and reducing traveller's diarrhoea. Recent studies have also been focused on their uses in treating skin and oral diseases. In addition to that, modulation of the gut-brain by probiotics has been suggested as a novel therapeutic solution for anxiety and depression. Thus, this review discusses on the current probiotics-based products in Malaysia, criteria for selection of probiotics, and evidences obtained from past studies on how probiotics have been used in preventing intestinal disorders via improving the immune system, acting as an antihypercholesterolemic factor, improving oral and dermal health, and performing as anti-anxiety and anti-depressive agents.
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Tropical Life Sciences Research, 27(2), 7390, 2016
© Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia, 2016
Beneficial Properties of Probiotics
1Lye Huey Shi*, 2Kunasundari Balakrishnan, 3Kokila Thiagarajah, 4Nor Ismaliza Mohd
Ismail and 1Ooi Shao Yin
1Department of Agricultural and Food Science, Faculty of Science, Universiti Tunku Abdul
Rahman, Jalan Universiti, Bandar Barat, 31900 Kampar, Perak, Malaysia
2Faculty of Engineering Technology, Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP), 01000 Kangar,
Perlis, Malaysia
3Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Science, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman,
Jalan Universiti, Bandar Barat, 31900 Kampar, Perak, Malaysia
4Department of Biological Science, Faculty of Science, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman,
Jalan Universiti, Bandar Barat, 31900 Kampar, Perak, Malaysia
Published date: 17 August 2016
To cite this article: Lye Huey Shi, Kunasundari Balakrishnan, Kokila Thiagarajah, Nor
Ismaliza Mohd Ismail and Ooi Shao Yin. (2016). Beneficial properties of probiotics.
Tropical Life Sciences Research 27(2): 7390. doi: 10.21315/tlsr2016.27.2.6
To link to this article:
Abstrak: Probiotik ialah mikroorganisma hidup yang boleh didapati dalam makanan
fermentasi dan susu kultur, dan digunakan secara meluas dalam penyediaan makanan
bayi. Probiotik dikenali sebagai bakteria baik yang memiliki pelbagai manfaat untuk
kesihatan seperti pencegahan penyakit usus, peningkatan sistem imun, intoleransi laktosa
dan keseimbangan mikrob usus, menunjukkan kesan antihiperkolesterolemik dan
antihipertensi, meredakan gangguan menopaus, dan mengurangkan cirit-birit
pengembara. Kajian baru-baru ini juga telah memberi tumpuan kepada kegunaan probiotik
dalam merawati penyakit kulit dan mulut. Di samping itu, modulasi paksi gut-otak dengan
probiotik telah dicadangkan sebagai penyelesaian terapeutik baru bagi gejala
kebimbangan dan kemurungan. Oleh itu, kajian ini membincangkan mengenai produk-
produk semasa yang mengandungi probiotik di Malaysia, kriteria pemilihan probiotik, dan
bukti-bukti yang diperolehi daripada kajian lepas tentang bagaimana probiotik telah
digunakan untuk mencegah gangguan usus melalui peningkatan sistem imun, bertindak
sebagai faktor antihiperkolesterolemik, meningkatkan kesihatan mulut dan kulit, dan
berperanan sebagai ejen anti-kebimbangan dan anti-kemurungan.
Kata kunci: Probiotik, Hiperkolesterolemik, Stres, Oral, Derma
Abstract: Probiotics are live microorganisms that can be found in fermented foods and
cultured milk, and are widely used for the preparation of infant food. They are well-known
as “health friendly bacteria”, which exhibit various health beneficial properties such as
prevention of bowel diseases, improving the immune system, for lactose intolerance and
intestinal microbial balance, exhibiting antihypercholesterolemic and antihypertensive
effects, alleviation of postmenopausal disorders, and reducing traveller’s diarrhoea.
Recent studies have also been focused on their uses in treating skin and oral diseases. In
addition to that, modulation of the gut-brain by probiotics has been suggested as a novel
therapeutic solution for anxiety and depression. Thus, this review discusses on the current
probiotics-based products in Malaysia, criteria for selection of probiotics, and evidences
*Corresponding author:
Lye Huey Shi et al.
obtained from past studies on how probiotics have been used in preventing intestinal
disorders via improving the immune system, acting as an antihypercholesterolemic factor,
improving oral and dermal health, and performing as anti-anxiety and anti-depressive
Keywords: Probiotic, Hypocholesterolemic, Stress, Oral, Derma
Probiotics are live microorganisms which upon ingestion in sufficient
concentrations can exert health benefits to the host. This definition of probiotics
was derived in 2001 by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
(FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), and has been the term of
reference for science and regulation thereafter (FAO/WHO 2002). Demand for
food containing probiotics are expanding globally due to the continuous
generation of research evidence indicating their potential health benefits to
consumers. This growing market has pulled in the probiotics research into the
Malaysian mainstream in line with government policies promoting healthly living
styles and related products are being marketed as functional food products.
Functional food products resemble conventional food in terms of appearance but
are composed of bioactive compounds that may offer physiological health
benefits beyond nutritive functions (Emms & Sia 2011; Arora et al. 2013). Food
processing companies that are widely involved in the manufacturing of probiotics
or cultured drinks in Malaysia are Yakult (M) Sdn. Bhd., Nestlé Malaysia,
Malaysia Milk Sdn. Bhd., and Mamee-Double Decker (M) Berhad.
Hundreds of different bacteria species are the natural and predominant
constituents of intestinal microbiota. Among the numerous intestinal microbes,
those anticipated to exhibit potential health benefits to the host through
modulation of the intestinal microbiota are commonly selected as probiotics.
