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Probiotics in vinegar

What are probiotics?

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The term probiotic is made up of Greek roots “pro” and “bios” meaning “for life”. It refers to various harmless bacteria and yeasts which, unlike antibiotics, stimulate the growth of another organism, such as humans. More precisely, the World Health Organization defines the word probiotic as being: "a living micro-organism which, when ingested in sufficient quantity, produces beneficial effects on the health of the one who consumes it". To do this, probiotics are naturally present in the gastrointestinal tract where they help maintain the intestinal flora, or the microbiota.

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Intestinal flora

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The intestinal flora contains between 40 and 100,000 billion bacteria, good and bad. There are at least 400 different species, some of which are in the majority. Like DNA, this complex ecosystem is characteristic of each individual and is essential for their health. Sometimes referred to as the second brain, the beneficial microbiota stimulates the immune system, helps digestion, produces vitamins, secretes antimicrobial substances and, ultimately, protects against certain diseases.

How do probiotics work?

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Probiotics promote the proper balance of the microbiota through different mechanisms.

In order to maintain a non-pathogenic dominance, probiotics compete directly with harmful bacteria for access to nutrients (A) and prevent their adhesion to the intestinal epithelium, which limits their proliferation (B). Also, by producing antimicrobial molecules, probiotics directly slow down the growth of pathogens (C).

A - Compétition
A - Compétition

Les probiotiques compétitionnent directement avec les bactéries néfastes pour l'accès aux nutriments.

B - Adhésion
B - Adhésion

Les probiotiques préviennent l'adhésion des pathogènes à l'épithélium intestinal ce qui limite leur prolifération.

C - Antimicrobien
C - Antimicrobien

En produisant des molécules antimicrobiennes, les probiotiques freinent les pathogènes.

Probiotics work in symbiosis with cells in the gastrointestinal system to modulate the immune system. On the one hand, they inhibit inflammatory reactions caused by immune overactivation. On the other hand, they stimulate the immune system during development or aging, among other things, by increasing the production of mucus and antibodies (D).

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In addition to maintaining the microbiota, probiotics participate in the digestion of food. For example, certain microorganisms have an activity of separating bile acids derived from cholesterol and thus participate in lowering the level of total cholesterol. Lactobacilli, found in fermented dairy products, help convert lactose while bifidobacteria promote glucose tolerance.

D - Immunité
D - Immunité

Les probiotiques modulent les réactions inflammatoires via les d'anticorps.

When the balance breaks

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It is essential to maintain the balance of the intestinal flora, but this is constantly disturbed by food (rich in fat), stress, medication (antibiotics) and diseases (infections, immune deficiency). It is sometimes enriched (increase in probiotics), but sometimes depleted (decrease in probiotics) which can have consequences on the state of health, mainly on the digestive and immune system.

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The consequences on health

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While scientific studies are underway to understand and validate the effectiveness of probiotics, they are increasingly popular with people looking for natural ways to prevent or treat disease. They are particularly indicated for pathologies of an infectious and inflammatory nature. For example, in gastroenterology, they would reduce the frequency of diarrhea, symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome as well as cases of pouchitis and peptic ulcers. They also make it possible to rebalance other microbiota (cutaneous, vaginal, etc.) in pathologies such as allergic eczema, acne or vaginosis, in addition to having beneficial effects on fatigue and depression. Active brewer's yeast is also used for its benefits on the epidermis, hair and nails.

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In search of probiotics

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Without knowing it, you probably consume probiotics of all kinds on a daily basis since they are naturally present in several products resulting from lacto-fermentation and containing lactic acid bacteria and acids. Dairy products (yogurt, kefir, buttermilk), pickled vegetables (sauerkraut, pickles, onions, etc.), fermented drinks (beer, kimchi, kombucha) and soy derivatives (miso, soy sauce, tempeh) are the more famous. For example, the probiotics most often found in beer are yeasts of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae type, while yogurts mainly contain bacteria such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus .

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To be effective, probiotics must be ingested and survive the harsh conditions of the digestive system in order to colonize and proliferate therein. The main obstacle is stomach acidity. Microorganisms in foods grown in acidic environments have a natural resistance to such environments, making vinegar an excellent source of probiotics. In addition, while probiotics are often eliminated by cooking, clarifying or sterilizing food products, the brown sugar vinegars from Vinaigrerie Artisanale Mc Duff are neither filtered nor pasteurized for maximum benefits. You will therefore find the vigorous microorganisms Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Acetobacter aceti and Turbatrix aceti .