The human gastro-intestinal (GI) tract harbors several thousands of different microorganisms, the so called gut microbiota. The bacterial cells of this microbiota outnumber human cells by a factor ten. It has become clear that the gut microbiota plays a key role in human health and disease.
Diseases linked to an imbalance of the gut microbiota.
The intestinal microbiota influences metabolic, nutritional, physiological and immunological processes in the human body. In addition, the gut microbiota provides the host with a physical barrier against pathogens and allergens. This gut epithelium forms the largest interface between the human body and the outside world. Furthermore, during our life time the microbiota co-develops with our immune system resulting in a properly functioning immune system. In a healthy situation the intestinal microbiota is well balanced. However, factors such as stress, an erratic lifestyle, travelling or consumption of spoiled food can disturb the intestinal microbiota.
A total of over 25 diseases, syndromes or other aberrations have now been associated with disruptions of the intestinal microbiota. These include; allergies, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), cardiovascular diseases and obesity. In these diseases a less abundant and less diverse microbiota is seen, compared to the healthy state. Probiotics are able to prevent and restore these disturbances in the microbiota.
Winclove has developed several probiotic formulations for health indications related to intestinal microbial disturbances: