Friday, October 16, 2009


Probiotic foods happen to be the most widely marketed functional foods with many health promoting attributes assigned to them. They are supposed to boost immunity and improve digestion. Irritable Bowel Syndrome, a common GI disorder found in western countries is also amenable to treatment with probiotic foods. In children it is even claimed to reduce incidence of respiratory infections. Though exact mechanism regarding the role played by the Lactobacillus bacteria was not known, current efforts in mapping the genome sequences of Lactobacillus rhamnose GG (LGG)have thrown new light on this subject.

"In its recent publication, the research team showed that the protein component found by the team has a fundamental role in LGG binding with the human intestinal mucus. The team found out that the surface structures of LGG has a specific adhesion component. Remarkably, the binding feature has been assumed to be one of the most important characteristics of bacteria with health-benefiting effects. Moreover, the researchers assume that the protein structure in question enables the health-promoting effects of LGG and other probiotic bacteria, and the positive immune modulation produced by them".

While the above efforts are indeed laudable, it is not known whether all species coming under the probiotic group will also have same mechanism in their mode of action. Probably the lead provided should help other workers to pursue this line of investigation to confirm the above findings.


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