|The word “probiotic” (from Greek – create life) was first introduced in 1954 when harmful effects of antibiotics were compared with the beneficial effects of good bacteria probiotica.
Modern understanding of the importance of probiotics is from the beginning of XXth century due to the Russian biologist and Nobel prize winner, the principal of the Pasteur Institute in Paris prof. Il. Mechnikoff. In his theory “Longevity and rejuvenation of man” prof. Metchnikoff stated that putrefactive processes develop in the human large intestine resulting in toxin production, responsible for the intestinal auto-intoxication that damages all internal organs. Mechnikoff found out that this harmful influence can be eliminated by regular administration of lactobacilli. He arrived at this conclusion after he had found that the long and healthy life of Bulgarian peasants is a result from every day consumption of fermented milk and other lactic acid products made in Bulgaria. At that time the percentage of the centenarians in Bulgaria was the highest (4%), cancer rate and total sick rate were low. Prof. Mechnikoff wrote: “Our aging is a disease that must be treated like any other disease” and recommended every day consumption of lactic acid products. In 1905 the Bulgarian physician St. Grigorov discovered Lactobacillus bulgaricus in these dairy products.
In the recent years it was found out that thousands of microbial strains coexist with people. They are everywhere – on skin, hair, nails, in mouth, intestines, genito-urinary tract. Microorganisms are divided into three groups:
Probiotics are live microorganisms which if administered alone or by food, containing probiotics, they heal the human organism.
According to the World Health Organization the total number of the probiotic bacteria with proven beneficial effects is 15. They are given in table 1.
Generally recognized probiotic bacteria used in industry (Table No. 1)
They are divided in three basic groups: lactobacilli, lactic acid cocci and bifidobacteria. According to a Report from 2005 before the Congress of USA, Lactobacillus Bulgaricus is the most important bacterium for people. It is the only probiotic named after a certain geographic area and nation.
Cultivation of Lactobacillus bulgaricus by the Thracians more than 7000 years ago and inventing lactic acid food is one of the three revolutions together with cultivation of crops and domestication of animals that have changed the development of mankind. It was found that some genetic changes occured first in Thracians and then in the other Europeans. The new lactic acid food and the billions of beneficial (probiotic) bacteria created a gene charged with the production of the enzyme lactase which breaks down milk sugar in human body. This new technology granted the rare privilege to people to eat throughout their lives the dairy products obtained from the milk of the domestic animals. People started getting the vital vit. D from the lactic acid products heretofore they have been getting by the sun. This fact made the Thracians and the other Europeans less dependent on the sun shine and they started settling throughout the world. The less sun shine in the Northern territories led to less melanin production. The black skin started getting more fair. Some legends and ancient drawings show that the Thracian Orpheus was a black man. Thousands of years later the Thracian Spartacus in the Roman Empire is a white man. Thracians were the first inhabitants of the present Bulgarian lands more than 7 000 years ago. They made the first worked gold in the world, the first script, the first grand buildings and are the basis of the development of the ancient civilizations. They have first selected Lactobacillus bulgaricus. proba.
Lactobacillus bulgaricus is of vegetable origin and is isolated from green plants only on the territory of Bulgaria. In other geographic regions of the world it mutates and stops its reproduction. That’s why countries as China, Japan, Korea, Italy and others, offering products containing Lactobacillus bulgaricus, buy it from Bulgaria. Based on summarized data from leading scientists from USA, Japan, France (G. Tannock, A. Hosono, G. Complien) and according to our information Lactobacillus bulgaricus has beneficial effects in 11 directions. They are shown in table 2.
Beneficial effects of probiotics (Table 2)
Unlike other probiotic lactobacilli, during the lactic acid fermentation Lactobacillus bulgaricus produces D (-) lactic acid, which determines its powerful anticancerous, ray-protective and antioxidant effects. This acid together with the bacteriocins and other bioactive substances, secreted by Lactobacillus bulgaricus, detoxificate the organism.
