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  • Probiotic

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    A bottle of Yakult, a probiotic drink containing Lactobacillus paracasei Probiotics are live microorganisms intended to provide health benefits when consumed, generally by improving or restoring the gut flora. Probiotics are considered generally safe to consume, but may cause bacteria-host interactions and unwanted side effects in rare cases. The original theory, similar to the modern concept, but not the term, is generally attributed to Nobel laureate Élie Metchnikoff, who postulated that yoghurt-consuming Bulgarian peasants lived longer lives because of that custom. In 1907, he wrote: "The dependence of the intestinal microbes on the food makes it possible to adopt measures to modify the microbiota in our bodies, and to replace the harmful microbes by useful microbes." A growing probiotics market has led to the need for stricter requirements for scientific substantiation of putative benefits conferred by microorganisms claimed to be probiotic.

  • Probiotics in children

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    Probiotics are defined to be non-pathogenic strains of organism that are incorporated into the diet to modify gut microbial ecology, leading to beneficial structural and functional changes in the gut. Some probiotics may serve as a barrier for the colonization of pathogens to prevent disease and enhance the immune system. In addition, some may carry out metabolic functions such as helping the fermentation of nondigestible fibres, and storing energy in the form of short-chain fatty acids. Of all the types of gut microbiota, Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli are considered the two most essential bacteria beneficial to human health while Staphylococci and Clostridia are considered pathogenic to human health.

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus

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    electron micrographLactobacillus acidophilus (New Latin 'acid-loving milk-bacillus') is a species of gram positive bacteria in the genus Lactobacillus. L. acidophilus is a homofermentative, microaerophilic species, fermenting sugars into lactic acid, and grows readily at rather low pH values (below pH 5.0) and has an optimum growth temperature of around . L. acidophilus occurs naturally in the human and animal gastrointestinal tract and mouth. Some strains of L. acidophilus may be considered to have probiotic characteristics. These strains are commercially used in many dairy products, sometimes together with Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus in the production of acidophilus-type yogurt, or acidophiline. Its genome has been sequenced.

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