In recent years, awareness of the importance of the ‘gut microbiome’ (simply put, the bugs that live in your gut) has grown enormously. Probiotics, or friendly gut bacteria, are recognised around the globe for the vital role they play in gut health. When ingested, the good gut bugs help improve digestive and immune function, fight illness and disease, and may significantly improve a person’s overall health. According to the International Journal of Food Microbiology, there is ample evidence that the ingestion of probiotic microbes alleviates or prevents various disorders.
The systems of our body, including much of the immune system, interact with our gut through a complex microbial biofilm. When this biofilm, the slimy layer protecting our gut, is damaged – say through stress, antibiotics or illness – the tissue of the gut is left exposed to irritation and to ‘leaky gut’ issues. Pathogenic or ‘bad’ microbes will often challenge a weakened gut immune system.
Probiotic or ‘good’ microbes, on the other hand, contribute to the rebuilding of the biofilm and can kill or limit the ability of ‘bad’ microbes taking hold. So why is gut health such an issue in the present day?
Before refrigeration, much of the food our ancestors ate was preserved through fermentation. These fermented foods provided them with a supply of friendly bacteria and their beneficial metabolites.
Today, fermented foods containing bacterial-rich cultures and/or their metabolites can be found in some items such as pickled vegetables, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kombucha and of course yoghurt.
However, not everyone is partial to these foods from yesteryear, the number of probiotic microbes in traditional food is highly variable, and thus many people turn to probiotic supplements to improve their gut health. But if you are taking a freeze-dried variety, you may not be getting what you think.
The ‘viable’ microbes in most freeze-dried probiotic powders or pills are not alive or active, and are vulnerable when exposed to the acid and bile in the upper gastrointestinal tract. As a result, fewer than that shown on the label ever do the job they are purchased to do. Freeze-dried cultures are also susceptible to rapid damage from exposure to air and humidity.
And don’t be fooled by the huge numbers of microbes listed on the labels of many probiotic products. What these labels often don’t tell you is that these high numbers refer only to the microbes present AT THE TIME OF MANUFACTURE. Not the actual number of microbes that will enter your gut, which will be far fewer than what is shown on the label.
So, what can fresh probiotics do that freeze-dried can’t? “A fistful,” says Dr Craig Bunt, Associate Professor in Animal Science at Lincoln University. Products using fresh, live and active microbes, such as LiveBrew, can easily handle acid and bile challenges in the gut, and start working the moment they are ingested.
According Dr Bunt, when it comes to probiotics, “fresh is best”.
LiveBrew is a liquid probiotic, a combination of lots of fresh, live and active lactobacilli and other microbes, along with beneficial microbial metabolites. It is also the only probiotic on the market guaranteed to deliver a minimum of more than a billion live and active probiotic microbes in every dose – all the way through the shelf life shown on the bottle.
In 2010, BioBrew, the parent company of LiveBrew, began work in collaboration with Lincoln University, supported by Callaghan Innovation, to develop their prototype into a range of livestock and pet probiotic products. In 2017, the company worked with researchers from Callaghan Innovation to transfer the technology into a new human health product. The result was LiveBrew, a superior New Zealand product to promote ‘good’ bacteria to keep you and your gut happy and healthy.
The beneficial species used to make LiveBrew are:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp bulgaricus
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
- Lactobacillus paracasei
- Bifidobacterium lactis
- Streptococcus thermophilus
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae
This is sponsored content brought to you in conjunction with LiveBrew.