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Technology & Services Section
The Importance of Probiotics
a report by
Je s s i c a Va n d e n H o u t e n
Enzymatic Therapy, Inc.
Medical researchers and healthcare practitioners from around the world are
focusing on the importance of probiotics, also known as healthy intestinal
bacteria, microflora, friendly bacteria, active cultures, and flora, in the
human diet. As the non-toxic, live bacteria are being recognized for the
crucial role they play in improving digestive health and studied for their
interconnectivity to every single function in the human body, probiotics are
reshaping the way medical science views health.* The lingering question
stumping scientists was how to keep these essential, active cultures intact
in the body until they reach the intestines, where they need to arrive in live
form to perform their beneficial functions.* The answer has become
something of an art in scientific discovery. Independent testing has shown
that most probiotics are unstable at the time of purchase and much less at
the time of use since countless live bacteria products lose their effectiveness
during shipping and over time on-shelf.
The Goodness of Yogurt Protected by Science
Two well-studied probiotics, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium
longum, are the most important bacteria needed for a healthy digestive
system.* Both hold significant positions in the gut microflora to provide
health benefits such as increasing healthy intestinal flora.4
Yogurt is one source of probiotics but because it necessitates refrigeration it
is not always a convenient option, nor does it provide a consistent amount
of live bacteria serving to serving. When considering the human body’s
harsh stomach acids, most probiotics, including those found in yogurt, may
not survive the journey through the stomach and into the intestine. That is
why many patients rely on supplements. Medical professionals often
recommend a probiotic supplement to replenish the good bacteria in the
intestinal microflora.* Plus, many patients appreciate getting the goodness
of yogurt without the fat, calories, and sugar.
Unfortunately, not all supplements deliver on their packaging claims.
Independent testing has shown that most probiotics are unstable at the time
of purchase and are much less stable at the time of use. Countless live
bacteria products exposed to even just normal room temperatures as well as
to stomach acid, end up with only a fraction of the live bacteria that are
claimed on their labels. In fact, of 20 brands of probiotic supplements tested,
only one contained exactly and only the organisms stated on the label.9
Enteric Coating
Enteric coating of probiotics is intended to allow the passage of a tablet or
capsule through the gastric fluids of the stomach and should reduce the
chances of stomach upset or release of product contents before it reaches the
intestines. However, due to the complexities involved with applying an enteric
US GASTROENTEROLOGY REVIEW 2007
coating on a tablet or capsule, some enteric coatings do not entirely inhibit
stomach acid from entering the encapsulation. As a result, stomach acid can
interact with the sensitive bacteria, leading to a significant decrease in viability.
Not to mention the fact that the enteric coating manufacturing process
frequently utilizes solvents such as methacrylate copolymers. The tablets
and capsules are sprayed with these solvents at high temperatures to create
the enteric coating. This type of application further exposes microbes to
conditions that can dramatically reduce the product shelf life.
True Delivery ™ Technology
A special process called True Delivery Technology helps assure an active,
effective probiotic that delivers results precisely where they are needed in the
intestines. This revolutionary proprietary sphere or ‘beadlike’ encapsulating
process is a patented technique that protects the probiotic bacteria from
stomach acid. The unparalleled process can be found with such products as
Acidophilus Pearls™ active cultures from Enzymatic Therapy®, the leading
provider of natural medicines and dietary supplements.
The True Delivery process creates a seamless gelatin sphere, which consists
of three layers. The inner layer is a paste of probiotic bacteria suspended
in a protective oil suspension. The second layer actually ‘seals’ the bacteria
in the capsule, protecting them from air, moisture, and the effects of heat.
Probiotic bacteria are anaerobic organisms and the presence of oxygen
can actually injure or kill them. Because probiotic bacteria are injured or
destroyed by the acids of the stomach, the third, outermost layer of the
sphere is specially developed to dissolve only in the alkaline environment of
the intestines. This patented gelatin sphere protects the probiotic bacteria
from the acid environment of the stomach so that they can successfully reach
the intestine alive and intact.
With this advanced encapsulation technique, probiotics remain stable at
room temperature for up to 18 months. Many live bacteria products fail to
meet their label claim in less than 12 months after being manufactured.
Using this unique delivery system, studies show patented probiotics such as
those found in Acidophilus Pearls deliver up to 900% more intact microflora
to the intestine, compared with label claims from four leading competitive
products including those with enteric coatings.8*
Daily Digestive Maintenance
Normal microflora of the large intestine help support and complete
digestion through fermentation.1,6 The potential for occasional digestive
discomfort increases when the capacity of colonic microflora to ferment
1
Technology & Services Section
carbohydrates decreases.7 Oral ingestion of probiotics produces a
stabilizing effect on the gut flora,2* but since probiotic bacteria do not
permanently colonize in the body, daily replenishment is essential for
health-promoting effects to persist.* After ingestion, probiotics must
adhere to the wall of the intestine. Once attached to the intestinal wall, the
bacteria are capable of multiplying and colonizing in the gut, thereby
enhancing the immune response.1-3*
With continual, everyday digestive health maintenance, probiotics can help
alleviate such discomforts as occasional gas and constipation as well as
symptoms of lactose intolerance.* For these reasons, probiotics are also a
highly recommended option for intestinal health and bowel support when
traveling.* Specially encapsulated probiotics, such as those using True
Delivery Technology, require no refrigeration so they can be taken virtually
anywhere without concern about their stability and effectiveness.