Species belonging to the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium have been
reported to be the beneficial probiotic bacterial strains. The representative
species include L. acidophilus, L. casei, L. plantarum, B. lactis, B. longum, and
B. bifidum (Kailasapathy & Chin 2000; Ishibashi & Yamazaki 2001). Some of the
major health benefits attributed to probiotics include improvement of
gastrointestinal microflora, enhancement of immune system, reduction of serum
cholesterol, cancer prevention, treatment of irritable bowel-associated diarrhoeas,
antihypertensive effects as well as improvement of lactose metabolism (Saarela
et al. 2000; Nagpal et al. 2012). This article reviews on the past studies involving
the use of probiotics in strengthening the immune system, prevention of bowel
diseases, modulation of hypocholesterolemic effect as well as promoting dermal
and oral health. Besides that, potential uses of probiotics for the management of
anxiety and depression as well as boosting dermal and oral health are also
Current Probiotics-based Products in the Malaysian Market
Mostly probiotics products in Malaysia are marketed in the form of fermented milk
and yoghurt (Ting & DeCosta 2009). However, in recent years, the probiotics
Health Benefits of Probiotics
products from non-dairy based sources are gaining attention due to the ongoing
trend of vegetarianism and also to meet the demands of those who are lactose
intolerant (Vasudha & Mishra 2013). The following examples represent some of
the dairy based-products with certain types of probiotics that can be found
currently in the Malaysian market. Nestlé Bliss, marketed by Nestlé Malaysia, is
made up from real fruit juices added with live cultures of Streptococcus
thermophillus, B. lactis, and L. acidophilus (as on Feb 22, 2015, Vitagen is a cultured
milk drink manufactured by Malaysia Milk Sdn. Bhd. and is composed of live
probiotics such as L. acidophilus and L. casei that are imported from Chr. Hansen
Laboratory, Denmark (as on Feb 22, 2015,
benefits.html). Yakult (M) Sdn. Bhd. produces Yakult Ace cultured milk drink that
contains a strain named L. casei Shirota strain (as on Feb 22, 2015, HOWARU Protect™ is a non-
dairy product containing patented probiotic formulation in the form of powder
which contains B. lactis Bi-07TM and L. acidophilus NCFM®, and is marketed by
Cambert (M) Sdn. Bhd. (as on Feb 22, 2015,
Nutriforte Lactoghurt is a product by Cell Biotech, a Danish-Korean bio-
venture enterprise that introduces the dual coating technology, Duolac®, in order
to increase the viability of the probiotics during manufacturing, shelf life, and
during passage through the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). The product is based
on the synergistic combination of 5 dual-coated live bacteria strains of
L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, B. longum, B. lactis, and S. thermophilus (as on
16 Oct, 2015,
Hexbio© is a probiotic formulation consisting of L. acidophilus BCMC12130,
L. lactis BCMC 12451, L. casei BCMC 12313, B. longum BCMC 02120,
B. bifidum BCMC 02290, and B. infantis BCMC 02129 that is manufactured
by B-Crobes group of companies (as on 16th Oct, 2015,
Selection of Probiotics
There are a number of criteria that must be met during the selection of a probiotic
bacterial strain with utmost importance placed on safety issues. Strains of the
Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium genera are usually regarded as safe from the
basis of long-term human use. Members of other genera such as Bacillus
licheniformis have also been investigated to be used as probiotics. However, it
should not be concluded that all members belonging to the Bacillus genus can be
used as probiotics. This is because there are some strains from the Bacillus
genus that are associated with diseases such as Bacillus cereus, which can
cause food-borne illnesses. It is critical to perform safety assessment when the
probiotics are not from the genera of Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium (European
Food Safety Authority [EFSA] 2007; Leuschner et al. 2010).
Pathogenicity and infectivity, intrinsic properties as well as virulence
factors related to toxicity and metabolic activity of the microorganisms are factors
that need to be addressed during the safety assessment process of probiotics
(Ishibashi & Yamazaki 2001). Viability and activity of probiotics during storage
Lye Huey Shi et al.
and when passing through the GIT is also essential. Stomach and the
surroundings of the GIT have the highest acidity; therefore it is critical to establish
the behaviour and fate of the microorganism during the passage through this
condition. In vitro tests typically resembling the conditions in the GIT are
commonly used as a screening tool to identify potential probiotics. This is
because colonisation and potential health benefits can only be anticipated when
these viable cells are able to survive through the natural barriers that exist in the
GIT such as low pH conditions and degradation by digestive enzymes as well as
by bile salts (Kailasapathy & Chin 2000; Ishibashi & Yamazaki 2001). The viable
cell numbers of probiotics in a product should be at least 106 CFU/mL at the
expiry date for health and functional claiming as the recommended minimum
effective dose per day is 108109 cells. Many factors such as pH, titrable acidity,
molecular oxygen, redox potential, hydrogen peroxide, flavouring agents,
packaging materials, and packaging conditions are associated with viable cell
count of a microorganism in a product throughout the manufacturing and shelf-life
periods (Mortazavian et al. 2012). Another important selection criterion for a
probiotic is the ability to adhere to host tissues especially to the intestinal mucus
and epithelial cells to promote efficient host-microbial interactions. This
interaction is particularly important to prolong the retention period of the specific
strain in the gut. However, continuous intake of orally administered probiotics is
necessary because permanent colonisation of probiotics is uncommon. Many
factors are involved in the adhesion of probiotic microorganisms to the host
tissues. Microbial cell density, buffer components, fermentation duration, and
growth medium are associated to the in vitro culture parameters while intestinal
microflora, digestion, and the food matrix are referred to in vivo conditions
(Ouwehand & Salminen 2003; Forssten et al. 2011).
There are ongoing studies on the identification of new strains for potential
exploitation as probiotics concurrently with existing strains being explored for
novel applications. These new strains need to be evaluated and assessed based
on established selection criteria which include safety and, functional and
technological characteristics prior to the selection of a particular strain for
probiotic application.
Bowel Diseases and the Immune System
Ulcerative colitis and Chron’s diseases are types of bowel diseases that have
been linked to the gut’s microbial genetic predisposition and environment.
Breaking the balance between the intestinal immunity and microbiome may lead
to these bowel diseases (Khor et al. 2011). Enteric bacteria may change the
equilibrium of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine level of the
intestine that becomes the predisposing factor for intestinal disorders. Pro-
inflammatory cytokines that are produced by Th1 cells and anti-inflammatory
cytokines that are secreted by Th2 cells are important in maintaining the
homeostasis of the immune system in the intestinal barrier (Elgert 2009).
Health Benefits of Probiotics
Probiotic organisms are increasingly known for its ability to prevent
and/or treat intestinal disorders and improve the immune system in both in vitro
and animal models. Peran et al. (2005) investigated the role of L. salivarius
CECT 5713 in colitis induced rats. The research showed that orally administered
probiotics were able to exert anti-inflammatory effects and reduced the necrosis
in the treated group which subsequently ameliorated the colonic condition. It was
proved with histological findings where the affected intestine of the treated group
showed a pronounced recovery and the markers of inflammation and necrosis
such as MPO, TNF-α, and iNOS expressions have been greatly reduced. This
result also matches with the research conducted on human peripheral blood
mononuclear cells (PBMCs) that certain probiotic bacteria such as lactobacilli
exert anti-inflammatory effects where the highest level recorded was with
L. salivarius Ls-33. The inflammatory status was assessed by the ratio of
IL10/IL12 whereby a high ratio indicates an anti-inflammatory effect whereas a
low ratio shows a pro-inflammatory effect. In addition to that, the ranking of the
tested strains’ ability to improve experimental colitis that was obtained on the
basis of an in vitro IL-10/IL-12 cytokine stimulation ratio closely resembles the
order in an animal model such as mice (Foligne et al. 2007).
