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The Importance of Lactobacillus

Lactobacillus are a family of friendly bacteria which play a role in:
1. The formulation of well balanced indigenous microflora.
2. Improving the colonisation of the intestinal, respiratory and urogenital tracts.
3. Lowering serum cholesterol.
4. Reducing the levels of intestinal tumors.
5. Non-Specific interactions with the immune system.
6. Metabolising lactose and reduce lactose intolerance.
7. Improving the absorption of calcium from foods.
8. Improving the synthesis of vitamins and the pre-digestion of proteins.
9. Surpressing the growth of candida yeast.
10. Replacing good bacteria after antibiotic therapy.

Over 500 different species of bacteria make up the composition of the human intestine. In total, the 500 species accumulate to form over 100 trillion live bacteria which live from day to day on the food provided through the digestive tract. The number of viable bacteria which predominate the intestine are controlled by various factors; e.g. hosts diet, the strength of the immune system, existing levels of bacteria, infections and the dosage of competing bacteria consumed each day.

Each of the intestinal microflora posses diverse enzymes, capable of converting substances into beneficial and detrimental compounds. The amounts of these substances may affect the hosts physiological function, detoxification, drug efficiency, exposure to carcinogens, rate of aging, resistance to infections and the levels of vitamins, minerals, proteins and fatty acids liberated from foods. It is therefore important to establish a health balance of good vs. bad bacteria, particularly as we get older.

HISTORY:

As far back as our records will take us, man has used the art of fermenting foods to improve lifespan and strong holding properties of foods. Originally foods with poor holding qualities, particularly the milk from camels, buffalo, goats, sheep and cows were fermented naturally to produce an acidic tasting food drink. History suggests that some of the first yogurts were produced in goat skin bags, draped over the backs of camels in the hot deserts of North Africa. Temperatures reaching 40 C or 110 F were ideal for lactic acid producing bacteria to go to work. Since this period many races have fermented many types of foods in the need for developing new tastes and improving shelf life.

ARE THERE BENEFITS TO GOOD HEALTH?

It was not until 1910 that the famous Nobel Prize winning Russian Bacteriologist, Illya Metchinikoff first considered the possible benefit to good health from fermented foods. Initially he noted that the Bulgarians had an average life span of 87 years, (exceptional for the early 1900's) and that four out of every thousand lived past 100 years of age.

One of the significant differences in their lifestyle was the large consumption of fermented milks. Since this period, studies have looked at a number of healthy populations and found that the use of fermented foods is very common.

Of recent times the famous Hunzas of Kashmir and the Georgians of what used to be knows as the Soviet Union, have been highlighted by their amazing history of longevity. Males of 100+ years participating in horse events such as polo, and women working in the farm fields at 100 years of greater, are not uncommon. They are both very active races and have sound basic diets.

A significant part of the diet is fermented milks, using live Lactobacillus bacteria. The Georgian are particularly strong believers that health is very dependent on fermented milk consumption. A famous Georgian saying is “IF YOU WANT TO LIVE LONG, DRINK MORE SOUR MILK".

Since the 1920's scientists have continued to investigate the possible benefit to the health by bacteria. In 1935 certain strains of Lactobacillus Acidophilus were found to be very active when implanted the human digestive tract. Further research throughout the last forty years has found more and more health benefits using friendly bacteria. Areas such as good digestion, effective detoxification and prolonged good health appear to be all effected by establishing a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.

POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF LACTOBACILLI BACTERIA TO HEALTH

PH BALANCE

By altering the PH of the large intestine to a slightly more acidic level, putrefactive bacteria (those potentially detrimental to good health and increasing foul wind production) tend to be inhibited or destroyed. The PH is altered by ACTIVE Lactobacilli bacteria producing high level of lactic acid. The presence of these and other acids inhibit the growth of undesirable bacteria, moulds, moulds spores and yeasts - particularly the Candida form.

IMPROVE DIGESTION/DIGESTIBILITY OF FOODS

Through the bacteria's active enzymes, foods exposed to these bacteria are broken down and pre-digested. When consumed by humans, nutrients are more readily available for absorption and often improves the biological value of foods.

Yoghurt is a prime example. The presence of active bacteria in the gut of man can aid it's own digestive process in breaking down foods. This is particularly important in the aged population where digestion tends to deteriorate in the later years.
Because of the enzyme activity of the bacteria Lactobacillus can be useful in reducing the wind associated with poor digestion. The foul smell is usually the result of bad bacteria cultures fermenting food products. Repopulating the gut with good bacteria can reduce this population.

REDUCTION IN THE BOWEL INFECTIONS

The Lactobacillus family all appear to produce natural agents, for example; Acidophilus produces Acidophillin and Bulgaricus produces Bulgariein, which have the ability to reduce of destroy competing bacteria in foods and in the human gut. Regular consumption of live Lactobacilli bacteria improves the gut microflora and reduces the number of bowel infections by reducing unwanted bacteria.

