Digestive Health Market

Breast Milk Probiotics for Digestive Health

Lactobacillus fermentum CECT5716 Lc40, a strain originally isolated from breast milk, has high antibacterial and immunomodulatory potential.

The qualitative and quantitative composition of the microbiota plays a determining role in an individual's health. Changes in its composition, named dysbiosis, may lead to alterations or diseases.

Type of feeding is especially relevant in the colonization of infants. Formula-fed infants show important differences in their fecal microbiota compared to breastfed, which might be related to lower incidence of infections and metabolic diseases, better cognitive development, etc.1,2 In fact, mothers modulate the process of infant colonization thanks to the presence in human milk of prebiotic factors and the mother's own bacteria, which are transferred to the baby through breastfeeding.

Among probiotic strategies, the use of probiotic naturally found in breast milk is especially interesting. Some of these microorganisms, which contribute to initiate the correct colonization of infant intestine, have been isolated and characterized showing a high probiotic potential.3 This is the case of Lactobacillus fermentum CECT5716 Lc40, a strain originally isolated from breast milk, with high antibacterial and immunomodulatory potential.4,5,6 The beneficial effect of this strain has been demonstrated in several clinical tests among hundreds of children.

These studies show how the consumption of this strain reduces the incidence of infectious diarrhea by more than 40 percent.7,8 This anti-infective activity is probably related to the antibacterial effect of this strain against several enteropathogenic species,9 as well as to its demonstrated immunostimulating effect in a healthy population after a vaccination.10

At intestinal level, this strain of human milk origin also shows important abilities for the maintenance of intestinal health. Thus, L. fermentum CECT5716 Lc40 showed a potent anti-inflammatory effect in animal models of intestinal inflammation probably related not only to its immunomodulatory effect but also to the ability of this strain to produce glutathione, the natural antioxidant par excellence.11

The modulation of intestinal microbiota by probiotics is an efficient strategy to prevent diseases and alterations of the gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics originally isolated from breast milk are an excellent alternative to take advantage of the strains naturally transferred from the mothers to influence the colonization of their infants.

Learn more about probiotics and other ingredients that benefit digestion in INSIDER’s Digestive Health Digital Magazine.

References

1.       Fanaro S. “Intestinal microflora in early infancy: composition and development." Acta Paediatr Suppl. 2003 Sep;91(441):48-55.

2.       Victora CG et al. “Lancet Breastfeeding Series Group. Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong effect." Lancet. 2016 Jan 30;387(10017):475-90

3.       Martin R et al. “Probiotic potential of three lactobacilli strains isolated from human breast milk." J. Hum. Lactation. 2005;21:8-17.

4.       Fanaro S. “Intestinal microflora in early infancy: composition and development." Acta Paediatr Suppl. 2003 Sep;91(441):48-55.

5.       Victora CG et al. “Lancet Breastfeeding Series Group. Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong effect." Lancet. 2016 Jan 30;387(10017):475-90.

6.       F. Lara-Villoslada M et al. “Beneficial effects of probiotic bacteria isolated from breast milk." British Journal of Nutrition. 2007;98:S96-100.

7.       Martin R et al. “Probiotic potential of three lactobacilli strains isolated from human breast milk." J. Hum. Lactation. 2005;21:8-17.

8.       Fanaro S. “Intestinal microflora in early infancy: composition and development." Acta Paediatr Suppl. 2003 Sep;91(441):48-55.

9.       Olivares M et al. “Antimicrobial potential of four lactobacillus strains isolated from breast milk." J. Appl. Microbiol. 2006;101:72-79.

10.   Victora CG et al. “Lancet Breastfeeding Series Group. Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong effect." Lancet. 2016 Jan 30;387(10017):475-90.

11.   Martin R et al. “Probiotic potential of three lactobacilli strains isolated from human breast milk." J. Hum. Lactation. 2005;21:8-17.

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