Additionally, a downregulation of TNF-α and COX-2, and upregulation of
anti-inflammatory cytokines for instance IL-4, IL-6, and IL-10 were observed in
colitis mouse fed with L. plantarum 91 (Duary 2011). A similar in vivo result was
also obtained where an increase in anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 and a
decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokine were found in dextran sulphate sodium
(DSS) induced colitis mouse treated with L. kefiranofaciens M1. In the same
study, anti-colitis effect was also examined using in vitro assays. Results showed
that L. kefiranofaciens M1 was able to increase the amount of apical and
basolateral chemokines, and CCL-20, and strengthen the barrier function of
epithelia via improving the transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) (Chen
et al. 2011). In addition to that, Ganguli et al. (2013) conducted a study to
investigate the effect of probiotics in necrotising enterocolitis (NEC). NEC is
considered a lethal condition in premature infants. The effect of probiotics was
observed on developing human intestinal xenografts and the research proved
that L. acidophilus ATCC 53103 and B. infantis ATCC 15697 were able to
modulate intestinal inflammatory response. The secreted glycolipid or glycan
could be the reason for the anti-inflammatory effect.
On the other hand, a clinical trial was conducted involving 187 ulcerative
colitis patients where L. rhamnosus GG (LGG) was given at the dosage of
18 × 109 viable bacteria/day with and without standard treatment of mesalazine at
the dosage of 2400 mg/day. Administration of LGG or a combination of LGG and
mesalazine to the subjects increased the relapse-free time compared to the
standard treatment (Zocco et al. 2006). As shown in both in vitro and in vivo
studies, probiotic treatment may alleviate bowel diseases through modulating the
immune responses.
Although probiotic treatments improve the severity of the diseases by
decreasing inflammation, it did not treat the actual root cause. Moreover, there is
fear of opportunistic infection by probiotic strains as they modulate the
inflammatory status of a subject. Thus, more clinical trials will be needed to
Lye Huey Shi et al.
disclose the controversies regarding the effectiveness and safety issues in order
to provide better understanding on the control mechanisms of diseases. Longer
duration of studies are also required to prove the sustainability of the positive
effects on human health.
Hypocholesterolemic Effect
Probiotics have been suggested to have hypocholesterolemic effects through
numerous mechanisms such as assimilation of cholesterol, binding of cholesterol
to cellular surface (Lye et al. 2010), co-precipitation of cholesterol (Zhang et al.
2008), interference with the formation of micelle for intestinal absorption, and bile
acids deconjugation through the secretion of bile salt hydrolase (BSH) (Lambert
et al. 2008).
Hypocholesterolemic effects exhibited by probiotics is mostly claimed
due to BSH activity and it can be detected in all lactobacilli and bifidobacteria
strains. The major role of BSH is deconjugation of bile acid, which makes the bile
salt less soluble and be excreted out as free bile acid via faeces. This will reduce
the cholesterol in serum and increase the de novo synthesis to replace the lost
bile acid (Nguyen et al. 2007). Besides that, cholesterol could be removed in
greater amount in the presence of bile as it acts as a surfactant and allows
cholesterol to attach onto bacterial cell membrane. Additionally, Lye et al. (2010)
reported that the attachment of cholesterol on the bacterial cell membrane was
growth dependent. However, the efficacies of treatment of each probiotic strain
have not been explored in detail with respect to dose and duration. Table 1
shows the summary of findings for the hypocholesterolemic effects of probiotics.
Dermal Health
Probiotics have been proven to have some new benefits for skin health. Recent
studies showed that probiotic could improve atopic eczema, wound and scar
healing, and help skin-rejuvenation.
To date, effects of probiotics on skin diseases are extensively studied via
both administration and topical application methods. However, research data are
still inconclusive to support the concerned potential of probiotics. Results from the
clinical trial of probiotic treatments are conflicting due to differences in dosage,
probiotic strain, duration of application, length of follow-up, and time slot of
A recent study done by Yesilova et al. (2012) revealed that probiotics
treatment containing B. bifidum, L. acidophilus, L. casei, and L. salivarius was
effective in reducing atopic dermatitis patients’ SCORing Atopic Dermatitis
(SCORAD) index and in stimulating cytokine production. The authors suggested
that the impact of probiotics on SCORAD could be due to the modification of
immunogenicity of potential allergens. On the other hand, Escherichia coli Nussle
1917 (EcN, serotype O6: K5: H1) has been evaluated to be beneficial for the
treatment of several chronic inflammatory diseases. Weise et al. (2011)
demonstrated that oral administration of EcN induced the immune regulatory
mechanisms in allergen-induced dermatitis mouse model (BALB/c mice) via
stimulating the cytokine production.
Health Benefits of Probiotics
Table 1: Summary of findings for hypocholestrolemic effects of probiotics.
Probiotic organism
Major findings
In vivo
Yogurt (unknown)
Reduced total cholesterol
and LDL
Larsen et al.
Fortified buffalo
milk-yogurts with
B. longum
Reduced total cholesterol,
LDL-cholesterol, and
Abd El-Gawad et
al. (2005)
L. plantarum
Reduced blood cholesterol
Decreased triglycerides
Nguyen et al.
L. plantarum
Decreased total cholesterol
and LDL-cholesterol
Increased HDL-cholesterol
Kumar et al.
L. plantarum
Decreased LDL, VLDL, and
increased HDL with
decrease in deposition of
cholesterol and triglyceride
in liver and aorta
Mohania et al.
In vitro
L. fermentum
Culture media
BSH activity
Pereira et al.
L. plantarum
Culture media
Cholesterol assimilation
Kumar et al.
L. acidophilus
L. bulgaricus
L. casei
Culture media
Assimilation of cholesterol
Attachment of cholesterol
onto cell surface
Disrupt the formation of
cholesterol micelle
Deconjugation of bile salt
Exhibited bile salt
hydrolase activity
Lye et al. (2010)
L. reuteri
L. fermentum
L. acidophilus
L. plantarum   
Culture media
Cholesterol assimilation
Duchesneau et
al. (2014)
Furthermore, a few evidences suggesting that nonviable bacteria as well
as extract component from bacteria could also exert health potentials. Research
findings showed that bacterial compounds can evoke certain immune responses
and improve skin barrier functions. Stability of the cell components and
metabolites at room temperature when compared to viable cell make them more
suitable for topical applications (Gueniche et al. 2010). Furthermore, Lew and
Liong (2013) reported that some of the bacterial compounds such as hyaluronic
acid, lipoteichoic acid, peptidoglycan, and sphingomyelinase exhibited beneficial
dermal effects with some possible mechanism actions. However, the exact
mechanisms remain unclear, and more research should be directed to explore
the potential in fulfilling the demand for probiotic dermal formulations.
Lye Huey Shi et al.
Lactic acid bacteria can produce bioactive peptides known as
bacteriocins that possess antimicrobial activity against pathogenic bacteria.
