Even though there are many known species of probiotic bacteria, the hunt is on for new strains. Recent published research uncovers more interesting species in kimchi, kefir, and feces while a review of probiotics in pregnancy shows potential.
Skin Saving Lactobacillus Strain in Kimchi
Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish of fermented vegetables and a natural source of probiotics. Researchers at Sungkyunkwan University discovered that this dish is also the source of a new probiotic, L. sakei probio 65. Tests with both the live and heat-killed probiotic on mice showed that it had positive effects on skin inflammation, improving the condition and reduced itching. The clinical results were supported by positive immunological changes including loss of mast cell responses, lowered allergy antibodies and changes in the T cell response.
Probiotics Isolated from Newborn Feces
The feces of newborn babies are full of milk bacteria; researchers at a Chinese hospital isolated three strains: Lactobacillus paracasei JP1, Lactobacillus rhamnosus 64 and Lactobacillus gasseri 37. All of which fulfill the criteria of the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization. Initial results in mice indicate that they have the ability to stimulate the immune system in the gut, increasing macrophage activity and inducing IgA.
Cholesterol-lowering Lactobacillus from Kefir
Kefir, the fermented milk beverage produced by incubating kefir grains with milk, harbored L. plantarum Lp27, at least in Tibet. Researchers from China analyzed Tibetan kefir for bacteria that were capable of surviving at acid conditions with low oxygen and found the Lactobacillus species. Tests of this species in rat model of high cholesterol showed that the probiotic could help lower cholesterol by blocking its uptake in the gut.
Are Probiotics Good for Pregnant Woman?
Determining the factors that lead to healthy babies is important to nutritional companies and many studies are produced examining if probiotics can help lead to healthier mothers and children. Researchers from the University College Dublin investigated the literature that has been published about this subject and found that probiotic use during pregnancy was helpful in reducing metabolic disorders and appeared to be safe. In particular, they observed consistant reductions in maternal glucose levels and gestational diabetes mellitus.
Gregoret V, Perezlindo MJ, Vinderola G, Reinheimer J, Binetti A. A comprehensive approach to determine the probiotic potential of human-derived Lactobacillus for industrial use. Food Microbiol. 2013 May;34(1):19-28. doi: 10.1016/j.fm.2012.11.004. Epub 2012 Nov 27.
Huang Y, Wu F, Wang X, Sui Y, Yang L, Wang J. Characterization of Lactobacillus plantarum Lp27 isolated from Tibetan kefir grains: A potential probiotic bacterium with cholesterol-lowering effects. J Dairy Sci. 2013 May;96(5):2816-25. doi: 10.3168/jds.2012-6371. Epub 2013 Mar 15.
Kim JY, Park BK, Park HJ, Park YH, Kim BO, Pyo S. Atopic dermatitis-mitigating effects of new Lactobacillus strain, Lact. sakei probio 65 isolated from Kimchi. J Appl Microbiol. 2013 Apr 23. doi: 10.1111/jam.12229. [Epub ahead of print]
Lindsay KL, Walsh CA, Brennan L, McAuliffe FM. Probiotics in pregnancy and maternal outcomes: a systematic review. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2013 May;26(8):772-8. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2012.755166. Epub 2013 Jan 11.