The benefits of probiotics
What are the probiotics?
Probiotics are living microorganisms with beneficial effects of modulation of balance of the intestinal flora in the host organism.
Probiotics are microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.1
Probiotics can help prevent the action of harmful bacteria on the organism.
Probiotics can modulate the immune system by maintaining the defence capacity of the organism.
Probiotics help maintain the balance of intestinal flora by increasing the number of beneficial bacteria.
Probiotics are generally considered safe - it is evaluated that 20 billion doses of probiotic products are used every year.
The strains do not colonise the intestine and are no longer present in the patient's stool within 1 to 4 weeks from the last administration.2
The history of probiotics
In 1906, Henry Tessler, a French paediatrician, discovered Bifidobacterium in the intestine of a breast-fed baby. He noticed that the infants with Bifidobacterium in their intestine had more rare diarrheal episodes.
In 1907, the scientist Elie Metchnikoff of the Pasteur Institute in Paris proposed the use of probiotics for health benefits. He believed that the advanced age of the rural population in Bulgaria was connected to the use of a fermented dairy drink containing a probiotic-Lactobacillus.
The species of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria are normally found in the human intestine and are not infectious or toxic.
The species of Lactobacillus acidophilus have many beneficial effects, the most important of which are the following:3
Ability to adhere to human intestinal cells
Intestinal microbial balance
Stimulation of immune system.
Bifidobacteria species are the predominant species of normal intestinal flora, being present in over 95% of the population.
In terms of health, the most important "good bacteria" are bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.4.
Bifidobacteria produce antimicrobial agents that are active against bacteria.5
Hepiflor sachets for babies and children and Hepiflor capsules contain both Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria.
What to consider when you take a probiotic?
High viability, high resistance to pH acid
Persistence in the intestine even if it does not colonise the intestine
Adhesion to the intestinal epithelium in order to cancel the washing effect due to peristalsis
Interaction with the intestinal immune system cells
Resistance to manufacturing processes
Ability to influence local metabolism
Probiotics from the Hepiflor series comply with all these conditions.
1. World Health Organization
2. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 September; 10(9)L960-968
3. For detailed references, see Salminen et al. (1998)
4. Gibson et all, J. Nutr. 125: 1401–1412
5. Gibsonet all, J. Appl. Bacteriol. 77: 412–420