Development of the first probiotic products with Lactobacillus bulgaricus started by a team of scientists under my leadership (under the leadership of Retired Major General Prof. N. Alexandrov, D. Sc.) in 1980 as a task set by the Bulgarian government for production of special foodstuffs for the international space program “Intercosmos”. The produced dry probiotic foods are used by pilots from the Air Forces, Navy sailors, Bulgarian scientific expeditions to Antarctica and the Himalayas, also in cases of large-scale industrial accidents in Bulgaria. They were also used by seriously ill people and athletes training for Olympic and other world competitions.
The products became public in 1993 and this enabled their subsequent elaboration and improvement, as well as their production and supply on the open market.
We produce all our products as we keep good manufacturing practices and observe the requirements for Food Safety ISO 22000-2005. Our products are clinically tested in leading medical institutions in Bulgaria and abroad – MMA Sofia, Medical Universities in Varna, Sofia and Pleven, National Institute of Emergency “Pirogov”, MMA in Czech Republic and Poland, Medical University of Würzburg – Germany, together with the Medical Control of the Soviet Army and the accredited doping laboratory in Cologne.
The products do not contain preservatives, genetically manipulated microorganisms, synthetic and chemical anabolic substances. They have no adverse effects. They can be taken in combination with each other and together with the basic medical treatment. Probiotics with Lactobacillus bulgaricus can be taken indefinitely and without interruption.
Our products are used by the Bulgarian troops during the missions in Cambodia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, by people hurt by the earthquake in Turkey, by people working in heavy industry (cement production, asphalt bases, road construction, etc.) and by seriously ill people and children under treatment in hospitals.
Daflorn Ltd produces probiotic functional foods under the trade mark Biomilk in powder, wholefood supplements under the trade marks Biomilk, Laktera and Magic Power in capsules, cosmetic products and dry face packs Mariah’s face and probiotic starter cultures (yeasts), containing Lactobacillus bulgaricus and dry herbal extracts and oils.
Later on the concept of functional food was developed in Japan in the 80s of the last cantury. According to the Japanese Ministry of Education functional foods must have three basic functions: nutritive, sensory and healing.
European institutions have the following requirements to the functional foods:
The functional probiotic food Biomilk is a new generation entirely balanced functional food. It combines the healing effect of Lactobacillus bulgaricus and the nutritive and energy effects of the nutrients broken down during the lactic acid fermentation.
Table 3 shows amino acids and their amount in 100 g Biomilk Power Energy. The correlation between essential and non-essential amino acids is from 1:2,2 to 1:2,4, as the physiological rate is 1:2,8. With these parameters the functional food Biomilk Power Energy meets the international requirements for a standard protein food.
Different amino acids and their content in 100 g Biomilk (Table 3)
Global Scientific Researches from 2010 show that the amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine prolong human life. They are called “Cocktail of life.”
Biomilk Power Energy contains an appropriate quantity of Omega 3 and Omega 6 low molecular capronic, caprylic, capric and lauric fatty acids, as well as the essential linoleic and linolenic fatty acids. The balanced proportions between the different fatty acids in Biomilk make it an important product for prevention of atherosclerosis that promotes the synthesis of different hormones and enzymes.
Different fatty acids and their content in 100 g Biomilk (Table 4)
Carbohydrates in Biomilk Power Energy are broken down biotechnologically to easy of digestion monosaccharides – glucose and galactose. The products are low lactose and can be taken by people lacking in lactase enzyme (intolerant of milk).
Atom-absorbing analyses shows that Biomilk contains great quantities of all basic macro-and microelements – calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc and others. It also contains number of essential vitamins A, B1, B2. Increased amount of vit. D3 is important for the rapid and full digestion of the high calcium content in Biomilk. This determines the apparent effect of the products in cases of osteoporosis and low sunshine in winter and in northern regions. All nutrients in Biomilk are ready for absorption by the human organism. People do not consume energy for this and increase their energy supply for brain activity and substitution and rejuvenation of the cells.
The functional probiotic food Biomilk is suitable for children, people put to severe physical or mental work, people exposed to stress and strain and the harmful influence of the environment. Biomilk improves and prolongs life.
Herbal extracts and oils with proven healing effects are added to some of the products. The amino acids in the products serve as a quick transport carriers and help the full absorption of the extracts and oils by the body cells, as together with Lactobacillus bulgaricus they exalt their beneficial effects many times. This makes our products materially different from the other probiotic products and makes them a leader among modern probiotics.
