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Author Topic: What are the 2% of probiotics that do work?  (Read 1489 times)

Jay Shah

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What are the 2% of probiotics that do work?
« on: 02/10/2014 09:27:57 »
Jay Shah  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
I was listening to the latest podcast where Vanya mentioned that 98% of probiotics do not get to the intestine. Would you be able to find out the 2% that do work?

The reason I am asking is in behalf of oesophagectomy patients would could significantly benefit from improved gut flora.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 02/10/2014 16:03:47 by Georgia »


 

Offline evan_au

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Re: What are the 2% of probiotics that do work?
« Reply #1 on: 02/10/2014 12:17:19 »
Well over 98% of probiotics are taken orally, and face a tortuous path through the stomach and intestine.

It is a real challenge for a lab or a factory to grow the wide variety of anaerobic micro-organisms which inhabit the ecosystem in your intestine. You would then have to package it in a form which would successfully pass through the acid conditions in the stomach, then the basic conditions in the next section of the gut, and finally release the (still living) bacteria into your gut. These probiotics would require a food supply inside the capsule (ie a very short shelf life), and require continuous refrigeration from factory to user to keep them in a viable state.

Some kinds of bacteria are able to form spores which can pass into the gut; at least these would not require refrigeration or a food supply.

One method of administering probiotics that has shown some promise recently is to administer it via an endoscope (from the other end). It's only done in severe cases, since it requires an anesthetic.

This must make up a very small fraction of the 2%. I am sure the "yuck factor" would turn off most people!
 

Offline RD

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Re: What are the 2% of probiotics that do work?
« Reply #2 on: 02/10/2014 15:40:15 »
...One method of administering probiotics that has shown some promise recently is to administer it via an endoscope (from the other end). It's only done in severe cases, since it requires an anesthetic.

This must make up a very small fraction of the 2%. I am sure the "yuck factor" would turn off most people!

The bacteria from others stool have proven their ability to survive ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fecal_bacteriotherapy  (now that's what I call "yuck factor" :)

It's applied like a enema or colonoscopy , so anaesthetic is not necessary.
 

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Re: What are the 2% of probiotics that do work?
« Reply #2 on: 02/10/2014 15:40:15 »

 

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