Prebiotic and Probiotic are like Mom and Dad

Body needs both for a happy bacterial family

happy couple

happy couple

Prebiotics and probiotics are like the devoted husband and wife of your gut. They each play different roles, but need each other to achieve a better bacterial population in a body. Probiotics help break down and digest food, while prebiotics feed the good bacteria so that probiotics do not starve – think of mom cooking.

Bovine colostrum is a most powerful prebiotic that is still known mainly to researchers.

An article in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology shows the bovine colostrum and probiotic combination acting as a prebiotic and suggests that doctors and nutritionists may soon start recommending BC as a prebiotic to be taken with all probiotics.

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The researchers from Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy Co., Cork, Ireland, University of California, San Diego, and other institutions, tested how bovine colostrum may influence the intestinal cell surface and in turn the attachment of beneficial bacteria. Human HT-29 intestinal cells, the cell line used to study human colon cancers and food digestion, were exposed to BC rich in free oligosaccharides.

Increases Adherence

As stated in the study, “The adherence of several commensal bacteria, comprising mainly bifidobacteria, to the intestinal cells was significantly enhanced (up to 52-fold) for all strains tested, which spanned species that are found across the human lifespan.”

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This suggests the bovine colostrum allows healthy bacteria to thrive in the human gut and increases number of varying gut bacteria needed for a strong immune system.

These findings provide insight how BC works with probiotic microorganisms taken as oral supplements and that must colonize the human gut.

This study “highlights the potential of colostrum and milk components as functional ingredients that can potentially increase commensal numbers in individuals with lower counts of health-promoting bacteria.”

Reference Morrin ST, Lane JA, Marotta M, Bode L, Carrington SD, Irwin JA, Hickey RM. Bovine colostrum-driven modulation of intestinal epithelial cells for increased commensal colonisation. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2019 Mar;103(6):2745-2758. doi: 10.1007/s00253-019-09642-0. Epub 2019 Jan 26.
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