Lactobacillus bulgaricus and immune system
Immune system is the main protection of each individual. Conditionally it can be divided into two parts – local and general. More than 80 % of the immune cells are located in the intestinal lymph tissue. This is the «second brain» of organism, which aims to protect from the harmful aggression of pathogens. The general immune system is connected with blood, lymph, spleen, liver and bone marrow.
Immune system can be weakened when exposed to a large number of pathogens for a long time (eg. poor hygiene), in cases of physical and psychological strain, sharp temperature fluctuations, insufficient or poor nourishment, prolonged use of toxic or chemical substances – alcohol, drugs, medicines, in cases of prolonged contact with harmful chemical agents, radiation and others.
Scientific studies of H. Chomakov (2007), A. Hosono (2002), Link-Amster (1994), K. Thoreux (2001) and others show that Lactobacillus bulgaricus stimulates the immune system by increasing the production of:
In our clinical trials with the effect of Biomilk on Air Force pilots the obtained results are similar to those described above. Our studies show that distinct improvement of the immune resistance begins 7-10 days after the start of taking Biomilk and is at the maximum between the 15th and 20th day.
Lactobacillus bulgaricus and allergy
Widespread and not always rational use of medicines in medical practice leads to frequent allergies and toxic-allergic reactions. One of the serious complications of medical treatment is allergic-toxic epidermal necrosis or Layel syndrome. Almost always the disease occurs with severe infectious-inflammatory complications (pneumonia, sepsis), leading to increased break-up of the body tissues. Photos below show the beneficial results of treatment of a case with Layel syndrome, where to the main treatment was included food therapy with 200-400 g a day functional probiotic food Biomilk.
Our and foreign studies show that Lactobacillus bulgaricus alters the translocation of antigens and has a favourable effect on allergies. Studies by G. Neshev (1990) prove the beneficial effect of the Bulgarian rose oil in cases of anaphylactic shock, bronchial asthma, serotonin spasm and edema, induced experimentally in laboratory animals.
The combination of Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Bulgarian rose oil in the product Laktera Rose Oil makes it effective in allergic processes .
Lactobacillus bulgaricus in children
Children most often suffer from upper respiratory infections and diarrhea. The use of Bulgarian yoghurt with Lactobacillus bulgaricus for treatment of diarrhea in children in Bulgaria is a century-old tradition. In 1945 Dr. A. Fikov reported the successful treatment of infantile diarrhea with Bulgarian yoghurt, used for enemas in children’s clinics in Berlin and Sofia. Later on G. Baudra (1990) and P. Solis (1993) published similar results for successful treatment of infantile diarrhea with Lactobacillus bulgaricus. Taking L. bulgaricus leads to increase of the mucins in the small intestines. The probiotic suppresses the development of viruses (most often rotaviruses) and removes them from the intestinal tract quickly. Lactobacillus bulgaricus produces a great amount of TNFa substance which stimulates the non-specific immune response. It also produces gamma interferon which blocks propagation of viruses. The probiotic overcomes disbacteriosis and regulates the gastrointestinal flora during and after antibiotic treatment.
These and other studies allow the World Health Organization in 1995 to recommend the use of Lactobacillus bulgaricus for treatment of infantile diarrhea.
During the clinical study in the children’s clinic of the Medical University in Sofia with our probiotic products applied to children from 6 months to 1 year, diarrhea has not been observed and the rate of the respiratory infections have decreased by 50 %.
Lactobacillus bulgaricus and gastrointestinal tract
The most common cause of gastritis, stomach and duodenal ulcer and gastric cancer is Helicobacter pylori. 50 to 70 % of the Europe’s population is infected with it. Treatment with antibiotics for Helicobacter pylori is not successful because this bacterium develops an antibiotic resistance quickly and their toxic and adverse effects. Immediately after the antibiotic treatment, the organism is infected again which makes treatment useless. It was found out that Lactobacillus bulgaricus decreases the number of Helicobacter pylori in stomach on the basis of competitive elimination and by stimulation of the immune response it protects organism from infection.