Also the use of certain antibiotics destroy good and bad bacterial flora in the human gut. Re-population with good bacteria is essential to re-establish a health balance of bacteria.

IMMUNE SYSTEM

On-going research continues to find that these friendly bacteria appear to directly act with the immune system. Animal studies show that when the intestine is cleansed of all bacteria (good and bad) the defence of the total immune system is very low. Reduced levels of defence chemicals and special white blood cells occurred in these bacterial free animals. Activation of the white blood cells was seen when indigenous bacteria were introduced.

Further research has shown that live indigenous bacteria or the chemicals they make, can penetrate the intestinal wall and stimulate immune cells to form. The word 'translocation' was introduced to describe the passage of live bacteria from the intestine to the lymph nodes and to other organs such as the spleen and liver. It has been proposed that strains of Lactobacillus may be able to translocate and survive for many days in the spleen or other organs and stimulate immune function.

Research from other sources has shown that some strains of live Lactobacillus can stimulate powerful defence cells like the natural killer cells and increase the anti viral chemicals like interferon.

ONGOING RESEARCH

Two areas under investigation, is the role of Lactobacilli as an anti-cancer weapon and a cholesterol lowering agent.

It is well established that the population which consumes high levels of active Lactobacilli cultured foods have a far lower incidence of bowel cancer than populations on similar diets but have low intakes of fermented foods. It is believed that Lactobacilli reduce the activity of certain bacterial enzymes capable of converting certain fats and bile acids from a pro-carcinogenic form to a carcinogenic substance, thus reducing the incidence of bowel cancer and perhaps other cancers in these areas.

It has also been shown in a number of studies that consumption of some fermented dairy foods reduces the cholesterol elevating effect of non fermented foods. That is, yoghurt appears far less cholesterol elevating than normal milk. Some studies believe these bacteria contain substances which may lower cholesterol.

The effect may be due to the bacteria using the cholesterol itself or by producing substances which alter the body's metabolism of the cholesterol. Time will determine the validity of the anti-cancer and anti-cholesterol properties.

LACTOSE INTOLERANCE

Consumption of fermented foods containing lactose appears to improve the digestibility of these foods in those who have a milk or moderate problem with lactose digestion. It is also believed that the presence of live lactobacilli bacteria in the gut also improves the digestion of lactose in those foods not previously fermented before consumption. This is due to the enzymes which are capable of breaking down the lactose from foods into a more suitable form.

LIVE OR DEAD CELLS - THERE IS A DIFFERENCE

Most fermented foods purchased off the shelves contain a significant amount of dead cells, because the foods are pasteurised at the last stage of production before delivery. The reason that the foods tastes the same as a product containing active bacteria is because all the acids and other flavouring agents are still present after pasteurisation. However, although they taste the same these are not the same active cultured foods consumed by the famous longevity groups of the world.

It is strongly believed that to attain the health benefits attributed to Lactobacilli fermented foods, live active bacteria needs to be combusted on a regular basis. It is believed the life span in the human body of these cells is between 3 to 10 days. Regular consumption of bacteria is needed to continue the on-going benefits of these foods to health. It is only the active forms which have the ability to tolerate the acidity of the stomach and the alkalinity of the intestine that will produce health benefits.

VIABLE COUNT

Many products claim to have an abundance of Lactobacillus. But the key issue is not the amount but the viability. I have no doubt as time goes by others will try and duplicate Immunity Fuel. Since our process is a secret no one will ever have a product equal to ours. So the key question is not how many, but do any of these other products have the ability to on ferment (viability). In our tests with other products we have not yet been able to (on ferment) products within 24 hours of using any of these so called high count products. Yet with Immunity Fuel you can on ferment and make other products with it. Another point to make is we keep the Lactobacillus strains together so that they are strong, viable, colony of bacteria ready to go to work in the body. This is because we are sending down 13 strains of bacteria, some being sub strains, since the primary strains do not have to make sub strains the bacteria are ready to go to work, no training time or sub-strain production time.

A simple test to see if a product can on ferment is put the product in warm water, add a teaspoon of simple sugar, keep in a warm place, in a low oven with door ajar (40C) for at least 6 hours, if the product is viable you should see bubbling in the product and the taste should have a Lactic taste, sour and you should have yogurt, cheese, or pickled vegetables.

REFERENCES

Yoghurt by William Helerich and Dennis Westhoff.

Lactobacillus Feeding Alters Human Colonic Bacterial Activities by Nutritional Reviews Vol. 42 No. 4. Nov. 1984.

Lactobacillus Acidophilus by American Institute of Biosocial Research Inc. 1989

Assimilation of Cholesterol by: Lactobacillus Acidophilus by Applied and Environmental Microbiology Vol. 49 No. 2, Feb. 1985