Description of Lactophar
Few people seem to realize that most bacteria are of vital importance.
A sterile bowl (a bowl without bacteria) for instance leads to death in the short term. Another example which shows their relevance is that in nature all waste is recycled by bacteria, i.e. nitrite and nitrate bacteria, which makes them essential for ecological balance. In other words, we have forgotten that most bacteria are not pathogenic but vitally important. About four hundred strains of bacteria live peacefully in our intestine.
One has also lost track of the fact that the environment is as important as the bacteria because without the appropriate culture medium a virus, bacteria or fungus cannot develop. When your intestinal flora is disturbed, you suffer from dysbiosis.
One of the important roles of the intestinal flora is the production of certain acids which contain the production of certain unwanted bacteria.
The term probiotics is used for preparations with a base of living micro-organisms which have a positive influence on the intestinal ecology. Intestinal flora would be a proper term as well because bacteria belong to the low plant population. The low plant population includes lactic acid bacteria, i.e. lactobacilli and bibidobacteria, and cultures of non-lactic acid bacteria such as preparations with a base of the yeast Saccharomyces boulardii.
Food supplements with probiotics are being used by patients suffering from intestinal complaints, but they have not been registered as a medicine. 50% of the doctor’s visits concern gastrointestinal complaints (gastric juice, stomach cramps, constipation, diarrhoea, flatulency, (…)); most of those complaints are generally only treated symptomatically and sometimes the patient is advised to swallow pills on a permanent basis. For a lasting recovery of disturbed intestinal flora chiefly the autochthonous micro-organisms are of vital importance. In contrast to allochthonous micro-organisms such as lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus present in yoghurt which only stay temporarily in the bowl, the autochthonous are able to survive in the intestine. As for the normal intestinal flora, mainly the Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum are vitally important. It is already common knowledge that the intestinal flora can be seriously disturbed after using an antibioticum. But wrong eating habits as well as stress can create an imbalance in the ecosystem of your intestinal flora. Constipation and diarrhoea are important signals for this condition. It has been proved that stress can lead to changes in the ability of bacteria to become attached to the intestines.
We seem to have overlooked that our intestinal flora (about 2 kg or 1014 symbiotic bacteria) have antibiotic properties themselves. Our intestinal bacteria produce acid in large quantities which creates an unfavourable degree of acidity for potential pathogens. In addition to producing natural antibiotics which are lethal for a number of intruders, they become attached in large quantities to the intestinal wall. This way, they prevent dangerous organisms from further development. It is noteworthy that the function of the intestinal flora is more extensive than their antimicrobial influence; they boost health in many other ways. They produce enzymes which stimulate digestion. A nice illustration is lactase which stimulates the digestion of lactose in case of lactose intolerance. Is has been noted that Lactobacillus acidophilus is able to lower cholesterol levels. This is an example which shows that it is important not to speak about intestinal flora but about specific strains which have been proved that they have certain effects. The assumption that probiotics have no sense, is a generalization. It is clear that – in order to have a specific effect – specific strains must be administered which have been proved to have that specific effect(-s). There is ample evidence that Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. casei, L. delbrueckii and L. rhamnosis and L. plantarum stimulate the immune system, but they can be helpful as well when suffering from diarrhoea. In case of vaginosis chiefly Lactobacillus rhamnosus seems to be the most efficient one. And only recently it was published that the administration of lactobacilli to pregnant women lower the incidence of children suffering from eczema and allergies. The above-mentioned strains have been proved to be immune to gastric juice, bile acid and pancreas juice; they survive the degree of acidity in the stomach which is not always true for all yoghurt bacteria. It is also an established fact that the quantity also plays an crucial role, in order to populate the intestine or the vagina. Studies show that – depending on the pathology – one usually needs between 1 and 10 milliards of lactobacilli to populate the intestine.