2. Why gut flora are crucial
The intestinal epithelium and the intestinal mucosal barrier are physical barriers, which regulate the exchange of water and nutrients between the environment outside the gut cavity and the body. This barrier function may be disrupted by an inflammatory process. This could give rise to a passive loss of water and dissolved substances from the body in the gut cavity, which can cause diarrhoea.
Viral infections can also undermine the epithelian/mucosal barriers. Various viruses, and the rotavirus especially, can infect the intestinal cells, causing loss of villi, impairing the exchange and absorption of water, electrolytes and nutrients. This situation can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, with significant loss of body fluids, which can give rise to dehydration. Various clinical studies have demonstrated the efficacy of specific Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG for the prevention and treatment of diarrhoea caused by rotavirus in infants and children.10 It exerts protective effects because of its ability to reduce the viral replication and adhesion to the epithelian cells in the intestinal mucus. Certain studies also showed that the protective action of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG against viral infections is enhanced when it is administered as a preventative measure, i.e., before the infection occurs. 11
10 Li YT, Xu H, Ye JZ, Wu WR, Shi D, Fang DQ, Liu Y, Li LJ. Efficacy of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG in treatment of acute pediatric diarrhea: A systematic review with meta-analysis. World J Gastroenterol. 2019 Sep 7; 25(33): 4999–5016.
11 Luoto R, Ruuskanen O, Waris M, Kalliomaki M, Salminen S, Isolauri E: Prebiotic and probiotic supplementation prevents rhinovirus infections in preterm infants: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2013.
Digest Plus strains
The P. pentosaceus and B. longum strains, and especially P. pentosaceusCECT 8330, were shown to have potent anti-inflammatory properties, because they stimulate and induce the production of anti-inflammatory interleukins such as IL-10.3
3 Santas J et al. Pediococcus pentosaceus CECT 8330 and Bifidobacterium longum CECT 7894 show a trend towards lowering infantile excessive crying syndrome in a pilot clinical trial. Int J Pharma Bio Sci 2015; 6(2):P458–66.
Fig. P. pentosaceus CECT8330 induces higher production of IL-10(pg/mL) compared with B. longum CECT7894 and a commercial control.
These bacterial strains therefore promote balance in inflammatory processes. Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG also has the capacity to reinforce the barrier function of the intestinal epithelium by producing proteins that promote cell development. Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG has also been found to boost the immune system.2
2 Segers ME, Lebeer S. Towards a better understanding of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG - host interactions. Microbial Cell Factories. 2014;13(Suppl 1):S7-S23.