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What Are Probiotics?

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According to the World Health Organization, probiotics are defined as live microorganisms that provide health benefits when administered in adequate amounts.

Most of these beneficial microorganisms are bacteria (Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Pediococcus, Bifidobacterium, etc.), but one species of yeast (S. boulardii) is also considered as a probiotic. These microorganisms all have unique and particular properties.

History teaches us that microorganisms have benefited human beings for millennia. For example, fermentation, which is one of the most ancestral ways of preserving food, is based on the transformation of foodstuffs by microorganisms to extend their storage time and modify their organoleptic characteristics (let’s just think about the conversion of milk into cheese carried out by lactic acid bacteria or the leavening of bread caused by yeasts and bacteria contained in the sourdough).

However, it is only recently that links between specific microorganisms and human health have been revealed. In this regard, the work of the Russian scientist Eli Metchnikoff (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1908) had been of great importance: he introduced the notion of health-beneficial bacteria to the general public. More precisely, he defended the idea that the consumption of milk and yogurt, which contain the bacteria Lactobacillus bulgaricus, could counter the action of bad bacteria causing various health issues. It is still not before 1974 that the word “probiotics” has been used in this context of microorganisms that are being beneficial to the human health.


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Note: SiliCycle is not responsible for the regulatory requirements to distribute products in any region of the world. SiliCycle can provide the documentation that will help you in your regulatory process. None of the products listed in this brochure have been submitted nor evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, Health Canada nor any other regulatory agency.