Active Probiotic Cultures in ether elixir™:
Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis
Lactobacillus lactis is a stable but adaptable metabolic organism which is able to thrive in the harsh environment of the human gastrointestinal tract. This probiotic bacteria, often included on ingredient panels as L. lactis, is most frequently used in formulas specifically designed to treat or reduce certain diarrheas, and in formulas designed to be taken every day. L. lactis is an ideal candidate for probiotic use because it supports the function of other Lactobacillus organisms, taking on some of the general workload, thereby enabling the other probiotic agents to focus more specifically on specialty functions at which they are most effective at treating. Lactobacillus lactis colonizes the GI tract by inhibiting the growth and proliferation of pathogenic bacteria. This probiotic is frequently taken by those diagnosed with chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease.
Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris
Some compounds may improve aged skin in healthy people. This is of particular interest to women, whose quality of life may be affected by their skin health. According to our previous study in senescence-accelerated mice, oral administration of heat-killed Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris strain H61 was associated with suppressed external skin deterioration, such as skin ulcers and hair loss (4).
Lactococcus lactis subsp. diacetylactis
These beneficial bacterial are ideal candidates for probiotic use because they support the function of other Lactobacillus organisms, taking on some of the general workload, thereby enabling the other probiotic agents to focus more specifically on specialty functions at which they are most effective at treating. Lactobacillus lactis colonizes the GI tract by inhibiting the growth and proliferation of pathogenic bacteria. (link)
Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris
In 2008, researchers at the University of Helsinki in Finland found that the probiotic Leuconostoc mesenteroides ssp. cremoris can produce chemical messages that fight cancer and boost the immune system’s response. Other research even shows that kefir may reduce the spread of cancerous cells. (link)
Lactobacillus kefyr alone was found to fight the toxins produced by Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that contributes to chronic and sometimes deadly diarrhea. Because C. difficile is increasingly resistant to antibiotics, C. difficile infection is life threatening. (link)
Kluyveromyces marxianus var. marxianus
Kluyveromyces marxianus, another beneficial yeast, profoundly affects blood pressure. Recent studies show that K. marxianus produces molecules that act like ACE inhibitors in the body. ACE inhibitors (angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor) make up a class of pharmaceutical drugs that open blood vessels. Because ACE inhibitors are used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, scientists are exploring the use of kefir as a “functional food”. (link)
The probiotic Saccharomyces unisporus is a yeast that produces healthy fatty acids, such as palmitic acid (found in palm oil) and palmitoleic acid (found in macadamia nuts). Palmitic acid acts as an antioxidant in the body and is a source of vitamin A. According to research, palmitoleic acid is a signaling molecule that helps fight weight gain. (Besides helping to keep off excess weight, S. unisporus produces an anti-tumor agent called farnesol. Farnesol has been shown to control the growth of opportunistic yeast, like Candida. (link)
AND WHAT CAN THEY DO FOR ME?:
1) L. lactis Boosts Immunity
Yogurt fermented with L. lactis activates plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC), that are important for both innate and adaptive immune responses (R,R), and lowers the risk of common cold in human subjects (R).
L. lactis activates natural killer (NK) cells and enhances their cytotoxic activity (R).
L. lactis improves resistance against pneumococcal infection by improving pathogen lung clearance, reduces lung injuries and increases survival of infected mice (R,R).
L. lactis-fed mice have drastically improved survival rate, reduced weight loss, and reduced lung damage when infected by murine parainfluenza virus (mPIV1) (R) the influenza virus (H1N1) (R).
Kefir-isolated L. lactis protect cells from C. difficile toxins (R).
2) L. lactis May Alleviate Allergies
Both live and heat-killed L. lactis ameliorate the allergic response in mice (R,R,R).
L. lactis decreases the Th2 response (R) and induces a Th1-polarizing program in dendritic cells in mice (R).
L. lactis significantly attenuates atopic esophageal and bronchoalveolar eosinophilic inflammation in mice (R).
Ethanol can increase the allergic response. L. lactis was shown to restore oral tolerance in mice, by reducing local and systemic allergic outcomes such as IL-4 and IgE (R).