Iordache et al. (2008) revealed that in the presence of soluble molecules
produced by lactic bacteria with probiotic potential, the expression of
opportunistic bacterial virulence factors could be suppressed. These findings
could lead to a new alternative treatment for bacterial infections although the
exact mechanism of action remains to be ascertained.
Based on the studies that have been done, probiotics pose a promising
potential although its effects could be strain specific, dosage dependent, and
application reliance.
Oral Health
The emergence of antibiotic-resistance bacteria has recently attracted the
attention of researchers for potential application of probiotics in boosting oral
health. To date, research findings suggested that probiotic is useful in preventing
oral diseases such as dental caries, periodontal infection, and halitosis (Cildar
et al. 2009; Shimauchi et al. 2008; Masdea et al. 2012).
Dental caries
Dental caries is a bacterially mediated process that is characterised by acid
demineralisation of the tooth enamel (Selwitz et al. 2007). In the event of
preventing dental caries, probiotics need to adhere to the dental surfaces and
antagonise the cariogenic species such as mutans streptococci and lactobacilli.
Probiotics that are incorporated into a dairy product such as cheese could
neutralise the acidic condition in the mouth and prevent demineralisation of the
enamel (Jensen & Wefel 1990).
An in vitro study done by Ahola et al. (2002) has revealed that
L. rhamnosus GG could potentially inhibit the colonisation by streptococcal
cariogenic pathogens, thus helping to reduce tooth decay incidences in children.
Nase et al. (2001) demonstrated a significant decrease in dental caries and
lowered salivary counts of S. mutans in patients after consumption of dairy
products containing L. rhamnosus for seven months. An in vitro study done by
Haukioja et al. (2008) also revealed that lactobacilli and bifidobacteria were able
to modify the protein composition of salivary pellicle and thus, specifically prevent
the adherence of S. mutans.
In addition, Nikawa et al. (2004) revealed that the consumption of yogurt
containing L. reuteri for 2 weeks reduced the concentration of S. mutans in saliva
up to 80%.
Periodontal disease
Primary pathogenic agents such as Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema
denticola, and Tannerella forsythia possess a variety of virulent characteristics
that allow them to colonise the subgingival site, interfere with the host’s immune
system, and cause tissue damage. Hojo et al. (2007) reported that L. salivarius,
L. gasseri, L. fermentum, and Bifidobacterium are among the common prevalent
species residing in the oral cavity and are significant for the oral ecological
Health Benefits of Probiotics
Krasse et al. (2006) found that after two weeks of ingesting chewing gum
containing L. reuteri, oral cavity of the patients with a moderate-to-severe
gingivitis has been colonised by the strain and a significant reduction of plaque
index was observed. In addition, Riccia et al. (2007) evaluated the anti-
inflammatory effects of L. brevi in a group of patients with chronic periodontitis.
The result demonstrated a positive improvement in plaque index, gingival index,
bleeding, and probing for all patients after four days of treatment with lozenges
containing L. brevis. Moreover, substantial reduction of the salivary level
prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) were also
observed and these could be due to ability of L. brevis in preventing the
production of nitric oxide, thus suppressing PGE2 expression and MMPs
Recent studies have reported the ability of lactobacilli flora to inhibit the
growth of periodontopathogens such as P. gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia, and
Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans. According to Koll-Klais et al. (2005),
isolated oral lactobacilli suppressed the growth of S. mutans,
A. actinomycetemcomitans, P. gingivalis, and P. intermedia up to 69%, 88%,
82%, and 65%, respectively. In a recent study, Chen et al. (2012) determined the
antagonistic growth effects of L. salivarius and L. fermentum on the growth
inhibition of periodontal pathogens including S. mutans, S. sanguis, and
P. gingivalis. A similar finding was also reported by Ishikawa et al. (2003) on the
in vitro inhibition of P. gingivalis, P. intermedia, and Prevotella nigrescens by daily
oral administration of a tablet containing L. salivarius.
Comprehensive studies are required to clarify the correlation between
regular consumption of the product containing probiotics and periodontal health.
Further clinical investigation on the dosage of probiotic, mean of administration,
and safety aspects are required in order to establish the potential of probiotics in
the treatment of periodontal diseases.
The unpleasant odour from the oral cavity in halitosis is due to the volatile
sulphur compounds (VSC) which are produced by anaerobic bacteria that
degrade food proteins. Fusobacterium nucleatum, P. gingivitis, P. intermedia,
and T. denticola are the bacteria that are responsible for VSC production. Kang
et al. (2006) suggested that the production of hydrogen peroxide by Weisella
cibaria caused the growth inhibition of F. nucleatum. They also found that the
gargle solution containing W. cibaria reduced the production of hydrogen
sulphide and methanethiol by F. nucleatum. Moreover, another species,
S. salivarius is known to produce bacteriocins that could colonise with and
suppress the growth of volatile sulphide-producing species (Burton et al. 2005).
Preliminary data obtained by numerous studies have been encouraging,
but apparently more clinical studies are necessary to establish probiotics’
potential application in oral health. More studies are required to identify the most
safe and functional probiotic strains, optimal target population, optimal dosage,
and mode of administration. The effects of probiotic on oral health and its
maintenance remain unclear. The exact mechanisms of action for immuno-
modulation in host and its interaction with pathogenic species need further
Lye Huey Shi et al.
clarification. Long-term effects of probiotics consumption remain ambiguous.
Thus, well-designed long-term clinical trials are needed to evaluate the potential
of probiotics. Promising strains need to be tested in an extended clinical trial with
various methods of applications in order to prove conclusively the effectiveness
of oral disease treatment using probiotics.
In a human body, the GIT is the most heavily colonised organ by various species
of bacteria such as Bactroidetes, Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria (Vyas &
Ranganathan 2012). The human GIT is inhabited with 1013 to 1014
microorganisms, which is tenfold greater than the human cell number and carries
150 times more genes than that of the human genome (Cryan & Dinan 2012).
On the other hand, gut-brain axis is the bidirectional interactions between
the GIT and the brain (Grenham et al. 2011). It is regulated at the hormonal,
neural, and immunological levels for maintaining homeostasis and dysfunction of
the axis causes pathophysiological consequences. The frequent co-occurrence
of stress-related psychiatric disorders for instance gastrointestinal disorders and
anxiety has also further emphasised the importance of this gut-brain axis (Cryan
& Dinan 2012; Matsumoto et al. 2013).
The scaffolding of the gut-brain axis consists of the central nervous
system (CNS), the enteric nervous system (ENS), the sympathetic and
parasympathetic arms of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), the
neuroendocrine and neuroimmune systems, and also the gut microbiota
(Grenham et al. 2011). A complex reflex network is formed to facilitate signalling
along the axis, with afferent fibre projections to integrative CNS structures and
efferent fibre projections that project to smooth muscle in the intestinal wall
(Cryan & Dinan 2012). Through this bidirectional communication network, brain
signals can affect the motor, sensory, and secretory functions of the GIT and
contrarily, the GIT signals can affect the brain function (Grenham et al. 2011).
