Gastrointestinal survival

Gastrointestinal survival

Surviving the path of the gastrointestinal tract is the first basic function of a probiotic based product. The more bacteria survive the passage through the gastrointestinal tract, better will be the effect on our body.

When bacteria are unprotected, a large number of viable cells is destroyed as a result of the low pH of the stomach, enzymes and digestive fluids.

In traditional products based on probiotics, a large quantity of bacteria are destroyed by the fluids of the GI tract. It is estimated that the survival of the bacteria that are ingested without any protection ranges from 0.5 to 1%, when they reach the intestine, meaning that, for example, from a concentration of 100,000 million bacteria per gram of product supplied, only 1,000 million bacteria will reach the intestine alive.

Probiotic blend: with 100.000 million bacteria/g (1 x 1011)
1% de survival = 1.000 million viable bacteria (1 x 109)

Megaflora 9 evo: with 2.000 million bacteria/g (2 x 109)
minimum 90% survival = more than 1.800 million viable bacteria (>1,8 x 109)

The technology used in Megaflora 9 evo production protects the bacteria against the acidic conditions of the stomach and keeps bacteria alive. This technology ensures a survival of more than the 90% of the initial concentration. This explains why the concentration of bacteria in Megaflora 9 evo does not need to be as high as other commercial preparations, in which an important part of the bacteria suffer a high mortality during their transit through the GI passage.

In vitro model that simulates the digestive system showing compartmentalisation, pH, enzyme and bile secretion over 6 hours digestion.

Gastrointestinal survival can be studied on a in vitro model developed by the University of Maastricht. This model simulates the passage of bacteria through the GI tract and allows to calculate the survival of the strains, and its resistance to gastric acid, pepsin, pancreatin and bile salts.

The model imitates the compartmentalization and timing of transit in every part of the GI tract, regulating the secretion of pH, addition of enzymes and secretion of bile onto the sample to be studied.

The experiment is run at 37 ° C and the total count of bacteria in the sample is measured at four different times:

  • After rehydration of the sample (T = ‘Ah)
  • After simulating the passage through the stomach (T = 1’Ah)
  • Approximately 1.5 hours after addition of bile and pancreatin (T = 3h)
  • At the end of the digestion period (T = 6h)

Living and viable bacteria count (cfu/g) at 4 times in the GI survival model test: T = ‘Ah, T = 1’Ah, T = 3h and T =6h

Megaflora 9 evo clearly shows that after the passage of GI tract, the number of living bacteria (cfu/g) was stable with a minimum of loss. This initial decrease in the number of bacteria is better than usual expected in probiotic products.

A part of the impact which might result from the survival in the GI tract, the addition of certain ingredients to the product can damage bacteria so that, although they survive, cannot reach its optimal activity level. These cells can be counted as viable, but are not active and therefore the product loses its effectiveness.

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