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Human strain probiotics - Important?
What are human strains?
When discussing probiotics, the term “human strains” is a rather vague one. It typically refers to a probiotic strain that is derived from the human body.
The scientific definition of a probiotic (Live microorganism which when administered in adequate amounts confers a health benefit on the host) does not stipulate that to be a probiotic the microbe must have a human origin, or be a “human strain”. Probiotics must be able to exert their benefits on the host through growth and/or activity in the human body (Collins et al., 1998; Morelli, 2000). It is therefore the action, and not the source of the probiotic microorganism that is a key factor in choosing a probiotic. The ability of a probiotic strain to remain viable at the target site and to be effective in the human gut should always be verified and tested.
There are in fact many examples of effective probiotic strains which are not recognised as normal residents of the human gastrointestinal tract. For example, no strain of Saccharomyces boulardii could be described as a “human strain”, and yet this species has been shown in numerous clinical trials to benefit human consumers.
[Right Image: Saccharomyces boulardii, originally extracted from fruit]
There is absolutely no existing scientific evidence that human strains are more capable of binding than non human strains. As “human strains” tend to come from the human faeces, this fact in itself acts as evidence of their capability to survive intestinal transit; a key factor when considering a good probiotic. It does not, however, provide evidence that they can adhere to or colonize the human gut more effectively than a strain which is not considered to be of human origin.
At OptiBac we do not therefore consider the the question of “human strain” to be a relevant criterion for selecting an effective probiotic.
However, for those of you who are still curious, here is a list of our probiotic strains and their specific origins:
NB. For those concerned about dairy sensitivities, some of the OptiBac range may contain small traces of dairy and are therefore not recommended for vegans or those who are severely allergic to dairy. However we do recommend the whole range for those who are lactose intolerant, as the amount of dairy is negligible, and probiotics aid the digestion of lactose.
What is a probiotic "strain"? Click here for more info
Click on the image below to view the full OptiBac range
1. McFarland, L. V. & Bernasconi, P. (1993) Saccharomyces boulardii: A review of an innovative biotherapeutic agent. Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease; Vol. 6. pp. 157-171.
Finchley Clinic Blog
A gateway to winter illness: treating and preventing a sore throat
It’s something that automatically causes dread in people this time of year – a tickle in or at the back of the throat. The reason? Because, in so many cases, it tends to indicate an oncoming sore throat. Granted, on its own a sore throat’s usually a minor complaint, but too often it’s also a […]
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Back down to earth with a bump: the January detox and what alcohol does to the gut and liver
If anything defines the seasonal period then it might be said to be indulgence. All that rich food, piled up on plate after plate and meal after meal. And, of course, all that alcohol too. Alcoholic consumption spikes at this time of year and, although there’s nothing wrong with having a good time and unwinding […]
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Last orders before Christmas / Products to prevent colds and flu’s over the holiday season
We’ll be open almost up to Christmas, and if you want to order before we close here are the deadlines: The last date for guaranteed (courier) UK delivery before Christmas is Thursday 22nd December. This is also the last date for orders to be shipped internationally by courier (usually 3-4 working days). The last date for […]
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Bad triggers and good habits: dietary tips for living with IBS
Do you find you get constipation, bloating, diarrhoea or abdominal pain – or even all four – more often than you assume is normal? If so, there’s a chance you may have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In fact, given it’s something of an umbrella-like gastrointestinal complaint, the likelihood is a good number of people suffer […]
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Have a great Christmas – how not to get pulled down by Holiday-related stress
Did you know an estimated eight out of 10 Americans feel stressed around Christmastime? When you think about it, it’s hardly very surprising – there’s probably a similar number in the UK and elsewhere in the world. All that pressure to find and buy presents for everybody, to make food, travel and family arrangements, to […]
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|Tuesday 30th December 2003|