Table 5 shows our experiment for treatment of ethyl alcohol induced ulcers in rats with different Laktera products containing Lactobacillus bulgaricus and herbal extracts.
It appears that Laktera Forte – probiotic containing Lactobacillus bulgaricus and gin seng – has the most powerful effect.
Bowel chronic inflammations (colitis, Crohn’s disease, inflammations of ileum) affect 15-20 percent of the population in the developed countries and are the major health problem. Frequent use of antibiotics leads to development of serious disbacteriosis and makes favourable conditions for development of fungi in intestines. Recent studies show that the best results are obtained in treatment of intestinal diseases with lactobacilli combined with the main treatment. Figure 1 presents our experiment with 152 patients with gastroduodenitis, colitis and disbacteriosis for 6-month period of treatment only with Biomilk and Laktera.
Figure 1: Changes of clinical manifestations of the damages of the Gastrointestinal Tract for a 6-month period of treatment
The figure shows that after six months disbacteriosis is completely under control, colitis and gastroduodenitis have fallen down from 71 % to 4 %. The study shows that in cases of Crohn’s disease, Lactobacillus bulgaricus must be taken for a long time – months and years and in the beginning it must be combined with the main treatment to obtain lasting beneficial effects. Without Lactobacillus bulgaricus, the effect of the traditional medical treatment is temporary and recurrences are common.
Lactobacillus bulgaricus and liver lesions of infectious and toxic origin
The main cause of toxic liver damage is alcohol. Figures 2 and 3 show the results from a complex treatment of addiction to alcohol and drugs in 152 patients. Food therapy with the probiotics Biomilk and Laktera was applied to all of them.
Figure 2: Changes in the parameters of ASAT and ALAT for a period of 6 months
Figure 3: Changes in the data from ultrasound diagnosis of liver for a period of 1 year
The figure shows that the values of liver enzymes and ultrasound image of liver are restored after six month.
Other serious liver diseases are viral hepatitis. Our clinical studies in an epidemic of hepatitis A in 227 soldiers, divided into two groups: first – 123 patients with complex treatment received Biomilk Hepanorm Forte and Laktera Rose Oil and second – 104 patients with standard treatment of viral hepatitis, showed the following results:
Studies of number of scientists – A. Hosono (2002), H. Chomakov (2007) show that Lactobacillus bulgaricus has a direct anti-viral effect. It is determined both by strengthening of the immune system and by increasing the production of interferon and bacteriocins acting against viruses. Further the amino acids in the functional probiotic food Biomilk are assimilated by the liver as a building material for live and healthy cells.
This is confirmed by our study with 42 patients with HVC, treated without interferon, only with the probiotics Biomilk and Laktera.
Figure 4: Change of the values of the titre of antibodies against HVC in 42 patients treated with probiotic for a period of 1 year
The values of the titre of antibodies were measured in U / L, as the norm is up to 2 U/L. The figure shows that titre of antibodies against HVC in treatment only with Lactobacillus bulgaricus decreases significantly for a period of 1 year.
Lactobacillus bulgaricus and heart and cerebrovascular diseases
In the 20 century the death-rate from heart and cerebrovascular diseases increased many times. The main cause is atherosclerosis and high cholesterol. According to the general opinion nutrition and taking large amounts of saturated fatty acids and animal fats causes an increase in cholesterol, especially the bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Taking large amounts of these foods leads to increased excretion of bile acids through which cholesterol gets into intestines. In order to expel it from the body, it is necessary to combine with any of the following substances:
When the quantity of these components is insufficient, cholesterol remains free and is absorbed again by the human organism. This leads to its increase despite the implementation of different diets.
Table 6 presents our clinical study with 54 Air Force pilots from Bulgaria for 30 days, who did not change their daily regimen, their food was rich and they have taken the probiotics Biomilk and Laktera. .
Effect of the lactic acid probiotic product Biomilk on fat metabolism in military pilots (Table 6).
The table shows that cholesterol decreased by one unit for one month. The complex action of the probiotic Biomilk, containing Lactobacillus bulgaricus as well as unsaturated fatty acids, amino acids and calcium, is of great importance for the indicated beneficial results. The balanced nutritional composition of the probiotic Biomilk regulates metabolism of the human body completely.
