What are Human Strain Probiotics?

What are Human Strain Probiotics?

Are Human Strain Probiotics superior? Yes, they are.

When discussing probiotics, the term “human strain” is not well understood at all.

It actually refers to probiotic strains that are recognised by the human body and therefore compatible with the human body.

Inspite of the name, “human-strain” probiotics don’t actually involve humans or human byproducts as ingredients. They’re just a particular species of microorganisms that naturally (or exclusively) live in nature as well as in the human already.

Recent Human Microbiome Project research done by NIH, the National Institute for Health, has defined probiotics by strict criteria. We see lots of references on line that quote the ‘old’ definition. They are not correct and out of date.

This is how a ‘true’ probiotic is now defined:

1. The organism must be a normally occurring organism in the digestive tract.
2. In order to consistently trigger a healthy boost in immune function the organism must be supplemented in concentrations higher than what normally occurs in the digestive tract.
3. The organism must be able to survive in the digestive tract as well as in the environment. i.e. not be affected by stomach acid and bile. 

This new information supercedes the ‘old’ definition that said:  “probiotics are live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confers a health benefit on the host.”

Interestingly enough there are very few probiotics in the marketplace today that meet all three of these criteria!

Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria

Most probiotics available on the market today contain Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species. According to the new probiotic criteria, they do meet the first requirement defined by NIH research. They do naturally occur in the digestive tract.

In fact, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species are in very high concentrations in the digestive tract of humans. But that is precisely why these two bacteria don’t meet criteria #2. 

There are more that 20 trillion lactobacillus and bifidobacteria species in the average human digestive tract. Most probiotics on the shelf contain 100 – 200 billion strains. This is not nearly the amount that would result in long term benefit.  This also assumes that the bacteria survive the digestive tract. 

Research shows that a majority of orally supplemented lactobacillus and bifidobacteria species are destroyed by the conditions found in the stomach and upper digestive tract. Only few survive.

Another important factor is that lactobacillus and bifidobacteria are anaerobic organisms that are designed to live in the digestive tract. They don’t normally live in the environment because they are sensitive to the presence of oxygen, UV light and other chemicals found in the natural environment.

This means they do not fit #3 requirement of our new definition of probiotics either.

In actual fact, people get their initial dose of lactobacillus and bifidobacteria from their mothers through birth and breast feeding.

Later in life, it’s necessary for orally derived probiotics to be organisms that live naturally in the environment as well as in the digestive system so that they can be recognized by the human microbiota.

What about yogurt?

In light of this information, yogurts and yogurt based drinks like kefir, don’t work as probiotics. They do have benefits but that’s from the fermentation process and those benefits are contained in the product in the form of micro-nutrients.

But those strains used in yogurts and other fermented dairy products, don’t have the ability to survive the harsh stomach acids and actually don’t colonize in the GI. For a true probiotic, we need one that will survive the stomach acid. We need human strain probiotics.

What we refer to as human strain probiotics are ones that are found in nature in the identical form as they are found in the human body.

They are known as commensal organisms. They can’t be used to grow yogurt. They have to be harvested from nature.

The strains we recommend are bacillus strains that are contained in endospores. Nature has designed these spores to be daily, foundational food.

  • They are transient microorganisms, so they don’t stay in the gut forever.
  • They go in, they perform their function and than they leave.

This is important factor, as this helps to keep their numbers in the digestive tract relatively low and that’s why each does is relatively low.

FYI –  It usually takes about 21 days to reach a steady state of concentration in the gut when they are taken on a daily basis.  

We suggest eating a diet low that is low in refined sugars and higher in fibers so that we encourage our own good bacteria to grow. In fact, the spores are able to increase the growth of the good bacteria present in the gut as well.

Between the spores being present and an improved diet, we are able to create the right microbiota balance. If the spores are removed, then we are disturbing the balance that may lead to what we call ‘Dysbiosis‘.

This is why we recommend taking Perfect Pass Bacillus Spore Probiotics on a daily basis as it’s important to maintaining good bacteria balance. We constantly bombard our digestive system on a daily basis. The bacillus spores are great at monitoring our gut and keeping it in balance.

Take advantage of our human strain Perfect Pass Probiotic special.

Get 15% off when you buy it together with Perfect Pass Prebiotic – the soluble fiber that encourages the human strain spores to grow.

Pamela Nathan Gut Health Series Interview

Pamela Nathan’s Interview with Leah Kline

I recently participated in Leah Kline’s Gut Health Symposium. What a great panel of speakers she interviewed. There was so much to be learned from so many different experts talking about many different aspects of gut health. Not only was the information invaluable but there were lots of free giveaways as well.

Leah was curious to hear about how I was introduced to holistic medicine. Then she went on to ask me about my current ‘pet’ topics, like, how our understanding of what probiotics really are has changed since the completion of the Human Microbiome Project, as well as why I think prebiotics are so important with today’s challenges in maintaining excellent gut function.

Here’s the interview in case you missed it.

Probiotic & Prebiotic Awareness on the Rise

The Probiota Americas Conference in Chicago this past month produced exciting new information on probiotics and consumers awareness of their benefits. Some hopeful information came from a recent survey by AIDP which measured consumers usage of prebiotics and probiotics.

Probiotics & Prebiotics in our MicrobiomeWhat we learned is that the word is getting out.  In an article by Hank Schultz, he talked about the survey results. “In a poll of 400 dietary supplement users, it was revealed that more than 38% would be very likely or somewhat likely to try a prebiotic with strong digestive and immune health benefits. The survey also showed that 44% of these consumers had tried a probiotic supplement. Further results showed that more than 60% of respondents would be interested in buying a product that contained both a prebiotic and a probiotic.” This reflects a better understanding of the role these supplements have in digestive and immune wellness. 

