That strain, dubbed Lactobacillus paraplantarum MTCC 9483, was isolated from a dish called gundruk—fermented leafy greens eaten in Nepal and the surrounding Indian states.
They found that the strain survived conditions of the human digestive system mimicked in a petri dish.
The bacteria also exhibited “strong anti-inflammatory property during oxidative stress… and pathogen invasion conditions,” as well as “alleviated levels forIL-4, IL-10, and TLR-2,” proteins released by the body that are linked to inflammation.
Results from this pilot study led the researchers to suggest that “due to their functional attributes, MTCC 9483 can be applied in pharmaceutical and/or food industry to deliver a probiotic product,” they wrote in their report, published online recently in the Journal of Functional Foods.
Isolating bacteria from fermented foods
Researchers of the study wanted to shed light on new possible probiotic strains isolated from vegetarian fermented foods eaten in the subcontinent.
They isolated two other different strains of Lactobacillus plantarum in addition to MTCC 9483 from gundruk: MTCC 5422 from fermented cereal and MCC 3446 from fermented bamboo shoots (a dish called eup).
For comparison, they used Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, a probiotic strain with strong scientific backing that is available on the market, manufactured by Danish probiotic maker Chr. Hansen.
All probiotic strains went through the same in vitro conditions to offer a look at survivability, anti-inflammatory activities, and adhesion to pathogenic microbes.
Not all fermented foods are probiotics
Contrary to popular consumer understanding, the fermentation process of foods and beverages don’t automatically add probiotics, a term which the World Health Organization and many health agencies around the globe use specifically to describe strains that survive the digestive system and have been studied to confer a health benefit to its host.
As the term ‘probiotic’ continues to trend upward, marketers in the food and beverage space are tapping into consumer interest for these friendly and beneficial microorganisms by slapping the word onto anything fermented.
Results from the present study show that, even among bacteria with the same genus and species found in three similarly fermented foods, a strain’s immunomodulatory activity can vary greatly.
But more research is still needed on these novel strains. “A study on in vivo models is being carried out to promote the health benefits of these probiotic bacteria,” the researchers wrote.
Source: Journal of Functional foods
Published online ahead of print, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2018.05.036
“In vitro anti-inflammatory activity among probiotic Lactobacillus species isolated from fermented foods”
Authors: Sundru Manjulata Devi, et al.
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