Figure 5: Changes in metabolism for a period of 1 year
Our results obtained in 152 patients are presented in figure 5.
It is obvious that regular use of the probiotics Biomilk and Laktera in combination with the main treatment of alcohol dependence leads to control of consumative and bone articular syndrome and restoration of trophic of skin and hair for a period of about 1 year.
Anti-tumor and anti-mutagenic effect of the lactic acid bacteria
Factors that lead to cancer are three – carcinogens, mutagens and microorganisms. The process of cancer formation occurs in two stages – appearance of mutant cells as a result of damage of the cellular DNA and transformation of mutant cells into cancer cells. This process is shown in figure 6.
Figure 6 Process of cancer formation due to chemical agents
Factors leading to cancer exist in our life and we are constantly exposed to their harmful influence. Cancer cells are constantly formed in the human body, but phagocytes destroy them. When the immune system weakens, especially in combination with stress, the organism cannot respond adequately to the increased number of cancer cells and they begin to multiply uncontrollably.
Some studies, conducted in the Agricultural department of Shinshu University in Japan, show that lactic acid bacteria have anti-mutagenic effects. Table 7 shows the anti-mutagenic effects of different lactic acid bacteria and food against the mutagen AF2 .
The information shows that within 24 hours AF2 loses its mutagenic effect to a great extent. Products, containing Lactobacillus bulgaricus, have the most beneficial anti-mutagenic effect at the end of the 24-hour period.
Based on these and other results, Hosono makes the following conclusions:
Similar results, demonstrating the anti-tumor effect of lactic acid bacteria, were obtained in experimental studies conducted by I. Bogdanov (1965) and later on by Kitadzava (Japan), Tsonevski and Enikova (1995). They found out that the anti-tumor effect of different lactobacilli is different. Lactobacillus bulgaricus, producing D(-) lactic acid has the best effect. The cancer rate in experimental animals, fed with lactobacilli, producing L(+) lactic acid, is higher.
Radio-protective and antioxidant effect of Lactobacillus bulgaricus
The influence of the ionizing radiation is not only a military threat. Widespread use of nuclear energy, radiotherapy, X-rays requires creation of radio-protective remedies. Most of them are chemicals with transient effect. They have many adverse and toxic effects, which are exalted in cases of taking them for a long time, which is necessary for people working in nuclear energetics and with isotopes and in cases of radiotherapy.
Experimental studies of Z. Mitsov (1960), B. Gyosheva, Z. Goranova (1992) show that Bulgarian yoghurt with Lactobacillus bulgaricus decreases the initial damages of bone marrow, accelerates restoration of haematopoiesis and decreases the death rate of experimental animals, irradiated with radioactive agents, in comparison with the control group.
Experimental studies with Biomilk conducted by B. Gyosheva (2005), M. Georgieva (2007) show that the experimental animals that have taken Biomilk, normalize haematopoiesis of the bone marrow faster on the 10th day after irradiation.
The results are shown in figure 7.
Most likely the ray-protective effect of the probiotic Biomilk is due to its immuno-stimulating effect and to limiting of the lipid peroxidation, i.e. of free radicals. There are other studies by B. Bay (1999), Lin My (1991) and others on the antioxidant effect of probiotic bacteria.
The study of A. Gigov – Department of Hematology and Oncology at the Military Medical Academy Sofia 2008 – with 95 cancer patients deserves special attention. The patients have taken Biomilk Antioxidant in combination with the main treatment and there was statistically significant increase in the number of T-lymphocytes, thrombocytes and leukocytes and a moderate increase of hemoglobin. They have taken chemo- and radiotherapy very well and their quality of life has improved. Similar results were obtained in 1976 by A. Atanasova in 36 children with leukemia and by us in 70 patients with low thrombocyte counts due to prolonged treatment with corticosteroids.
Development of bio radio-protectors is essential for workers in nuclear power, cancer patients undergoing chemo- and radiotherapy.
These studies and facts are part of 30 years work. Now and in future we will try to connect the knowledge of the ancient civilizations with modern scientific achievements and to restore the message of Hippocrates:
“Let thy food be thy medicine”