There have been increasing evidences showing that the alterations in the
gut microbiota can greatly influence the interaction between the gut and the
brain, affect brain function as well as modulate behaviour. The use of germ-free
animals is one of the approaches used to study the gut-brain axis. Neufeld et al.
(2011) carried out a comparison study on the basal behaviour of female germ-
free (GF) mice and conventionally reared specific pathogen-free (SPF) mice. A
higher plasma corticosterone level was observed in the GF mice which indicated
a higher stress response compared to the SPF mice. An altered gene expression
level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), glutamate and serotonin
receptors which imply anxiety were also observed in the GF mice. This was the
first study which demonstrated the effect of intestinal microbiota on the behaviour
development and neurochemical changes in the brain (Neufeld et al. 2011).
Gut-brain axis modulation has been considered as a potential therapeutic
solution to treat disorders like anxiety and depression due to the emergent
concern on gut-brain interaction and its ability to affect the development of
psychiatric disorders. Studies also supported that probiotics play a role in
Health Benefits of Probiotics
modulation and improvement of mood, stress response, and anxiety signs in
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and chronic fatigue patients (Lakhan &
Kirchgessner 2010). A number of researches have been conducted to examine
the impact of probiotics on gut-brain axis.
An in vivo study on the effect of psychotropic-like properties of probiotic
in rat and human subjects was performed by Messaoudi et al. (2011). The
authors found that the daily consumption of the probiotics mixture of L. helveticus
R0052 and B. longum R0175 (109 cfu) significantly (p<0.05) decreased anxiety-
like behaviour in rats and showed a reduced psychological distress in human
subjects. The research findings indicated that probiotics are not only able to
modulate gut microbiota but are also involved in stress, anxiety, and depression
management which can be used as a novel therapy in psychiatric disorders
(Messaoudi et al. 2011). In another study, a reduction in the post-myocardial
infarction depressive behaviour and an improvement in intestinal permeability in
rats were observed upon administration of a similar probiotics mixture. The
authors postulated that the probiotics mixture might exhibit therapeutic effect on
depressive behaviour via reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which
subsequently leads to depression induction and restores intestinal integrity by
apoptosis inhibition (Arseneault-Breard et al. 2012).
In addition, Desbonnet et al. (2009) studied the effect of B. infantis on 20
Sprague-Dawley rats. The authors reported that an increase in serotonergic
precursor (tryptophan) and decrease in pro-inflammatory immune responses,
whereby both are implicated in depression, were found in rats upon consumption
of B. infantis for 14 days. Results showed that B. infantis might possess
antidepressant properties and might be beneficial in depressive therapies. This
was supported by Desbonnet et al. (2010) whereby the B. infantis treatment
enabled the normalisation of the peripheral immune response, reversed
behavioural deficits, and restored concentrations of basal noradrenaline in the
brain of maternal separation rats (Desbonnet et al. 2010).
Moreover, an experiment was performed by Bravo et al. (2011) to
examine the antidepressant effect of L. rhamnosus (JB-1) in mice. The authors
observed a decrease in stress-induced corticosterone and reduced anxiety- and
depression-related behaviours in mice as well as induced region-dependent
alterations in gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors (GABAA and GABAB) mRNA
expressions via the vagus nerve. GABA is the main CNS inhibitory
neurotransmitter. Pathogenesis of depression and anxiety was implicated by
alteration in the expression of the GABA receptor. The results revealed that
administration of L. rhamnosus (JB-1) was able to modulate the GABAergic
system and alter anxiety- and depression-related behaviours in mice.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complex and debilitating disorder
characterised by intense fatigue that may be worsened by physical or mental
activities and will not be improved by bed rest. About 97% of CFS patients
claimed neuropsychological disturbances such as headaches and symptoms in
the emotional realm. The most prevalent emotion-related symptoms are anxiety
and depression. In a pilot study, CFS patients receiving L. casei strain Shirota
(LcS) (24 × 109 cfu) daily for two months showed a significant (p<0.01) decrease
in anxiety symptoms (Rao et al. 2009). This study provided further support on the
Lye Huey Shi et al.
presence of the gut-brain communication which can be mediated by the gut
microbiota. In another study, human subjects were required to consume either a
cultured drink containing L. casei Shirota (108 cfu/mL) or a placebo control daily
for three weeks. Measurements on cognition and mood using questionnaire-
based profile of mood states (POMS) were conducted at baseline and after 10
and 20 days of administration. Six basic mood dimensions were measured daily
which includes confident/unsure, clearheaded/ muddled, elated/depressed,
agreeable/angry, energetic/tired, and composed/anxious on 10 cm visual
analogue scales. Every evening subjects were requested to rate their mood all
through the day based on the scales. Human subjects with poor mood at the
beginning of the experiment exhibited a significant (p<0.05) improvement in
mood after the probiotic treatment (Benton et al. 2007).
It has been reported that an alteration of normal gut microbiota in adult
rodents with probiotics can modulate pain, behaviour, and brain biochemistry
(Bravo et al. 2011). Thus, another study proposed that the alteration of gut
microbiota might possess a similar effect on human behaviour and brain function.
Tillisch et al. (2013) evaluated an effect of consuming fermented milk containing
a mixture of probiotics (B. animalis subsp Lactis, S. thermophiles, L. bulgaricus,
and Lactococcus lactis subsp Lactis) on gut-brain communication in humans.
Results revealed that brain activity, which plays a role in controlling emotion and
sensation in healthy women was influenced after administration of the
aforementioned fermented milk. This study clearly demonstrates the relationship
of consumption of probiotics on the modulation of brain activity and also provides
evidence for the modulatory effect of probiotics in the gut-brain interactions.
An increase of experimental data has supported the existence of gut-
brain axis and the modulatory effect of probiotics on the axis to treat psychiatric
disorders. However, the exact mechanisms involved in the modulation of the gut-
brain axis with probiotics remain ambiguous. In a recent research by Bercik et al.
(2011), administration of B. longum NCC3001 was determined to normalise
anxiety-like behaviour of the dextran sodium sulphate-induced colitis mice model.
The authors hypothesised that it might be the vagal pathways that mediate the
anxiolytic signals of B. longum, which can be initiated either on vagal afferent
terminals innervated with gut or at the enteric nervous system level.
Altogether, accumulating evidences prove the presence of the gut-brain
communication and its importance in altering brain function and behaviour.
