People have been swearing by routine intake of probiotics such as yoghurt and other good bacteria that are supposed to help in prevention of several diseases and maintain good health. A new study from a group of Israeli scientists says that these probiotics are in fact useless. The results of this study appeared in the latest issue of the journal Cell.
The new study is a detailed analysis of the effects of probiotics on the gut bacteria. Probiotics are preparations that contain friendly bacteria that are supposed to enrich the gut and promote health. From asthma to chronic gut disorders like irritable bowel syndrome etc, probiotics have been widely prescribed globally. This team of researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science explain that to be actually helpful, the probiotics need to be tailor made to individual needs.
The team of researchers prepared their own probiotic combination with 11 common good bacteria including strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. These were administered to 25 healthy volunteers for a month. The volunteers were then sedated and endoscopically, samples of gut bacteria were collected from various regions in their stomachs and in their small and large intestines. The theory is that the good bacteria colonize within the gut on routine consumption. The researchers were trying to assess if these bacteria in the probiotics were actually colonizing the gut and if it changed the gut activity in any manner.
The results revealed that most of the bacteria that are ingested in the probiotics are simply excreted with none of them colonizing the gut as believed. Some that remained in the gut were overwhelmed by the existing gut bacteria and failed to sustain. According to author Dr Eran Elinav, an immunologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science, off-the-shelf probiotics do not work for everyone. Each individual needs a different probiotic concoction for it to be effective he said.
Source: News Medical