PROBIOTICS HAVE BENEFITS BEYOND THE GI TRACT

Gastrointestinal benefits of probiotics have been well-documented, but more and more research is revealing that probiotic benefits extend to the entire body. “Inflammation is a major factor in a number of chronic diseases affecting millions of people and can cause an unwanted impact on healthy tissue,” explains Dr. Liam O’Mahony, lead investigator. “Past research has shown that the probiotic Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 can positively impact the body’s immune defense, and this most recent data suggests that its benefits are not restricted to the gastrointestinal tract.”

Bifidobacterium infantis 35624, a probiotic strain isolated from healthy human gastrointestinal tissue, was administered to mice in freeze-dried powder at least three weeks prior to salmonella infection. Animals that received Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 showed dramatically increased numbers of certain immune cells that control the immune system response to harmful pathogens, in this case Salmonella. Additionally, data show increased numbers of T-regulatory (Treg) cells, or cells that suppress inflammatory disease in a wide range of autoimmune diseases.

Researchers concluded that the introduction of Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 results in enhanced protection from infection, while limiting pro-inflammatory damage caused by superfluous activation of the innate immune system.

Source:
PLoS – August 2008;Epub. www.plospathogens.org

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