ANKENY, Iowa—Embria Health Sciences reported that its ingredient EpiCor was used to help validate a new sophisticated digestive system model in a scientific paper. (BMC Microbiology. 2014 May; 14:133. doi: 10.1186/1471-2180-14-133)
The Laboratory of Microbial Ecology, Ghent University, and ProDigest, also in Ghent, have a well-established model of the human digestive system consisting of a three-stage continuous culture system called SHIME (simulator of human intestinal microbial ecology). In this model a typical human digestive microbiota is established, and changes in that population by various treatments can be monitored.
Recently, the group has added an extra dimension to this model with the HMI (host-microbiota interaction) module. In this module, mixed microbial populations from the SHIME flow over a layer of living cells that mimic the surface layer of the human gut. The bacteria passing over this layer can then selectively adhere to the living cells under conditions that mimic the shear forces and low oxygen levels present in the human gut.
To validate this model, they used EpiCor as a test product and demonstrated EpiCor-induced changes. The EpiCor caused an increase in the total level of short chain fatty acids (SCFA), and influenced which bacterial species adhered to the cell layer mimicking the gut wall. Specifically, EpiCor increased the adherence of lactobacilli relative to the control, demonstrating that EpiCor changed both the total bacterial composition and which species actually adhere to the cell layer. Finally, they demonstrated that EpiCor “resulted in an anti-inflammatory response as evidenced by significantly lower IL-8 production after 48 h (p<0.05), as compared to the control," according to the paper’s authors.
“Not only does this research provide additional validity for EpiCor’s ability to increase SCFA’s and healthy bacteria like lactobacillus in the gut, it also suggests that EpiCor may have a beneficial role at the critical interface of the mucus and epithelial cell barrier where many inflammatory and auto-immune issues are thought to begin," said Larry E. Robinson, VP of scientific affairs at Embria.