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Probiotic definition

Functional and safety aspects of a good probiotic

Guidelines from FAO/WHO, which define the characteristics of a good probiotic,
underline aspects like: accurate taxonomic classification, strain deposited in a 
reputable, internationally recognized Culture Collection, functional characterization,
safety of use and efficacy supported by human clinical studies.

Functional and safety aspects of a good probiotic

Guidelines from FAO/WHO, which define the characteristics of a good probiotic, underline the following aspects:

  • Accurate taxonomic classification: genus, species, strain. 
  • Strain deposited in a reputable, internationally recognized Culture Collection.
  • Functional characterization (in vitro tests, in vivo studies) which must demonstrate the following characteristics of the strain:
    • Stability at extreme pH values and in high concentrations of bile salts, crosses the gastric barrier and remains viable throughout the entire gastrointestinal tract. The best way to study this strain behavior in vivo is to conduct a fecal recovery study:
      • Healthy volunteers take the product for a defined time.
      • Before, during and after the administration of the product several stool samples are collected.
      • In these samples, the presence of bacteria belonging to the studied strain is then verified qualitatively and quantitatively.
    • High adhesiveness to intestinal cells: favors effective colonization
    • High rate of growth: provides for faster equilibrating action
  • Safety of use: no factors transmitting antibiotic resistance guarantees safe human consumption
  • Efficacy supported by human clinical studies

Other characteristics that a high quality, viable probiotic product must possess are:

  • Resistance to lyophilisation: ensures high live microorganism content and prolonged stability
  • Microbiological purity 
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