Oral treatment of newborn pigs with L. lactis significantly reduced the subsequent frequency of allergy, by dampening the Th-2 immune response (R).
3) L. lactis May be Beneficial in IBD
Soy milk fermented with L. lactis exhibits anti-inflammatory effects and prevents IBD in mice (R,R).
Administration of heat-killed L. lactis suppressed IBD symptoms, such as shortening of colon length, damage to the colon mucosa, and spleen enlargement in mice (R).
L. lactis reduced inflammatory cytokine production and nitric oxide expression in mice with colitis (R).
4) L. lactis is Beneficial for the Skin
L. lactis increased sebum content, thereby potentially reinforcing the skin barrier in healthy young people (R).
L. lactis strain maintained skin hydration, and improved subjective skin elasticity in middle-aged Japanese people (R).
5) L. lactis exhibits Antioxidant Properties
6) L. lactis May Lower Blood Pressure
L. lactis reduces blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride contents in hypertensive rats (R).
Milk fermented by L. lactis exhibits systolic and diastolic blood pressure- and heart-rate-lowering effect in rats with hypertension (R).
7) L. lactis May be Beneficial in Aging
Long-term oral intake of L. lactis suppressed the reduction of bone density and body weight in senescence-accelerated mice (R).
8) L. lactis May Prevent Age-Related Hearing Loss
Intake of heat-killed L. lactis altered the intestinal flora, affected plasma metabolite levels, including fatty acid levels, and slowed down age-related hearing loss in mice, by inhibiting the loss of neurons and hair cells in mouse inner ear (R).
9) L. lactis May Combat Cancer
L. lactis inhibits the proliferation of lung cancer cells, colorectal cancer cells, gastric carcinoma cells and breast cancer cells (R).
Cytoplasmic fraction of L. lactis inhibits human stomach cancer cell proliferation and induces cancer cell death (R).
WHAT MAKES A BACTERIA PROBIOTIC?
For bacteria to exert any probiotic effect, they have to be able to survive both the stomach acids (pH as low as 1.5) and the bile acids (pH as low as 2). This is true of most lactobacilli.
Secondly, the bacteria must arrive in the intestines in sufficient quantities to have an effect. The amount required depends on the strain and the health benefit being studied. The minimum effective level for individual bacteria and specific health benefits is actively under research.
The bacteria may need to adhere to the wall of the intestine (i.e. “implant”) and colonize in order for there to be an effect. Sherwood Gorbach, one of the discoverers of Lactobacillus GG, states, “Our research over the previous 20 years had established beyond doubt that implantation in the gut was the critical feature that a strain must possess to influence the intestinal milieu…” (4). However, others contend that continuous transit (e.g. continually eating a probiotic food) is an alternative to the organism implanting and colonizing (5).
Finally, the bacteria must show some beneficial effects on human health. Some examples of beneficial effects under investigation include alleviation of lactose intolerance, prevention and treatment of diarrhea, maintenance of normal intestinal flora, antagonism against pathogens, stimulation of the immune system, anticarcinogenic activity, and reduction of serum cholesterol levels.
4 KEFIR BENEFITS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
Improved Gut Flora and Overall Digestive Health
Thanks to its mixture of beneficial bacteria and yeasts, drinking kefir can help reseed your digestive tract with probiotics that can help eliminate harmful bacteria, thereby resulting in a healthier digestive system. In addition, it’s packed with fiber, which can help with constipation. One study noted that kefir may even help prevent diarrhea and enterocolitis, a condition marked by inflammation in the small intestine and colon.6
Lowered Risk of Stomach Cancer
The microorganisms that comprise kefir may help lower your risk of stomach cancer. In a study published in the International Dairy Journal, researchers noted that certain probiotic strains in Tibetan kefir were able to induce apoptosis in gastric cancer cells.7
Maintained Blood Sugar Levels
If you’re diabetic, drinking kefir may help control your blood sugar levels. The bacteria in kefir grains feed on sugar, which means that any excess sugar is removed before it enters your bloodstream and causes a spike in your sugar levels. This allows you to enjoy the drink’s health benefits without harming yourself. Coincidentally, the grains eat the lactose in the milk, making kefir a nutritious drink even if you’re lactose-intolerant.