The present situation in Europe can be characterized by a very diversified and expanding market for probiotics. Several species offer themselves for use as probiotics depending on stability requirements, such as well known lactobacilli, enterococci, and spore forming strains. In recent time, efforts can be recognized to introduce L. reuteri for application in animal nutrition and in dairy products. Effects of probiotics in man and animals must be demonstrated very convincingly in the field of animal husbandry, not so rigorously at the pharmaceutical sector and only facultatively in the field of food applications, due to requirements in German and EC legislated regulations. Safety aspects will be regulated especially in the field of animal nutrition by a very restrictive guideline from the Brussels authorities, in the field of pharmaceuticals by the national registration bodies and in the food area by the responsibility of the producers and the distributors based on food legislation regulations. If probiotic cultures will be used in food in Germany it is forbidden to propagate special health aspects with the probiotic ingredient of the product. That is not so strictly the case in the neighbouring countries. There is a controversary discussion going on in Germany if health claims or the term “good for health” contains advertisement like for a pharmaceutical specimen. The propagation which might be accepted up to now seems to be “wellness of the human being”.
Bifidobacterium longum BB536 was administered to healthy adult volunteers and the effects on the intestinal environment (fecal flora, fecal putrefactive substance, fecal putrefactive enzyme activities and organic acid concentrations), defecation frequency and fecal characteristics were investigated. For the investigation of intestinal environment, twelve volunteers were assigned to two groups (persons 7 and 5 each) and each group was administered 2×109 or 2×1010 viable cells of BB536 daily in 200 ml of milk for 7 days. Forty women volunteers were assigned for the test of defecation frequency and fecal characteristics. They were administered 2×109 viable cells of BB536 daily in 200 ml of milk for three weeks. Milk was used as the control diet in both experiments. The administration of BB536 resulted in a decrease of fecal ammonia content and reduction in the activity of some fecal enzymes. Bifidobacterium percentage in the fecal flora was increased by the administration of BB536. The number of Enterobacteriaceae and C. perfringens tended to decrease at a dose of 2 x 1010 of BB536 per day. The fecal moisture content also tended to increase following the administration of BB536. In the test on the defecation frequency and fecal characteristics, the administration of BB536 was effective in increasing the frequency significantly and in changing the fecal visual characteristics for the better. These results indicate that the administration of BB536 improves intestinal environment, defecation frequency and fecal characteristics.
Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are an indigestible, highly fermentable carbohydrate with a chain length of 3 to 5. They are known bifidogenic factors which may provide physiological benefits when fed. Two studies investigating the effect of FOS on survival in a hamster model of Clostridium difficile-colitis were conducted. Female golden Syrian hamsters were treated with ciprofloxacin prior to C. difficile (strain VPI 10463) challenge. In experiment one, 41 hamsters were randomized among 1 of 6 treatments arranged in a 2×3 factorial (0 or 30 g FOS/L of drinking water; 0, 0.5×109 colony forming units, or 2.0×109 colony forming units C. difficile challenge). In experiment two, 63 hamsters were randomized among 1 of 8 treatments arranged in a 2×2×2 factorial (0 or 30 g FOS/L of drinking water; 0 or 2.0×109 colony forming units C. difficile challenge; 0 or 50 mg/kg body weight/day vancomycin treatment). In the first experiment, FOS increased (p<0.01) median survival time (MST) of hamsters challenged with C. difficile. In the second experiment, the overall effect of FOS was to improve (p<0.05) MST. These data suggest that dietary supplementation with FOS increases median survival time in a hamster model of Clostridium difficile-colitis. Supplementation with fructooligosaccharides may be beneficial for patients at risk of C. difficile infection in long-term care institutions and hospital wards.
Cow's milk-based follow-up formula (NAN BF) containing viable Bifidobacterium bifidum strain Bb12 was given to seven healthy children of 15 to 31 months old for 21 days, and the effect of NAN BF on fecal flora and fecal metabolic products was studied. The formula NAN BF was well-accepted by the children. During the intake of NAN BF, fecal bifidobacteria showed a tendency to increase, and lecithinase-negative clostridia decreased (p<0.05). B. bifidumstrain Bb12 was detected in fecal samples from five subjects (71%) during intake, with a maximum of 27% of total bifidobacteria. Fecal putrefactive products, ammonia and indole, were significantly reduced (p<0.01) and acetic acid increased (p<0.05) during intake. These results suggest that the intake of NAN BF is beneficial as “probiotics” in improving the intestinal flora and in maintaining the healthy intestinal condition of children during and after weaning.
Yogurt containing Bifidobacterium longum BB536 (designated as Bifidus yogurt) was administered to adult volunteers and its effects on the intestinal environment with reference to fecal microflora, ammonia levels, fecal characteristics (color, consistency) and defecation frequency were examined. Bifidus yogurt was manufactured by fermenting milk with B. longum BB536, Streptococcus thermophilus STH-450 and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus LBU-108. Standard yogurt manufactured using only S. thermophilus STH-450 and L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus LBU-108 was used as the control diet. Eleven women volunteers were assigned as subjects to test the effects of Bifidus yogurt on the intestinal environment. Thirty-nine women volunteers were assigned as subjects to test the effects on fecal characteristics and defecation frequency. The volunteers were each administered 100 g of standard yogurt per day for two weeks. After a two-week interval period, each subject was administered 100 g of Bifidus yogurt per day for the subsequent test period. The period of administration of Bifidus yogurt was 2 weeks for testing effects on the intestinal environment and 3 weeks for testing effects on fecal characteristics and defecation frequency. The administration of Bifidus yogurt was effective to increase the number and relative percentage of fecal bifidobacteria significantly. The fecal ammonia concentration tended to decrease and fecal organic acid content tended to increase. The defecation frequency was significantly increased by Bifidus yogurt. The color of the feces changed to yellow and the consistency changed to soft. The administration of Bifidus yogurt was effective to improve the intestinal environment, fecal characteristics and defecation frequency.
A variety of bacterial components has been known to induce platelet aggregation. Here, we report that Porphyromonas gingivalis lipopolysaccharide (Pg-LPS) caused direct aggregation of rabbit, but not human platelets. Pg-LPS also appeared to induce chemiluminescence response (CLR) in human polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) in whole blood or in serum. Human platelet aggregation was observed only in the PMN-platelet mixture system after stimulation with Pg-LPS.