We all use the term “probiotic" so often, but may not think of what it means. The Russian Nobel Laureate Elie Metchnikoff, best known for his pioneering research in immunology more than a century ago, coined the term to signify “in favour of life." As hypothesized by him and further evaluated through research, it is important to implant beneficial bacteria in the gut in order to counter the harmful or toxin-producing putrefactive bacteria that grow in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This could also have probable effects of a healthier childhood and healthy old age due to reduction of toxins in the blood brought about by probiotics’ vital role in eliminating toxin producing bacteria.
In recent years, there has been increasing interest in the field of probiotics, with a number of health benefits identified through research. Of particular interest is the role of lactic acid-producing bacteria that are reported to produce antibiotic-like substances called bacteriocins that create a non-conducive environment for the growth of harmful bacteria. They have also been found to be resistant to gastric juices, able to grow in the presence of bile in the intestines.
Of more concern, and confirming the need to incorporate probiotics as part of our daily intake, is the present day lifestyle. Stressed conditions, erratic food consumption patterns, hectic travel schedules, and other drugs and antibiotics are but a few reasons normal gut microflora become depleted. When harmful bacteria becomes predominant, which may lead to an imbalance, it often causes changes in normal gut function. This may be manifested as inefficient digestion, diarrhea, constipation and flatulence, to severe GI disorders. Lactobacilli are widely preferred probiotics due to their proven efficacy that deliver safety along with activity and are readily accepted probiotics.
Bacillus coagulans is a well-recognized L(+)Lactic acid-producing probiotic that has been extensively studied for a range of health benefits such as GI health, immunomodulation and cholesterol and blood sugar management. A few commercial strains, such as Sabinsa’s LactoSpore®, have been clinically validated. LactoSpore has even received approval as a “Natural Health Product" in Canada by the NNHPD (Natural and Non Prescription Health Products Directorate), the Canadian regulatory authority, for its potential to “help relieve abdominal pain associated with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)".
Due to the potential of B coagulans to sporulate, it is shelf stable. With human clinical studies substantiating its safety and efficacy in supporting gastrointestinal health, B coagulans has found its way in a number of nutraceutical and functional food dosage forms.
The sporulation of B coagulans is vital to sustain and survive stomach acids and thus deliver what it claims. Studies have shown that the number of viable lactobacilli that retain viability during preparation in pharmaceutical dosage forms and during storage before consumption is always high owing to its sporulated form which is thermostable to withstand formulation conditions.
With ever-growing numbers of consumers using probiotics for the desired health benefits, providing a form shown by research to deliver those benefits is crucial.
Shaheen Majeed, marketing director for Sabinsa Corp., knows Sabinsa from the ground up. When he was just 17 years old, Shaheen began in the warehouse of the science-based ingredients company his father founded in 1988. Subsequent positions included customer service, a variety of sales positions, representing the company's substantial portfolio of proprietary nutritional and cosmeceutical ingredients, managing contract manufacturing, cosmetic marketing manager and executive assistant to the CEO.