Capabilities of certain probiotics to regulate different aspects of the gut-brain axis
simultaneously provide potential benefits in the management of stress, anxiety,
and depressive behaviours. However, the findings are still in the preliminary
stages and further studies are warranted to examine the exact mechanisms of
action involved. In addition to that, investigations on the specific gut microbes,
intestinal structure and function should be carried out to better understand the
interactions that take place. Evaluation on the signalling pathways between gut
microbiota and the brain in humans are also critical to elucidate whether the gut-
brain communication plays a homologous role in modulating stress, mood, and
anxiety as reported in rodent models. Advance understanding of the interaction
that occurs during the gut-brain communication can provide insight into the
Health Benefits of Probiotics
development of novel treatment strategies for patient with psychiatric disorders or
other diseases.
This review has focused on several beneficial properties of probiotics. One of the
most known health effects of probiotics is preventing and ameliorating bowel
diseases by improving the immune system. Besides that, probiotics are found to
exhibit hypocholesterolemic effects via cholesterol assimilation, binding of
cholesterol to cellular surface, co-precipitation of cholesterol, interfering with the
formation of micelle for intestinal absorption, deconjugation of bile acids by BSH,
and improving the lipid profiles. Apart from these conventional beneficial effects,
probiotics have been reported to improve atopic eczema, wound and scars
healing, and possess skin-rejuvenating properties. It has been suggested that
probiotics could exhibit beneficial dermal effects by producing bacterial
compounds which evoke certain immune responses and improve skin barrier
functions. Probiotics could also be used to prevent and treat oral diseases. They
are found to improve/prevent dental caries and periodontal infection via growth
inhibition of cariogenic bacteria and periodontopathogens. Additionally, they have
been shown to reduce the production of nitric oxide, which subsequently
suppresses the prostaglandin and matrix metalloproteinases levels in saliva.
Moreover, the unpleasant odour from the oral cavity in halitosis could also be
ameliorated by inhibiting the growth of volatile sulphide-producing species. On
the other hand, improvement of stress-related psychiatric disorders such as
anxiety and depression via modulation of gut-brain axis by probiotics has also
further emphasised the importance of probiotics. However, more scientific
developments are needed to establish the potential application of probiotics.
There is no doubt that the application of probiotics for human health will expand
to a greater degree with the current significant research progress.
This work was supported by the UTAR research fund IPSR/RMC/UTARRF/2014-
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... Then, 480 µL of thawed FSI was inoculated into each well. S. salivarius DPC6993 adjusted to a concentration of ~10 9 CFU/mL to ensure viability and target the minimum recommended probiotic dose 64 and/or F. nucleatum DSM1564 adjusted to a concentration of ~10 6 CFU/mL to mimic the levels of F. nucleatum in human gut microbiomes (relative abundance of <1%) 40,41,65 was added to each designated well and made up to a final volume of 6 mL using the fermentation medium. Control wells containing just the standardized fecal inoculum and fermentation medium were also included. ...
Full-text available
The gut microbiome is a vast reservoir of microbes, some of which produce antimicrobial peptides called bacteriocins that may inhibit specific bacteria associated with disease. Fusobacterium nucleatum is an emerging human bacterial pathogen associated with gastrointestinal diseases including colorectal cancer (CRC). In this study, fecal samples of healthy donors were screened for potential bacteriocin-producing probiotics with antimicrobial activity against F. nucleatum. A novel isolate, designated as Streptococcus salivarius DPC6993 demonstrated a narrow-spectrum of antimicrobial activity against F. nucleatum in vitro. In silico analysis of the S. salivarius DPC6993 genome revealed the presence of genes involved in the production of the bacteriocins salivaricin A5 and salivaricin B. After 6 h in a colon fermentation model, there was a significant drop in the number of F. nucleatum in samples that had been simultaneously inoculated with S. salivarius DPC6993 + F. nucleatum DSM15643 compared to those inoculated with F. nucleatum DSM15643 alone (mean ± SD: 9243.3 ± 3408.4 vs 29688.9 ± 4993.9 copies/μl). Furthermore, 16S rRNA amplicon analysis revealed a significant difference in the mean relative abundances of Fusobacterium between samples inoculated with both S. salivarius DPC6993 and F. nucleatum DSM15643 (0.05%) and F. nucleatum DSM15643 only (0.32%). Diversity analysis indicated minimal impact exerted by S. salivarius DPC6993 on the surrounding microbiota. Overall, this study highlights the ability of a natural gut bacterium to target a bacterial pathogen associated with CRC. The specific targeting of CRC-associated pathogens by biotherapeutics may ultimately reduce the risk of CRC development and positively impact CRC outcomes.
... Probiotics are defined as "live microbial dietary supplements" and when used in humans or animals, have beneficial effects on the host's health by affecting the gut microbial flora [19]. The beneficial effects of probiotics include anti-diarrhea features, alleviating lactose intolerance, inhibiting the growth of intestinal pathogens, preventing cardiovascular diseases (via reducing serum lipids and cholesterol), boosting the immune system, reducing allergic symptoms, and anticancer activities [20,21]. A large body of research has been dedicated to develop probiotic products due to their nutritional and therapeutic properties, and numerous efforts have tried to divulge the benefits of probiotics and prebiotics as dietary supplements [22,23]. ...
Full-text available
Introduction: Cadmium (Cd) produces severe oxidative stress, which can result in serious clinical consequences and tissue injury. The aim of the present survey was to investigate the protective effects of native Iranian probiotics (Lactobacillus rhamnosus, L. helveticus, and L. casei) against cadmium (Cd)-induced toxicity against the small intestine and lung at histopathological and biochemical levels. Materials and methods: Twenty-one adult male Wistar rats were randomized into three groups of seven rats (control, Cd-treated (3 mg/kg), and concomitant Cd and mix probiotic treatment for 30 days). Histological alterations were appraised via hematoxylin & eosin, Trichrome Masson, and PAS staining. The qRT-PCR technique was applied to assess the expression of pro-apoptotic, anti-apoptotic, and pro-inflammatory genes. Antioxidant enzymes activity was measured via ZellBio kits. Results: Probiotic-treated rats displayed low production of lipid peroxides, reduced malondialdehyde (MDA) level, and elevated contents of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) enzymes compared with Cd-treated rats. The results of qRT-PCR demonstrated the up-regulation of Bax, p53, and caspase 3 and down-regulation of Bcl2, TNF-α, and IL-6 genes in both the intestine and lungs of mix probiotic-treated rats compared with Cd-treated animals. Histopathological findings revealed that the probiotic formulation improved Cd-triggered tissue damage in the intestine and lungs. Conclusion: The strong cytoprotective benefits of Iranian probiotics against Cd-induced tissue injury observed in this study may be due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Therefore, additional clinical and experimental research is required to explain the precise mechanisms of probiotics' beneficial impacts and underline their potential therapeutic use.
