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Bacterial flora

Maintaining the appropriate bacterial flora in the body is extremely important to ensure the proper functioning of the human body. Over 1,000 different types of bacteria are colonized in the digestive tract. The composition of the bacterial flora is determined by, among other things, the type of diet, age, health condition or taking medications. The most numerous group of bacteria in the digestive system is Bacteroide sp. It is estimated that they constitute about 25% of the total bacterial flora. Bifidobacterium sp. Bacteria play an extremely important role in the development of the intestinal immune system. They mainly inhabit the intestines and positively influence the course of various diseases, eg diarrhea. They produce lactic acid, which lowers the pH and thus protects against colonization of the intestine by pathogenic bacterial strains, therefore their high level contributes to the overall health of a person. Taking care of the proper microbiome of the digestive tract affects the general well-being and health.

The hand of a doctor in a blue glove holds a container with bacterial flora

Disturbance of the bacterial flora

Antibiotic therapy during the disease not only eliminates bacteria that are harmful to us, but even worse, it destroys our natural microflora. Antibiotics do not distinguish pathogenic bacteria from beneficial bacteria, and as a result, our physiological bacterial flora, which is extremely important to maintain the proper functioning of the body, may be sterilized. Hence, after the end of the antibiotic treatment, various side effects may occur. According to some reports, for our bacterial flora to return to the state before one antibiotic treatment, our body needs up to six months to regenerate. Side effects after an antibiotic are manifested in the form of problems with the digestive system: diarrhea and constipation appear, and in more difficult cases, it may even develop mycosis or increase in weight caused by a disturbance in digestive processes.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, proton pump inhibitors and inhibitors of the histamine H2 receptor also have a negative impact on the intestinal microbiota.

Bacterial flora: Greek probiotic means “for life”

Supporting the natural intestinal flora by supplementing probiotics is becoming increasingly important. According to the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO) from 2002, probiotics are microorganisms that, when supplemented in appropriate doses, promote health. The type of probiotic strains is important, Saccharomyces boulardii has clinically proven effects in adults and Lactobacillus rhamnosus in children. It is recommended to use a probiotic once or twice a day with a time interval between the dose of the antibiotic and the probiotic. In order to restore the flora in the best possible way, the probiotic should be administered during the entire period of antibiotic therapy and a few days after its completion. It is possible to naturally support the gastrointestinal microbiome by consuming yoghurt, kefir, buttermilk, and all kinds of pickles: cabbage, cucumbers. The disadvantage of these products is that they are very sensitive to stomach acid. In pharmacy preparations, this problem was solved by the use of an external protein coating in capsules, protecting bacteria against the influence of the nutritional environment. They are used in the treatment of diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, atopic dermatitis, and urogenital infections.

Preparations that support intestinal health and have a positive effect on the condition of the microbiome are synbiotics. This name describes the combination of a probiotic and a prebiotic that show a synergistic effect. Prebiotics stimulate the growth and / or activity of bacteria in the digestive system, e.g. oligosaccharides, fructooligosaccharides. For example, a prebiotic – oligofructose stimulates the multiplication of bacteria of the genus Bifidobacterium in the digestive tract. A properly selected synbiotic may also show a preventive effect, including in the prevention of atopic dermatitis in children up to the age of two.

Bacterial flora: Synbiotics for children

If the delivery did not take place naturally, and a nursing mother or a child is taking an antibiotic or the child is fed with milk replacers, it is worth giving the baby synbiotics right after birth, of course after consulting a doctor. These measures will enable the colonization of the newborn’s gastrointestinal tract with beneficial probiotic bacteria if required. The addition of Bifidobacterium bacteria to formula milk prevents infectious diarrhea in formula-fed infants.

Bacterial flora: Preparations

You can buy synbiotics in pharmacies, which usually contain inulin or oligofructose as a prebiotic and a composition of probiotic bacteria strains. For the production of probiotics, probiotic organisms are used which are symbiotics: Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. salivarius, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Pediococcus groups, Streptococcus, Leuconostoc. In contrast, the only non-symbiotic probiotic organism is Saccharomyces boulardi and the molds Aspergillus oryzae, A. Niger. They can be found in pharmaceutical preparations such as: Trilac, Acidolac, Dicoflor. The pharmacy also offers agents such as:

  • Laccid – strains of Lactobacillus rhamnosus present in the medicinal product, like other lactic acid bacteria, colonize the intestinal mucosa and normalize the composition of the gastrointestinal microflora, especially after its sterilization as a result of antibiotic therapy.
  • Lacidofil – contains lactic acid bacteria that occur naturally in the human digestive tract. They constitute a natural ecological barrier, protect against pathogenic microorganisms and maintain the balance of bacterial flora in the digestive tract.
    Vivomixx – is a dietary supplement in the form of a powder for oral suspension, containing 8 different strains, freeze-dried live cultures of lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria and Streptococcus thermophilus strain in an amount of not less than 450 billion colony-forming units in one sachet.
  • Enterol – one dose contains 250 mg of lyophilized yeast Saccharomyces boulardii, which is a substitute for the intestinal flora and acts in the digestive tract as microorganisms preventing diarrhea.
Gynecological probiotics

The vaginal microflora can be influenced by various factors such as, for example, the phase of the menstrual cycle, vaginal hygiene, pregnancy, intercourse or the use of contraceptives. It creates more or less favorable conditions for the colonization by pathogenic microorganisms. It carries the risk of various types of bacterial or fungal infections. The most important role is played by lactic acid bacteria, which maintain an appropriate vaginal pH at the level of 3.8 – 4.4, thanks to which the acidic environment inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria and is the most important protective mechanism against bacterial vaginosis. Administration of Lactobacillus sp. Will restore the vaginal environment. Examples of such preparations are: Lacidofil, Lakcid, Lakcid forte, Trilac.

We should pay attention to the appropriate supplementation of the bacterial flora to maintain general health, so for this purpose we should consult a doctor or pharmacist who will be happy to provide any professional advice.

Literature:

  • com: Vaginitis,
  • Progresses in vaginal microflora physiology and implications for bacterial vaginosis and candidiasi Womens Health,
  • Invag SmPC,
  • com: Vaginal infections,
  • Eckard S .: Bacterial infections MedPharm Polska,
  • SmPC Lacidofil
  • Mojka, Probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics – characteristics and functions,

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