What Are Probiotics?
What are Probiotics?
The World Health Organization defines probiotics as live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit to the host. Probiotics are live microorganisms, also known as friendly or good bacteria, that can be consumed with food or supplements to produce health benefits. Probiotic products usually contain helpful bacteria and/or yeasts that assist in balancing the levels of indigenous microorganisms in the body.
The gastrointestinal tract hosts an assortment of beneficial bacteria and these bacteria aid digestive and immune processes by performing many useful tasks. These tasks include, among others, aiding in the digestion of food, supporting the immune system, and preventing the growth of harmful bacteria.
An imbalance of beneficial bacteria versus pathogenic bacteria or the absence of the good bacteria can affect your health and ability to digest food and may cause diarrhea. Ensuring the balance of good bacteria in the gut may disrupt the growth of harmful species of bacteria.
The population of beneficial bacteria in the gut can be adversely affected by a number of factors, including changes in diet, stress, use of antibiotics, disease and dehydration. The addition of probiotics to your health regimen may counteract these factors, allowing for the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
Why Pediococcus acidilactici?
Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium may be well known but Pediococcus acidilactici is the rising star in the world of probiotics.
Probiotics must be able to withstand the acidic environments of the stomach (which is between pH 1.5 to pH 3.5) in order to colonize the gut and provide health benefits. Lactobacillus is sensitive to oxygen exposure and has difficulty surviving in acidic environments.
Pediococcus is able to survive in acidic environments between pH 1 to pH 4 which allows the good bacteria to travel to the gut and begin colonization.
Unlike other probiotics which are animal-based, Pediococcus is plant-based, derived from wild grasses. This makes it a heartier strain of probiotic and allows it to survive high acidity levels, as mentioned above, while also being resistant to oxygen and temperatures up to 185⁰F.
Another unique feature of Pediococcus is its ability to survive when treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria indiscriminately in their effort to eliminate infectious pathogens and parasites. This leads to an imbalance in the microbiome of the gut and may cause diarrhea, a known side effect of taking antibiotics.
Pediococcus works concurrently with antibiotics, helping to maintain the good bacteria of the gut and alleviating symptoms of antibiotic-induced diarrhea. A study by Imagilin Technology showed that Pediococcus is able to survive with the administration of various antibiotics including but not limited to ampicillin, marbofloxacin and metronidazole.
Maintaining the microbiome of the gut may be important for overall health. Support your gut and immune health with the addition of a Pediococcus-based probiotic supplement.