... 38 Probiotics and prebiotics Probiotics are live microorganisms, that is, bacteria and yeasts with several functions including restoring the gut microbiome, improving cholesterol and BP levels. 39 Prebiotics are foods that are used by bacteria to stimulate the growth of the indigenous population of bifidobacteria to confer probiotic health benefits on the host. 40 41 Probiotic food has been shown to help lower the risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women by reducing inflammation in the placental trophoblast cells, reducing BP, and systemic inflammation. ...
Pre-eclampsia affects 3%-5% of pregnant women worldwide and is associated with a range of adverse maternal and fetal outcomes, including maternal and/or fetal death. It particularly affects those with chronic hypertension, pregestational diabetes mellitus or a family history of pre-eclampsia. Other than early delivery of the fetus, there is no cure for pre-eclampsia. Since diet or dietary supplements may affect the risk, we have carried out an up-to-date, narrative literature review to assess the relationship between nutrition and pre-eclampsia. Several nutrients and dietary factors previously believed to be implicated in the risk of pre-eclampsia have now been shown to have no effect on risk; these include vitamins C and E, magnesium, salt, ω-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (fish oils) and zinc. Body mass index is proportionally correlated with pre-eclampsia risk, therefore women should aim for a healthy pre-pregnancy body weight and avoid excessive gestational and interpregnancy weight gain. The association between the risk and progression of the pathophysiology of pre-eclampsia may explain the apparent benefit of dietary modifications resulting from increased consumption of fruits and vegetables (≥400 g/day), plant-based foods and vegetable oils and a limited intake of foods high in fat, sugar and salt. Consuming a high-fibre diet (25-30 g/day) may attenuate dyslipidaemia and reduce blood pressure and inflammation. Other key nutrients that may mitigate the risk include increased calcium intake, a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement and an adequate vitamin D status. For those with a low selenium intake (such as those living in Europe), fish/seafood intake could be increased to improve selenium intake or selenium could be supplemented in the recommended multivitamin/mineral supplement. Milk-based probiotics have also been found to be beneficial in pregnant women at risk. Our recommendations are summarised in a table of guidance for women at particular risk of developing pre-eclampsia.
... Probiotics also carry active biological substances in reasonable quantity that influence good health (Terpou et al., 2019). The potential health benefit of a given probiotic depends on its profile characteristics (Shi et al., 2016). The most common probiotics in the market are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium (Tsafrakidou et al., 2020). ...
... Moreover, probiotics also contribute to the synthesis of vitamins and bioactives and improve the bioavailability of nutrients. The foods and beverages containing probiotics are future foods with wider acceptability among consumers (Shi et al. 2016). The global market value of probiotics by 2024 is expected to reach about 94.48 billion USD (Fortune Business Insights 2020). ...
This review is aimed to explore the health beneficial effects of probiotics which are live microorganisms that provide a positive health influence on humans when taken in sufficient quantity. Lactic acid bacteria, bifidobacteria, and yeast are frequently used as probiotics. These health-beneficial bacteria could compete with pathogens and modulate the gut microbiota, and exhibit immunomodulatory activities, anti-obesity, anti-diabetic, and anti-cancer activities which are discussed in this review. Moreover, recent studies showed that probiotics could neutralize COVID-19 infections. Hence, probiotics have become an alternative to several drugs including antibiotics. In addition, probiotic efficacy also depends on the delivery system as the delivery agents help the bacteria to survive in the harsh environment of the human gut. Considering these health benefits of probiotics, now it has been applied to different food materials which are designated as functional food. This review explored a portrait of the beneficial effects of probiotics on human health.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a disorder characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and a range of adverse health effects including diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and bloody stools, affects nearly 3.1 million genetically susceptible adults in the United States today. Although the etiology of IBD remains unclear, genetics, stress, diet, and gut microbiota dysbiosis— especially in immunocompromised individuals— have been identified as possible causes of disease. Although previous research has largely focused on the role of bacteria in IBD pathogenesis, recently observed alterations of fungal load and biodiversity in the GI tract of afflicted individuals suggest interkingdom interactions amongst different gut microbial communities, particularly between bacteria and fungi. These discoveries point to the potential utilization of treatment approaches such as antibiotics, antifungals, probiotics, and postbiotics that target both bacteria and fungi in managing IBD. In this review, we discuss the impact of specific fungi on disease pathogenesis, with a focus on the highly virulent genus Candida and how the presence of certain co-enzymes impacts its virulence. In addition, we evaluate current gut microbiome-based therapeutic approaches with the intention of better understanding the mechanisms behind novel therapies.
Background The commercial cultured milk drinks contain either single or mixed probiotic species and supply in different serving sizes. It is known that different combinations of probiotics might provide the various products’ quality in terms of nutritional value during their manufacturing process. However, a lack of information about probiotic viability and physicochemical properties of the opened fermented products for continuous fermentation leads to the driving force in conducting this study. Therefore, four locally available cultured milk drinks (branded Y, F, N and V) with 20 bottles each were aseptically transferred into their respective sterile containers and stored at 4 °C, 25 °C and − 20 °C for 1–13 days. Then, the viable cells were quantified using the drop plate method on de Man, Rogosa and Sharpe (MRS) agar. The pH change was investigated using the calibrated pH meter, and the Enzytec D-/L-Lactic acid kit determined the content of D-lactic acid via spectrophotometer. Eventually, the data were analysed using the statistical tool. Results The viability of probiotics in brands Y and V was significantly increased even when stored at − 20 °C and 4 °C with at least 1 log CFU/mL increment. The proliferation of probiotics was moderately influenced by the pH of the opened cultured milk. High content of D-lactate was found in Y- and F-branded products after 13 days of storage. The Y-branded cultured milk drink had the highest content of D-lactate with 0.52 g/L and 0.40 g/L when stored for 13 days at room temperature and 4 °C, respectively. Conclusions This study sheds light on the necessity to elucidate the properties of opened probiotic beverages over time, especially when bottled in large quantities. This allows some improvement steps.
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The effect of buffalo milk yoghurt and soy-yoghurt supplemented with Bifidobacterium lactis Bb-12 or Bifidobacterium longum Bb-46 on plasma and liver lipids and the faecal excretion of bile acids was determined in rats fed on a cholesterol-enriched diet. The groups fed on a cholesterol-enriched diet supplemented with yoghurt and soy-yoghurt containing Bb-12 or Bb-46 had significantly lower levels of plasma total cholesterol and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)+low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol than the positive control group (without supplementation). Yoghurt or soy-yoghurt containing Bb-46 was more effective in the lowering of plasma and liver cholesterol levels than yoghurt or soy-yoghurt containing Bb-12. Furthermore, the faecal excretions of bile acids were markedly promoted in yoghurt and soy-yoghurt containing Bb-12 and Bb-46 groups compared with the positive control group. The results showed also an inverse relationship between the faecal excretions of bile acids and the levels of total cholesterol in blood plasma from rats fed on a cholesterol-enriched diet with probiotic supplementation.
