We have gradually come to learn through yogurt manufacturer advertisements about the advantages of yogurt. It is true that bacteria in our digestive system can be of harm or it may help to us, and the balance of the bacteria community in our bodies has a direct effect on our gastrointestinal conditions and health. As a matter of fact, cultivated yogurt is, in fact, not some high-tech product. From a very early time in Taiwan “Yokult” has been a popular flavored yogurt drink that contains Lactobacillus bulgaricus. And traditionally, the medication “Biofermin（表飛鳴）” is “good bacteria” in capsule form fed by old grandmas to infants or their grandchildren with a gastrointestinal condition. As a matter of fact, mankind has been using such good bacteria to improve gastrointestinal conditions historically for thousands of years. The yogurt we have now is but another commercial product that contains Lactobacillus bulgaricus.
Of yogurt products now sold on the market, they are mostly fermented Lactobacillus products from Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus as their fundamental bacteria type. AB yogurt milk, aside from the bacteria types mentioned above, contains Lactobacillus acidophilus (as we usually call the “A” bacteria), and Bifido bacterium (as we usually call this “B” bacteria; and the most common bacteria type would be Bifido lactis or Bifido longum, and others). “Biofermin（表飛鳴）” it is primarily a mixture of powdered Bifidobacterium bifidum and condensed Streptococcus faecalis. ABC Lactobacillus contains Lactobacillus casei, aside from the previously four kinds of bacteria.
Of such Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria, and Streptococcus – the so-called probiotic, they are the “beneficial bacteria” microorganisms that are good for intestinal health, and they can hinder the proliferation of diseased bacteria (“bad bacteria”) in the intestines, and facilitate the absorption and metabolism of special nutrients aiding digestion within the intestine. As for prebiotics, they are of the special nutrients that intestinal probiotic needs can help the growth of probiotics, which are primarily of such carbonhydrates that cannot be easily digested by the human body, such as dietary fiber, Oligosaccharides, and a few special vitamins that contain non-carbonhydrates and minerals.
Therefore, probiotic is of the “good bacteria” sort beneficial to our health. It can help maintain balance of the bacteria community of the host, and is the kind of live microorganism that is good to the host. For instance, most yogurt drinks known by most people well are mainly composed of Lactobacillus bulgaricus and partial coccus or bacilli, which are considered to be of AB bacteria that are favorable to health.
Prebiotics are the nutrients that can stimulate the growth of good bacteria in our intestinal tract. Materials of these kinds are of dietary fiber, inulin, and oligosaccharides that we often hear about. “Prebiotic materials” as they are called can be utilized by probiotics to generate organic acid and help stimulate intestinal digestion. Furthermore, prebiotics can also facilitate the growth of “probiotics” and suppress the amount of bad bacteria in the body, rendering the intestine healthier.
The sources of prebiotics, aside from the drinks or milk products sold at the market that contain Oligosaccharides, can, in fact, be found in all kinds of natural vegetables, such as whole-cereal products, bean products (soybean especially), seaweed, mushrooms, underground roots and stem, fresh vegetable, and seasonal fruits. With these foods, one cannot only extract natural dietary fiber, but also prebiotics. Therefore, they are the best choice one can have.
The advantages of probiotics are that it helps to maintain intestinal health, to improve intestinal regularity, and to resist intestinal cancer. It can also help digestion and absorption, and facilitate the synthesis of vitamins, and intestinal health and digestion problems.
Nonetheless, new studies have discovered that probiotics have many more functions than previously known. Among them, it would help to enhance immunity. As indicated in clinical studies, probiotics can stimulate non-specific immunity response of human macrophages, specific immunity response to generate antibodies from the lymphatic system, and secretion of γ interferon, while helping increase the amount of serum antibody IgA. Thus, probitoics are useful to prevent enterovirus infection.
It is also indicated from the studies that probiotics can help lower the infection of the respiratory system by coronavirus and cure flu. Second, probiotic can also reduce allergy. Scientists have discovered that T Lymphocytes – acting as hub of the central cell – can be subdivided into systems according to the kind of cytokines it secretes.
First, it would secrete γ interferon that would generate Th1 lymphocytes that facilitate cell immunity response; second, it would secrete interleukin among cells that would facilitate B lymphocytes to secrete ImmunoglobulinＥ（IgE）antibody as well as facilitate Th2 lymphocytes type II of humoral immunity. Then the balance relationship of the two would become dynamic, and that would strengthen the immune response mechanism, boosting resistance to antigens. Thus, if the response of Th2 is too strong, an allergic reaction would occur, and the immunity of the newborn can easily tilt to allergy of Th2. Probiotic is, therefore, helpful to establish the balance of Th1/Th2 immunity for the newborn.
As man grows old, in addition to varying diet habit and poor healthy conditions, it would have largely reduced existence of probiotic, while other bacteria clusters such as C. perfringens, Streptococcus spp., Enterobacter pathogenic or Saprophytic bacteria would become prevalent clusters. And the metabolism of these bacteria could have generated cancerous materials, or non-polar lipid metabolism materials that is related to human aging, and then toxic materials as amine and phenols would come along. Of such, it brings the regression and metabolic hindrance to our biological function, which initiates human aging and lesions. Therefore, to increase the amount of probiotic and maintain the balance of bacteria flora would be healthful.
Therefore, if we combine probiotics and prebiotics for consumption often, it would render marvelous effect to our health. As of such, if we partake in “I-Mei Bean Milk with Yogurt” that contains rich Lactobacillus as well as natural dietary fiber and dietary oligosaccharides, we would easily achieve the objective of preserving healthy intestines.