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Probiotics Have A Genetic Impact On The Digestive Tract

September 7, 2010: 06:53 AM EST
According to a study by Dutch researchers, drinking beverages containing probiotic bacteria changes how genes act in the small intestine. Seven healthy volunteers drank either a placebo sports drink or dairy drinks containing different types of probiotic bacteria (Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. casei, and L. rhamnosus), with each drink containing a bacteria dosage similar to that available in food products. The researchers later genetically tested biopsies from the upper small intestine. According to the researchers, “Consumption of bacteria resulted in the differential expression of several hundred up to thousands of genes in vivo in human mucosa.” In fact, the effect of the bacteria on the mucosal processes was similar to the effects of “specific bioactive molecules and drugs” and suggests that probiotics could be tested clinically in a variety of applications.
Peter van Baarlen, et al., "Human mucosal in vivo transcriptome responses to three lactobacilli indicate how probiotics may modulate human cellular pathways", PNAS, September 07, 2010, © National Academy of Sciences of the USA
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