An Overview Of Probiotics Biology Essay

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This word is originally taken from Greek word "pro" meaning for and "bios" meaning life. It may be defined as a group of microorganisms which are taken live in sufficient quantity and are useful for other organisms like server organism and provide some health benefits to them when they come in contact with them. Most commonly used microbes are lactic acid bacteria and bifida bacteria species. Sometimes some yeast and bacilli are also added which provide additional health benefits. Yoghurt and soy yoghurt are most commonly fermented products which are available in the market. Some times probiotics may also be taken in the form of dietary supplements.

Initially when probiotics were launched they were mainly used for maintaining used for maintaining intestinal flora and stopping growth of other microorganisms which produce toxins that is they mainly act as immunity booster. But today they are also being used in treatment of diarrhoea, atopic diseases, urinary tract infections, chronic intestinal inflammatory diseases, cancer and irritable bowel syndrome.

Indications where probiotics can be used


Infectious type

Probiotics of some type are used in treatment of gastro enteritis. They act by reducing symptoms, illness and frequency of stool.

Antibiotic associated diarrhoea

It is caused when there is misbalance in colonic mitochondria due to antibiotic therapy or due to growth of clostridium species. Probiotics are mainly used to treat severity and helps in reducing the disease.

Prevents colon cancer

Some of LAB strains show anti mutagenic properties, they can bind to heterocyclic amines which are carcinogenic in nature. Human studies have shown that LAB strains decrease the effect of β-glucuronidase, thus lowering risk of colon cancer.

Lowering cholesterol

LAB strains are used to lower serum cholesterol levels, by breaking bile in gut, causing inhibiting in its reabsorbing back.

Lowering blood pressure

There are some clinical trials that have shown that some strains of LAB helps in reduction of blood pressure.

Improving immunity

They act as immunity booster, protect us from pathogens by the process of competitive inhibition, and also increase Iga cells which help improving phagocytises and increasing number of t-lymphocytes.

Scientific support for their use

This new development is making a new space for food and health industry to make new products which have unique health features for specific population. Use of probiotics immunity and health benefits are being now supported by strong scientific evidences in which their genetic data and efficacy on humans is given.

Most of the LAB species that are used till date are safe. Till date there are 70 clinical trials done in which >4000 children including infants and new born babies and results obtained are showing that they are safe to use.

In other case 12000 patients were taken mostly of them were premature babies and infants which were under weight, on giving them doses of probiotics there were reduction in death rate in that group and also low in deaths due to  Necrotizing Enter colitis (NEC).

In other case study of 588 premature babies and infants of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) there was reduction in number of deaths when probiotics was given to them.

In one of the case study 204 unnourished children age between 6-24 months were taken and probiotics were given for 6 days for 15 months show improvement in their health.

There are also various studies which show enormously increase in bacteria when given to premature babies, malnourished babies and infants which are born to mothers suffering with HIV.

Also there are organisations like Probiotics European Scientific League( PESU ) , FDA( Food And Drug Association), FAO(Food Agricultural Organisation) which are there to keep check on probiotics used in market, so that human health may not get effected.

ISAPP (International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Probiotics) formed in 2000 is a scientific association of academic and industrial scientists, which are concerned in research and applied aspects of probiotics, with a main aim of producing good scientific data in favour of probiotics, so that they can be easily used by humans.

Development of new probiotic

Culture , organism and stain that is being used

I am going to develop a new probiotic which will contain two species of both genus Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria in it. The species with stains which I am using are B. infantis 35624 and B. lactis Bb12 of genus Bifidobacteria and L. rhamnosus GG and L. acidophilus NCFM of genus Lactobacillus. It will be available in form of yogurt in single dose bottles containing 107 - 1010 so that they will be dose specific and right amount of bacteria will be consumed.

When these two species are given through oral route, they have excellent results on human immunity. Both the species have shown measurable growth as early in first week, thus changing unfavourable conditions inside the body into favourable ones. Yoghurt containing these species is consumed annually in tonnes and till date no adverse reactions are reported till date and I am introducing my product in yogurt form because it is to be used for children, infants and premature babies and also with babies with less body weight. Also it is not for therapeutic use so it is not given in tablet or capsule form, and can be easily given to babies for a long duration of time.

Benefits of this product

Can survive during cultivation, processing and storage before it is being consumed.

Provide health benefits on consuming

Can remain alive in gastric, pancreatic and bile secretions

Can induce host cells when they come in contact with them

Reduces pathogenic effects by producing acids like HHYPERLINK ""2HYPERLINK ""OHYPERLINK ""2, which stops growth of clostridium species

Helps to maintain natural flora

Non carcinogenic, safe, non pathogenic and non invasive

Antimicrobial activity

Survive through stomach passage thus helps in reduction of free amines present in intestine.

Does not make resistant to antibiotics

Boosts immunity levels

Mechanism of action

GI tract is one of the important organs which play a major role in function of probiotics. It mainly consists of 10 trillion organisms in it. Intestinal epithelial cells which can distinguish between pathogenic and non pathogenic bacteria.

Its mechanism include

Change in GI immunity by cytokinesis or in stain specific manner

Gas producing organisms are removed

Change in flora by changing acidic nature of colon

Epithelial barrier is enhanced

Target users

The combination which is being used is more beneficial to children, it helps them to increase their immunity levels, which helps them to fight with pathogens present in their body and stay healthy.

The target customers will be

Premature babies

Babies born with low weight


Children under age of 15 years

Babies born to mothers having HIV

This probiotics will be beneficial for the above mentioned groups.

There are many case studies which can prove that this combination of probiotics when given to above group had proven beneficial for them. By giving this combination to the premature babies there has been a increase in number of good bacteria in them which will finally improve their health. Also this combination has increase weight in babies which were bon underweight. This combination of bacteria is beneficial for infants and children. They have increased the immunity levels in them. This combination is also good to increase immunity in the babies which are born to HIV suffering mothers. Finally these bacteria will help these groups of babies to boost up their immunity levels to fight with the infections and to live a normal life.

Guidelines which have to be follow before getting this product in the market

There are several guidelines provided by different organisations which one has to follow before launching this product in the market.

WHO guidelines

The guidelines provided by WHO which one has to follow before making its product useable in market by humans are

Company has to provide literature of safe use of existing species

No antibiotic resistance should be there

No virulence characters should be present

No toxins should be formed

Checking of haemolytic activity

Side effects that can happen in humans

Examining of metabolic activities for instance checking for production of lactase and deconstruction of bile salt

Post market survey for adverse effects

European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA)

This association has following criteria for use of probiotics

The organism used should be full identified that is its genus, species and stain should be known

Data about its history, its use in industry, its ecology about its doses in humans.

It should be fit for uptake

Non pathogenic

Non degrading

Does not have antibiotic resistance

Non carcinogenic

Should survive in intestinal tract

One phase 2 study should be in its support

Should stay viable at time of processing and storage

In vivo/ animal should be done

Strains that are to be used are to be kept at international culture centre

Pulse field gel electrophoresis should be used for stain typing

DNA should be identified and also 16 RNA sequences should be known.

End products which are formed

Should stop pathogens from growing

Should posses antimicrobial property


With the guidelines mentioned in EFSA this community had provided certain more guidelines for evaluation of lactic acid for human use

DNA sequencing should be done by some expert lab

Animals model mostly rats should be used to check safety

Human study should be done randomly, double blind and with placebo control

Labelling of probiotics

This is one of the most important characters in manufacturing of probiotics. It should contain

Genus, species and stains that is used

Minimum number of viable bacteria that will present at the end of shelf life

Storage conditions

Co operate contact details

Side effects if there are any