More than Meets the Eye
In addition to supporting digestive health, the powerful duo of Lactobacillus
acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum also helps promote better
utilization and bioavailability of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals,
proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.5*
Recognizing a Dependable Probiotic Product
On a very basic level, medical professionals and patients alike must, at
the very least, look at the package. If there is no date stamp, that is not
a good sign. If it says the company guarantees there was a certain
number of probiotic bacteria alive at the time of manufacture, think
twice. That means that the company is not willing to claim the bacteria
are alive when delivered to the target site, the intestine. If the product
must be constantly refrigerated you do not want to be recommending it
to patients. You cannot be certain of the conditions the product was
exposed to before or during shipping.
Say ‘yes’ to a probiotic that states the bacteria are guaranteed to be alive
in the numbers claimed on the label until the date printed on the
package, the ‘best by’ date. Trust a product that uses unique, cuttingedge science to deliver the probiotic bacteria in a form that uses
spherical, sealed, triple coating to protect the bacteria. That company has
taken the extra time and expense to make sure your patients reap the
benefits that probiotics can offer.
Not all Probiotics Products are Alike – Rely on a
Trusted Source
As stated earlier, the manufacturer of dietary supplements that utilizes the
advanced True Delivery Technology required to develop a quality probiotic
1.
2.
3.
2
Macfarlane GT, Cummings JH, Probiotics and prebiotics: can
regulating the activities of intestinal bacteria benefit health?, BMJ,
1999;318:999–1003.
Gismondo MR, Drago L, Lombardi A, Review of probiotics
available to modify gastrointestinal flora, Int J Antimicrob Agents,
1999;12:287–292.
Famularo C, Moretti S, Marcellini, De Simone C, Stimulation of
immunity by probiotics, Fuller, R ed, Probiotics 2 Applications and
Practical Aspects, London, England, Chapman & Hall,
1997;133–161.
4.
5.
6.
7.
such as Acidophilus Pearls is Enzymatic Therapy, Inc. (ETI), renowned as the
nation’s leading provider of over 200 natural medicines and nutritional
supplements. Through natural health retailers, ETI brings the best in
traditional medicines and evidence-based science together to help
consumers experience What Better Feels Like®.
Headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin, ETI places nature and science at
the forefront of every product they make. Bringing more rigorous
scientific protocols to the field of complementary medicine and the
supplement marketplace, the Enzymatic Therapy Scientific Advisory Board
comprises some of the most prestigious and well-respected scientists,
medical doctors, naturopathic doctors, and health specialists in the US. ETI
also relies on the expertise of its research and development community,
which includes PhDs with backgrounds in immunology, food science,
nutrition, biology, and, yes, digestion.
With these powerful resources, the company is able to provide better
innovation and quality with clinically studied and clinically proven therapies
as well as patented and proprietary ingredients from around the world.
• ETI’s state-of-the-art 150,000 square-foot facility is both a US Food and
Drug Administration (FDA)-registered drug establishment and certified
organic processor by One Cert, a US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
accredited certifying agent—the first dietary supplement company to
achieve both.
• With over 25 years of industry experience, their standards of quality are
unsurpassed.
• Each of their formulas is backed by solid research and is designed and
tested for optimal impact in elevating the health of their consumers.
• To help strengthen the knowledge of complementary medical
alternatives, they offer Working Doctor Seminars as well as a Continuing
Medical Education Series to health care professionals.
When results matter, thousands of doctors and patients are turning to the
cutting-edge, evidenced-based interventions from ETI. For more information
on probiotic supplements including Acidophilus Pearls, visit www.enzy.com.
You can also find referenced technical information about probiotics at
www.ATDonline.org and www.natmedonline.com
For those practitioners interested in providing a doctor-exclusive probiotic
supplement as part of their dispensary, please call Integrative Therapeutics
Inc. (a division of ETI) at 1.800.931.1709.
This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not
intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
*
Fuller R, Introduction, Fuller, R ed, Probiotics 2 Applications and
Practical Aspects, London, England, Chapman & Hall, 1997;1–9.
Witsell DL, Garrett CG, Yarbrough WG, et al., Effect of
Lactobacillus acidophilus on antibiotic-associated gastrointestinal
morbidity: a prospective randomized trial, J Otolaryngol,
1995;24:230–233.
Gibson GR, Saavedra JM, Macfarlane S, Macfarlane G, Probiotics
and intestinal infections, Fuller, R ed, Probiotics 2 Applications and
Practical Aspects, London, England, Chapman & Hall 1997;10–39.
De Simone C, Ciardi A, Grassi A, et al., Effect of Bifdobacterium
8.
9.
bifidum and Lactobacillus acidophilus on gut mucosa and
peripheral blood B lymphocytes, Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol,
1992;14:331–340.
Probiotic viability after exposure to simulated gastric condition,
2001.
Berman S, Safety and Reliability of Lactobacillus Supplements in
Seattle, Washington (A Pilot Study), available at:
http://www.ispub.com/ostia/index.php?xmlFilePath=journals/ijam/
vol1n2/lacto.xm
US GASTROENTEROLOGY REVIEW 2007