Enhancing Gut Health Using Probiotics
The human intestine is the home of trillions of microorganisms, collectively referred to as the “gut microbiome.” The gut microbiome is now widely recognized to be an organ in itself and a significant one at that. When the various gut microorganisms are in harmony and balance, i.e. when the “good bacteria” are present in the right proportion, they keep the “bad” bacteria in check, and the system functions at its best. However, when conditions arise that disrupt this balance, causing a proliferation of the “bad bacteria” and an increased output of their byproducts, the system is adversely affected. Various health issues may arise as a result. Sometimes, even taking antibiotics can upset the balance.
When one or more types of gut bacteria grow rampant, and their harmful effects begin to manifest, the resulting loss of the desired balance is referred to as “gut dysbiosis.”
It becomes vital to repopulate “good bacteria” in the gut and restore normal conditions and good health, with probiotics.
Understanding Pre- and Probiotics:
Probiotics are food items or dietary supplements containing live microorganisms beneficial to the body. They are prescribed or taken to maintain or enhance the body’s “good” microflora. Prebiotics are (often) fiber-rich foods that are good for the proliferation of beneficial bacteria. They are found in fresh greens, whole grains, fruits, and foods belonging to the allium family such as raw onions and garlic.
Why the best Probiotics Supplements Start with Robust Strains:
Probiotics can be found in natural food sources like curds, kimchi, kefir, tempeh, sauerkraut, and kombucha. Also, they are added as supplements to baked goods, chewable candies, or confections. The main challenge lies in ensuring that the probiotic component remains stable throughout the shelf life of the product and that when the product is consumed, a viable amount is delivered. The minimal effective microorganism count in the product is of great importance in the context of probiotics supplementation for health benefits. In general, the food industry has also adopted the USFDA-recommended level of 106 CFU/ml at the time of consumption.
Incorporating probiotics in food, confectionery or dietary supplements is great, but how can you ensure that they will still be viable enough to meet the required dose, even towards the end of the shelf life of the product?
To successfully deliver the benefit of probiotics to the consumer, several steps are essential: from deciding the probiotic mix, through product formulation, manufacturing, and optimal storage conditions.
Challenges in manufacturing probiotics
For many new entrants in the probiotics sector, standardization of processes remains a challenge. With manufacturing, the production process must be designed such that:
- The output meets quality and quantity standards
- The product is viable and can remain stable over the long term
- The method is reproducible
- The product is allergen-free
Probiotic lactic acid bacteria and Bifidobacteria presentin fermented dairy products have to be consumed quite rapidly. These products have a limited shelf life and need to be refrigerated. At present, probiotics can be added to dry food items and dietary supplements, conferring up to 24 months of stability, provided they are stored in ambient conditions of temperature and humidity.
High temperatures during manufacturing processes may also destroy or alter some of the properties of the probiotic species. Either way, a starter culture that is robust, gives fast and consistent results, is highly desirable. Strains that retain good viability and show high performance when reactivated even after months in storage are also desirable.
Adopting Probiotics In Daily Life
Current challenges brought about by the emergence of COVID highlight the need for preventative care, particularly among the geriatric population. While there was no popular culture of taking probiotics supplements in India, the pandemic has underlined the need for such immunity-boosting measures.
Probiotics boost immunity in the following ways:
- By maintaining optimal numbers/concentrations of “good” bacteria and curbing the proliferation of harmful microorganisms.
- Probiotics also help block the adverse effects of pathogenic bacteria by producing compounds. They are also believed to stick to the intestinal epithelium, thus preventing pathogens or toxins from damaging the intestinal wall. They also stimulate protective responses from intestinal epithelial cells.
- Probiotics help modulate systemic inflammatory conditions brought about by pathogens or disease states.
The Triphase Advantage:
Triphase is the world’s first and only Biotech company making High Temperature Stable Probiotic strains for food, confectionary & dietary supplements.
Triphase’s soon-to-be-trademarked Temperature Stable Probiotics (TSP) is superior to other products in the market, thanks to its ability to withstand harsh manufacturing processes and high temperatures. Triphase’s innovative fermentation technology TSP for strains is patented. The TSP Lactobacillus spp. strains are High Temperature Stable, non-GMO, BSE/ TSE free, preservative-free, and vegan.
Meet Dr Srilakshmi Desiraju, the brain behind Triphase
Dr. Srilakshmi Desiraju has a Ph.D. in Chemistry and did her MBA in Technology Commercialization. She started Triphase in Mysore with a core team of 4-6 people in 2009 when probiotics were just starting to come to the fore. Her vision for Triphase is to look at developing a scientific approach to enhancing the quality of human life.