Can Probiotics Survive Stomach Acid?
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July 10, 2017

By Susan Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist








We are not alone. That's the startling discovery that scientists
have made when they looked deep into our intestinal track. To
their amazement, they discovered, well, what is in fact a
world.  

This dark, hiddden world is populated by 3 trillion inhabitants,
all making up between 500 and 1000 tribal species of bacteria.
These tiny hitchhikers have lived inside us, grown inside us,
raised children inside us, and died inside us, for as long as we
have been humans.  We get our first doese of them from our
mothers, as we travel down the birth canal.  For as long as
"you" have been "you", they have been a part of "you".  The
"microbiome" is the name that scientists have decided to call
this world within us.  The hitchhikers inside us, though they are
bacteria, actually benefit us. Because these guest bacteria
benefit us, the host, they are called "probiotics".  

These probiotics help us in many ways. They lower the levels of
inflammation in our bodies, they help us control our blood
sugar levels, they regulate when we feel full after a meal, they
help us maintain a healthy body weight, and they may even
lower or risks for auto-immune diseases such as i
nflammatory
bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn's disease and colitis. So
pervasive is the control these probotics have over our health
that some scientists believe they may even influence our risk
for
Alzheimer's disease.  

However --- and isn't there always a "but" --- to enter our
bodies to do us some good, these bacteria have to get past a
formidable barrier.  That barrier is the acid in our stomachs.


Few Probiotics Can Survive Stomach Acid


Imagine that you are a probiotic, and you want to make your
way from that bowl of kimchi or sauerkraut into the intestines.

You are small, infinitesimally small, compared to the Host body
you are trying to inhabit. Your journey starts in the mouth,
where you are mashed mercilessly by powerful teeth, and some
of your traveling group are wiped out by the Human Host's use
of mouthwash. Anyway, you make it past the mouth, then the
mouthwash and are washed down a deep, dark long tube of
the throat and esophagus, tumbling head over heels in the
dark. Exhausted, you breathe a sigh of relief, having made it
down the tunnel of the esophagus until you are dumped into ...
a huge barrel of acid. Game over.

Few bacteria can survive the acid of your stomach.  So, how do
they get to your gut?  Clearly some make it, because scientists
have detected their presence in the gut.


Just a Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Probiotic Go Down






























In 2003, scientists from the UK discovered that adding
probiotics to various cereals appeared to increase their survival
rates. The study, led by Dr. of the Satake Centre for Grain
Process Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering,
examined the survival rates of three types of probiotics,
Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus acidophilus and
Lactobacillus reuteri.

Here is how the experiment worked. The scientists prepared
laboratory dishes which had been acidified to a pH level of 2.5
to mimic the normal acidity of the human stomach. The normal
acidity of your stomach ranges from 1 to 3, and usually is at a
pH of 2.

The scientists then added the bacteria to the acid and tested
how many of the different strains of bacteria survived after 4
hours.  The test showed that few bacteria were alive after 4
hours of acid exposure. The acid was particularly devastating
to Lactobacillus plantarum.

The next stage of the experiments, the scientists sought to test
whether adding various types of grain could protect the
probiotic bacteria against the stomach acid. They tested malt,
wheat and barley.

What they discovered was that adding the grains improved the
survival rates of Lactobacillus plantarum, the most vulnerable
bacterium,  by approximately "4 log(10) cycles in the presence
of malt and 3 log(10) cycles in the presence of wheat and
barley. " This means that the mixture improved Lactobacilus
plantarum's survivability by 10,000 cycles in the presence of
malt and 1,000 cycles in the presence of wheart or barley.

Even the survival of the sturdier bacteria, Lactobacillus
acidophilus and Lactobacillus reuteri, were increased by more
than 1500 cycles and 700 cycles, respectively, upon addition of
cereal extracts.  

Lactobacillus acidolphus is the most commonly used probiotic in
the world, so finding substances that enhance its survivability is
of great importance to us all. This bacterium, found in tempeh,
certain yogurts, miso and other foods,  helps to fight IBS,
Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, childhood eczema, pollen
allergies, lactose intolerance and
high cholesterol.


What had turned the trick? What had protected lactobacillus
acidolpus against stomach acid? It turns out that the protective
element was glucose, ordinary sugar.  Sugar enhances the
survival rates of probiotics in stomach acid enormously.

Another study has confirmed the importance of glucose to
probiotic survival. This study was reported in 2005 from the
Department of Microbiology, University College, Cork, Ireland.

The study from Ireland found that adding 19 mM of glucose to
a simulated stomach acid protected a probiotic bacterium called
Lactobacillus rhamnosus up to 6 million times longer than they
would have survived in acid alone. In this experiment, the
bacteria was exposed for 90 minutes at a pH of 2, exactly
simulating normal stomach conditions.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus is a probiotic which has proven to be
beneficial in the treatment of diarrhea and atopic eczema.


Choose Bananas Rather Than Plain Sugar, Wheat or Barley to
Enhance Probiotic Survival

Plain sugar raises has many detrimental effects on your health,
almost too numerous to list. Among the most important are
that sugar increases the general levels of inflammation in your
body, sets off a cascade of events that damage your arteries,
and promote tooth decay.  

What about honey? Honey, on the other hand, has been shown
to be effective in decreasing harmful bacteria. It was in fact,
used as a battlefield disinfectant and wound dressing during
the World Wars.  The only study on honey's effect on good
probiotics was done in 2016 by a group of Australian scientists
including Dr. Ian Maddox of Massey University. This study
tested raw manuka honey, which contains the antimicrobial
methylglyoxal. The study found that the honey did not kill off
good probiotics.  Nor did it appear to increase their number.


The best choice for adding glucose to your probiotic regime
may be bananas. Bananas, especially green ones, are prebiotic,
meaning that they are the natural; preferred food for good
bacteria.

Though wheat and barley have been proven to protect
probiotics while they are immersed in stomach acid, you should
not choose these gluten-containing grains to protect your
chosen probiotics. The reason is simple --- wheat, rye and
barley punch holes in your intestinal lining, if you are
gluten-sensitive or gluten-intolerant, and contribute to your
risk for developing leaky gut syndrome.  

You may also choose to add oat granola to your probiotic
yogurt to protect the probiotic bacteria from stomach acid
while at the same time avoiding the downside of using
damaging gluten grains.

































































Related:

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3 Best Tips to Cure Irregular Bowel Movements

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Urine Color --What It Means

Bowel Movements-Best Clue to Your Health

Exercises That Increase Bowel Movements


The Color of Your Bowels--What It Means

Bowels -3 Keys to Normal Bowels


DIETS AND FITNESS









BOWEL MOVEMENTS

INTESTINES-KEEP THEM
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HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH
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150,000 DIE FROM EXCESS
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I HAVE HIGH BLOOD
PRESSURE!

FOODS THAT LOWER YOUR
BLOOD PRESSURE

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WHY WE GO SOFT IN THE
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Adding bananas to your probiotic yogurt can
enhance the chances that the probiotics will
survive gastric acid.
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