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Image Embedded Re: Gut Flora?????
KeepTrying11 Views: 11,378
Published: 12 years ago
This is a reply to # 1,556,979

Re: Gut Flora?????

The problem with those who are stating that probiotics cannot colonize the digestive tract is that they seem to be grouping all probiotics together. They assume that if one probiotic cannot adhere to the intestinal wall, then it must be true for all. 

The fact is, you cannot lump all probiotics together, you have to look at each one individually. I am including a list of just some of the different probiotic strains that have been researched. This is in no way a complete list of probiotic strains. I'm also not saying that these strains of probiotics listed can or cannot adhere to the intestinal wall, i'm merely posting this to clarify the point i'm making that probiotics are diverse and should be talked about individually instead of collectively. 

A list of some of the probiotic strains researched by scientists.

A list of some of the probiotic strains researched by scientists.

A list of some of the probiotic strains researched by scientists.


As you can see, there are numerous strains of probiotic bacteria which have all been researched individually, not as a group. When you say that probiotics can't colonize the gut, you are oversimplifying a very complex area of study. 

To hunt3r: You quoted text from a research journal (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition). Out of that whole article, the authors only listed three probiotic strains that had been found not to colonize the human intestinal tract. One was a variant of Bifidobacterium sp that could be distinguished from indigenous bifidobacteria in the fecal flora. The second was a commercially available bifidobacteria (they did not list the specific strain), and the third was Lactobacillus GG.

The one about Lactobacillus GG was interesting. If you actually read the research article the authors quoted (found at PubMed) it shows that after 7 days Lactobacillus GG was not found in 67% of the volunteers. So, what about the remaining 33% of volunteers? Assumedly they still had Lactobacillus GG present in their feces. Unfortunately, the authors of the PubMed research did not go farther than 7 days (at least not what I can see from the abstract) so we can't come to a conclusion. Also, the authors from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition said that the same was true in premature infants in regards to Lactobacillus GG not colonizing the intestinal tract, and quoted another research article (found at Archives of Disease in Children). They clearly made an error because if you read the abstract from the Archives of Disease in Children it says "Orally administered Lactobacillus GG was well tolerated and did colonise the bowel of premature infants. However, colonisation with Lactobacillus GG did not reduce the faecal reservoir of potential pathogens and there was no evidence that colonisation had any positive clinical benefit for this particular group of infants." However, there was no information as to how long the colonization lasted, so again, we can't come to any conclusion. 

Next you gave me a link to some other website ( It's not from a research journal or from a medical or science publication, so i'm not gonna debate it. 

To Cheshire77: You offered no links to back up your opinion. You asked for me to provide you links that show probiotic colonization after 2 months. I'm afraid I haven't found any current studies that have looked at colonization at those lengths of time. But here are some links of in vivo studies showing certain strains of probiotics and their ability to colonize the intestinal tract for shorter periods of time.

"During the posttreatment period, the number of CFU detected decreased as a function of time after Lcr35 administration was discontinued (median, 4.8 log10CFU/g; range, 3.5 to 6.8 log10 CFU/g at day 14, i.e., 7 days after the last intake). After a 3-week period without any intake, hybridization-positive CFU were still detected in the subjects' feces, at levels similar to those observed at the end of period 1. This suggests that the proliferation of Lactobacillus populations induced by the oral absorption of Lcr35 had a prolonged effect on the level of the bacteria within the GI tracts of the volunteers. During test period 2, the number increased, but not to a significant degree, and the levels of CFU per gram of feces remained high (Fig. (Fig.22).

Lcr35 has been shown to adhere in vitro to the Caco-2 and Int-407 human intestinal cell lines (2). The finding reported here is that Lcr35 can survive in the GI tracts of humans after oral administration, regardless of the dietary and physiological differences among individuals. As described by Jacobsen et al., Lactobacillus strains with adhesion properties survive passage through the intestinal tract at higher rates than those without adhesion properties (4). The fact that the concentrations of these bacteria were still high after discontinuation of administration indicated that they were able to persist inside the intestine despite rapid turnover and/or to stimulate the proliferation of Lcr35-like lactobacilli. Recent studies performed with L. rhamnosusstrain GG showed that this probiotic was able to attach in vivo to colonic mucosae and probably multiplied on the colonic surface at high rates (1). If Lcr35 behaves the same way, its persistence in fecal samples for prolonged periods after discontinuation of administration of the probiotic could be explained."

"Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is one of the most thoroughly studied probiotic strains. Its advantages in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders are well documented. The aim of the present study was to demonstrate with colonic biopsies the attachment of strain GG to human intestinal mucosae and the persistence of the attachment after discontinuation of GG administration. A whey drink fermented with strain GG was fed to human volunteers for 12 days. Fecal samples were collected before, during, and after consumption. L. rhamnosus GG-like colonies were detected in both fecal and colonic biopsy samples. Strain GG was identified by its characteristic colony morphology, a lactose fermentation test, and PCR. This study showed that strain GG was able to attach in vivo to colonic mucosae and, although the attachment was temporary, to remain for more than a week after discontinuation of GG administration. The results demonstrate that the study of fecal samples alone is not sufficient in evaluating colonization by a probiotic strain."
Yes, the previous article says attachment was found to be temporary (although it didn't state how long the colonization lasted). But it also said that fecal samples alone are not even sufficient in evaluating colonization in the gut of a specific probiotic strain. Most of the research that is being quoted by everyone (including myself) is relying on fecal examination to determine whether or not probiotic strains have colonized the gut.
So let me change my previous statement. Clearly more research is needed before anyone can say probiotics can or cannot recolonize the gut. First you have to break it down to individual strains of probiotics. Then you have to look at the overall health of the individual you are talking about. Then you have to account for the external environmental factors that can affect intestinal flora. Then you have to have to look at how those external factors can affect the individual.
What's not up for question is the fact that whether or not probiotics are able to colonize the gut, the research is stacking up that they provide health benefits to the person taking them. I take a probiotic supplement everyday, and have been doing so for about 2 years now (ever since I was diagnosed with Candida). I expect I'll be taking them for a long time to come. 






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