Furthermore consumers would be more likely to try a product that was backed by research and human clinical trials. The vast majority of solid probiotic research has occurred in just the past 3 years with the conclusion of the largest consortium of scientific research on the human gut ecology called Human Microbiome Project. For the latest findings and research in relation to probiotics check our Microbiome Series with Microbiologist Kiran Krishnan.

What is the Difference Between a Probiotic and Prebiotic?

We know that feeding the existing bacteria is just as important as introducing new bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics stimulate the growth and maintenance of our beneficial gut microbiota. Probiotics increase the diversity of our bacteria and increase its numbers. Our clients have reported the most improved results when taking both a prebiotic and probiotic together for a two-three month period.

Ask a Microbiologist: 7 Surprising Scientific Facts About Probiotics

7 surprising facts about probiotics

When it comes to probiotics, there are plenty of marketers clamoring for attention. From billions of strains to special coatings–we’ve heard it all. But if you ask for scientific proof, those voices die down. What gives?

Kiran Krishnan, a renowned microbiologist, is a part of a group of doctors and researchers hired to investigate and conduct clinical trials around the “next generation” of probiotics. Just in time, too. Their 10-year intensive study coincides with the Human Microbiome Project (HMP), a massive nationwide research project with a focus on microorganisms’ effects on human beings. Krishnan is the scientist behind Perfect Pass Probiotics.

We recently sat down with Krishnan and he gave us an inside look at 7 scientific facts about probiotics.

 

Read more Ask a Microbiologist: 7 Surprising Scientific Facts About Probiotics

Facts about Baby’s Gut Microbiota

Baby's Healthy Gut Microbiome                                                                                                                                            The Human Microbiome Research 2008-2013 has taken the scientific community by storm. In actual fact, investigation into the gut microbiota and it’s role in human health is just beginning. April 2015’s edition of Townsend Letter News tells us that 2014 Canadian Reviewers say “Whether the altered microbiome causes the disease or is the disease affecting the microbiome remains an issue of debate… future research should incorporate extended microbiota analyses, detailed nutrition assessments, and longitudinal measures of disease conditions throughout childhood.”

Now we know for a fact that the establishment of a baby’s gut microbiota has to do with a number of prenatal and postnatal factors. It’s a diverse microbiome that helps with immune system development, protects against pathogens, and helps digest food. Some gut bacteria even have profiles have been linked to immune-related illnesses like asthma, allergic disorders and chronic immune-mediated inflammatory diseases.

According to recent findings, babies are exposed to beneficial gut bacteria in the womb. DNA from Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, both of which are normal residents of a healthy gut, have been found in placentas. Bifidobacteria have also been found in meconium, amniotic fluid, fetal membranes, and umbilical cord blood taken from healthy mothers and infants.

Here are some more interesting findings about a baby’s gut microbiota:

  • It’s very interesting to note that factors that change the mother’s microbiota during pregnancy also affect a baby’s commensal bacteria composition after birth.
  • We also found out that if a woman uses antibiotics around the time of birth, there is a delayed colonization by Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus species in the baby.
  • Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus counts were also lower in baby monkeys whose mothers were stressed during pregnancy.
  • Reduced levels of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus correlate to higher risk of allergic conditions, irritable bowel, and inflammatory bowel disease.
  • We also now know that the birth process itself is a major factor in the establishment of a baby’s microbiota.

“A number of studies have described altered fecal or intestinal microbiota profiles in cesarean section-delivered infants beginning at 1 day after birth and persisting to 6 weeks, 6 months, and even 7 years of age.”

“Vaginally born infants typically have more microbial diversity in their Gl tract and a higher incidence of Lactobacillus, Prevotella, and Sneathia — all of which are normal inhabitants of a woman’s vagina. Cesarean-delivered babies have high levels of skin microbes, less Bifidobacteria, and less microbial diversity.”, say our Canadian reviewers.

These microbiome alterations may contribute to Cesarean-delivered children’s higher incidence of immunological disorders. Children born by C-section have a 20% higher risk of asthma, a 10% greater risk of developing juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and about 40% greater risk of developing other immune defects, according to a 2014 Pediatrics study. These conclusions were based on data from 2 million Danish children born between 1973 and 2012.

A baby’s diet also influences gut microbiota. Commensal bacteria thrive in breast-fed infants. Breast-fed infants had more than twice the number of Bifidobacterium cells in their stool, compared with formula-fed babies in a 2011 study. Other studies report that C. difficile, a Gl pathogen, is more prevalent in formula-fed infants.

This is exciting times we live in. Cutting edge information about the true nature of our digestive tract, the importance of a baby’s gut microbiota and how to keep it healthy throughout adulthood has just begun.

References:
Faa G et al. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med 2013;26[52]:35-43.
Bezirtzoglou E, Tsiotsias A, Welling GW. Microbiota profile in feces of breast- and formula-fed newborns by using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) [abstract]. Anaerobe. December 2011; 17(6):478-482. Available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/ S1075996411000333. Accessed February 2, 2015.
Munyaka PM, Khafipour E, Shia J-E. External influence of early childhood establishment of gut microbiota and subsequent health implications. Front Pediatr. October 2014;2:Article 109. Available at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4190989/pdf/fped-02-00109.pdf. Accessed January 16, 2015.
Ringgaard A. Giant study links C-sections with chronic disorders [online article]. ScienceNordic. December 9, 2014. http://sciencenordic.com/giant-study-links-c-sections-chronic-disorders. Accessed January 10, 2015.
Sevelsted A, Stokholm J, Bonnelykke K, Bisgaard H. Cesarean section and chronic immune disorders [abstract]. Pediatrics. January 1, 2015;135(1):e92-e98. Available at http://pediatrics. aappublications.org/content/135/1/e92.abstract. Accessed January 16, 2015.