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Excess cholesterol is associated with cardiovascular diseases (CVD), an important cause of mortality worldwide. Current CVD therapeutic measures, lifestyle and dietary interventions, and pharmaceutical agents for regulating cholesterol levels are inadequate. Probiotic bacteria have demonstrated potential to lower cholesterol levels by different mechanisms, including bile salt hydrolase activity, production of compounds that inhibit enzymes such as 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A, and cholesterol assimilation. This work investigates 11 Lactobacillus strains for cholesterol assimilation. Probiotic strains for investigation were selected from the literature: Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 11951, L. reuteri NCIMB 701359, L. reuteri NCIMB 702655, L. reuteri NCIMB 701089, L. reuteri NCIMB 702656, Lactobacillus fermentum NCIMB 5221, L. fermentum NCIMB 8829, L. fermentum NCIMB 2797, Lactobacillus rhamnosus ATCC 53103 GG, Lactobacillus acidophilus ATCC 314, and Lactobacillus plantarum ATCC 14917. Cholesterol assimilation was investigated in culture media and under simulated intestinal conditions. The best cholesterol assimilator was L. plantarum ATCC 14917 (15.18 ± 0.55 mg/1010 cfu) in MRS broth. L. reuteri NCIMB 701089 assimilated over 67% (2254.70 ± 63.33 mg/1010 cfu) of cholesterol, the most of all the strains, under intestinal conditions. This work demonstrates that probiotic bacteria can assimilate cholesterol under intestinal conditions, with L. reuteri NCIMB 701089 showing great potential as a CVD therapeutic.
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This study examined the effects of probiotic dahi prepared by Lactobacillus plantarum Lp9 and dahi culture in buffalo milk on lowering cholesterol in rats fed a hypercholesterolemic basal diet. Male Wistar rats were divided into 3 groups and fed with probiotic dahi, dahi, or buffalo milk for 120 days. Following the consumption of supplements (probiotic dahi, dahi or buffalo milk), the animals were fed a basal hypercholesterolemic diet. Plasma total cholesterol and triglycerides (TAGs) were decreased by 35% and 72% in rats fed with probiotic dahi group, while cholesterol levels increased by 70% and TAGs increased by 97% in buffalo milk and 59% in dahi fed groups. Supplementation of probiotic dahi further lowered plasma low-density lipoprotein (LDL) þ very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)-cholesterol by 59%, while it elevated plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol by 116%. As a result, atherogenic index, the ratio of HDL to LDL þ VLDL was markedly improved. Deposition of cholesterol and TAGs in liver and aorta were significantly reduced in rats fed with probiotic dahi. These observations suggest that probiotic dahi may have therapeutic potential to decrease plasma, hepatic and aortic lipid profile, and attenuate diet-induced hypercholesterolemia.
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Probiotics have always been a unique category of natural products due to established evidences of their applications in wellness of human beings. Inspite of being based on live microorganisms, commercial exploration of probiotics as biologics, pharmaceuticals, food and nutritional supplements has witnessed a tremendous increase due to their potential of providing health benefits. Currently different regulatory bodies across the globe consider probiotics under several categories depending upon their intended use. In order to clear the ambiguity related to regulatory specifications, assurance of quality and premarketing safety assessment for drafting of comprehensive guidelines with global acceptance is need of the hour. The aim of this paper is to compare existing regulations in countries like United States, India and Malaysia to develop harmonized guidelines for approval of probiotics.
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As lactobacilli possess an antagonistic growth property, these bacteria may be beneficial as bioprotective agents for infection control. However, whether the antagonistic growth effects are attributed to the lactobacilli themselves or their fermentative broth remains unclear. The antagonistic growth effects of Lactobacillus salivarius and Lactobacillus fermentum as well as their fermentative broth were thus tested using both disc agar diffusion test and broth dilution method, and their effects on periodontal pathogens, including Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sanguis, and Porphyromonas gingivalis in vitro at different concentrations and for different time periods were also compared. Both Lactobacillus salivarius and Lactobacillus fermentum and their concentrated fermentative broth were shown to inhibit significantly the growth of Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sanguis, and Porphyromonas gingivalis, although different inhibitory effects were observed for different pathogens. The higher the counts of lactobacilli and the higher the folds of concentrated fermentative broth, the stronger the inhibitory effects are observed. The inhibitory effect is demonstrated to be dose-dependent. Moreover, for the lactobacilli themselves, Lactobacillus fermentum showed stronger inhibitory effects than Lactobacillus salivarius. However, the fermentative broth of Lactobacillus fermentum showed weaker inhibitory effects than that of Lactobacillus salivarius. These data suggested that lactobacilli and their fermentative broth exhibit antagonistic growth activity, and consumption of probiotics or their broth containing lactobacilli may benefit oral health.
The beneficial effects of food with added live microbes (probiotics) on human health are being increasingly promoted by health professionals. Probiotic products available in the markets today, are usually in the form of fermented milks and yoghurts; however, with an increase in the consumer vegetarianism throughout the developed countries, there is also a demand for the vegetarian probiotic products. And, owing to health considerations, from the perspective of cholesterol in dairy products for the developed countries, and economic reasons for the developing countries, alternative raw materials for probiotics need to be searched. Considering the above mentioned facts cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables may be potential substrates, where the healthy probiotic bacteria will make their mark, both in the developing and the developed countries. This review aims at highlighting the research done on probiotic beverages from non dairy sources. These non dairy probiotic beverages can serve as a healthy alternative for dairy probiotics and also favor consumption by lactose intolerant consumers.
The ability of Lactobacillus salivarius TI 2711 (LS 1) to displace periodontopathic bacteria, like Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia, was studied using humanvolunteers. LS 1 was one thousandfold more susceptible to lactic acid than Lactobacillus acidophilus, a representative acid-resistant Lactobacillus strain frequently found at the sites of caries, when these bacteria were exposed to 50 mM of lactic acid. In an in vitro system, LS 1 completely killed P. gingivalis within 24 hours when these bacteria were cultured together. In a clinical study, 57 subjects took tablets containing 2×10⁷ CFU or more of LS 1 daily for 4 or 8 weeks. The number of black-pigmented anaerobic rods, which includes most periodontopathic bacteria, in the saliva decreased to one-twentieth of the initial value after 4 weeks, whereas the numbers of whole bacteria, Streptococcus mutans and lactobacilli did not change. While the saliva pH was widely distributed (ranging from 5. 4 to 8. 5) before LS 1 treatment, it converged to within a neutral range of around 7. 3 after treatment. Thus, the possibility that LS 1 accelerates caries formation by lowering the pH in the oral cavity was excluded. These findings suggest that LS 1 may be, potentially useful probiotic agent against periodontopathic bacteria. J Jpn Soc Periodontol, 45 : 105-112, 2003.