Breathing and Feeling Better with Microbial Hugs

Even abalone can benefit from good bacteria.
Even abalone can benefit from good bacteria.

Microbial adherence is investigated, fish get stronger and intestinal flora changes might be behind chronic fatigue syndrome.

Probiotic Benefits for Seafood
While the focus of probiotic research is often focused on human health in the media, other animals, like shellfish, are also benefitting. A recent publication about probiotics focused on the health changes that occurred when, abalone, were fed probiotic supplements. Researchers in China looked to see if supplementation with Shewanella colwelliana WA64 and S. olleyana WA65 would improve disease resistance.  They found that after four weeks of feeding, there were enhanced immune responses. Furhtermore, the treated shellfish were much more resistant to a Vibrio harveyi, a common opportunistic marine pathogen. This is good news for shellfish aquaculture.

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Improving Asthma
In Taiwan, a 16-week, school-based study using a nutrient supplement containing fruit and vegetable concentrate, fish oils, and probiotics was tested on asthmatic children. The children were evaluated for lung function at the start of the study and the researchers looked for improvements at the end of the study. They found that those taking the supplements had improved lung parameters, and the children needed much less medicine. Another reason to eat your veggies and fish along with your probiotics.

Microbial Hugs!
Not all Bifidobacteria are alike, and there are reasons that some work that much better than others. In pursuit of finding these differences, researchers noticed that B. bifidum PRL2010, isolated from infants, were good colonizers and bound well to intestinal cells. After examining the genome of these bacteria, they found that the important genes encoded proteins for pili. Pili are appendages that function like small arms. Bacteria with these arms could adhere better to the gut and were also better at inducing immune responses.

Altered Flora in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome patients often complain about intestinal dysfunction. Researchers in Belgium investigated by using PCR to detect and analyze the gut microbiota of these patients. In both patients from Belgium and Norway, the patients flora was not entirely the same as the flora found in controls. It is speculated that these patients could be helped with antibiotic and/or probiotic therapy.

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