What are lactic acid bacteria ?
Lactic acid bacteria are a large group of Gram-positive and acid-tolerant bacteria that can multiply in the presence or absence of oxygen. In humans, lactic acid bacteria are among the most important representatives in the oral cavity, the intestinal flora, and the vaginal flora. Healthy people tend to have a large number of LAB. But the amount of a single strain bacteria is not the only decisive factor. Diversity also plays a role too. The use of certain lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacillus casei or Lactobacillus acidophilus in probiotics is particularly important for people with impaired intestinal flora (dysbiosis). Probiotics are living microorganisms, which provide health benefits when ingested in sufficient quantities. Some lactic acid bacteria can even be used industrially in the preservation of food and certain skincare products. Some of the most explored strains include L. rhamnosus, L. helveticus, L. acidophilus, L. plantarum, L. casei, L. paracasei, L. lactis, and L. brevis. Parallel to this, however, are pathogenic representatives, including several Streptococcus species, which sometimes cause pneumonia or may contribute to the development of dental cavities. From a morphological point of view, there are almost no similarities between lactic acid bacteria. There are rod-shaped (bacilli) or spherical (cocci) bacteria.*
What is the function of lactic acid bacteria ?
Due to their metabolism, lactic acid bacteria are dependent on carbohydrates for energy production, which they utilize during fermentation. Thanks to the lactic acid produced during fermentation, this metabolic process is also known as "lactic acid fermentation" and is sometimes used for the preservation of food. During the lactic acid fermentation process, the formation of lactic acid lowers the pH value in the habitat of lactic acid bacteria. It almost completely inhibits the multiplication of pathogen bacteria such as clostridia, listeria, or coliform bacteria. On the other hand, the process helps produce certain foods, including sour milk products like yogurt and kefir, sour vegetables like sauerkraut and Korean kimchi. Even sourdough used in bread baking are results of lactic acid fermentation.
Lactic acid bacteria can have a positive effect on the human body in many ways too. The lactic acid formed creates a slightly acidic milieu in the intestine, which displaces harmful bacteria and other microorganisms such as candida, ensuring a healthy intestinal flora. Lactic acid bacteria also form short-chain fatty acids that can be used by the intestinal mucosa cells as a source of energy. This process contributes significantly to the well-being and quick regeneration of the intestinal mucosa. It is for this reason that lactic acid bacteria are essential to preventing allergies, food intolerances, and inflammations. One of lactic acid bacteria's most important tasks is in support of digestion. By improving the bioavailability of nutrients, the body can digest and absorb them easily. They can also support the body in chronic digestive problems such as diarrhea, flatulence, and constipation. In the vagina, they also provide the necessary acid environment and can, therefore, counteract vaginal candida infections.*
What are the effects of lactic acid bacteria?
As an essential component of the intestinal flora, lactic acid bacteria are involved in vitamin synthesis, provide short-chain fatty acids and, with their metabolic products, also promote intestinal movement, digestion and the absorption of nutrients. A further important aspect of healthy intestinal flora is the inhibition of the multiplication of pathogenic microorganisms. These usually enter the body through food and subsequently disturb the intestinal flora and weaken the immune system. As a component of probiotics, lactic acid bacteria can support the intestinal flora in cases of intestinal miscolonization as a result of diarrhea caused by bacteria, viruses or antibiotics, while also promoting the barrier function of the intestinal mucosa. However, disturbances of the microbial balance can also affect the vaginal flora and the mucous membranes of the urinary tract in cases of candida infections, bacterial vaginoses, and urinary tract infections.
Lactic acid bacteria in the form of probiotics can support the healing process. In addition to their ability to directly protect against pathogens, probiotics are also capable of stimulating the intestinal immune system, which among other things, stimulates antibody production. Probiotics also have a positive therapeutic effect in the treatment of allergic diseases such as asthma, atopic dermatitis, and skin eczema as well as the prevention of food allergies.*
Probiotics containing lactic acid bacteria are used in a wide variety of applications, some of which are extensive:*
- For gastrointestinal complaints such as specific and non-specific diarrhea
- Therapeutic aid to treat recurrent mucous membrane infections in the vaginal and urogenital tract
- To support weakened immune response and increased susceptibility to infections
- Therapeutic aid to treat frequent allergic diseases such as atopic dermatitis, skin eczema, hay fever, and asthma
- Assistance during and after taking antibiotics, or receiving radiation or chemotherapy
- Preventive in case of increased need during pregnancy and lactation to optimize the initial colonization of the child's intestinal flora
Side Effects/ Interactions/ Contraindications
Lactic acid bacteria can cause digestive problems to sensitive people at the beginning of the intake. However, these mild side effects usually subside after a few days or weeks when the body gets used to them. Excessive use can cause symptoms such as flatulence, diarrhea, and confusion.
When taking medication like antibiotics, for example, a time interval of 2-3 hours between taking medication and probiotics is recommended to avoid potential interaction.
To the best of our knowledge, no contraindications are known.
In the various fields of application, it is recommended to ingest 10 billion reproductive germs per day.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.