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Probiotics: Evolving Function, Microbiome Masters & Athletic Performance

Category: Educational Articles

While probiotics are primarily associated with digestive and gut health, they are the masters of the microbiome, which is a crucial factor when it comes to sustaining overall health. With an increase in consumer interest, probiotics continue to evolve through delivery formats, strain diversity, and manufacturing processes. These advancements provide new functional foods, beverages, gummies, and more while granting benefits that can improve health and increase performance abilities.

Probiotics: Masters of the Entire Microbiome

The microbiome consists of trillions of microorganisms from thousands of species, including bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses. With 70% of the body’s immune cells located in the digestive tract, probiotics are vital, helping the microbiome create and maintain balance. Within the microbiome of a healthy person, these microorganisms coexist peacefully, with most residing in the small and large intestines, but also throughout the body. Because the microbiome consists of microorganisms that are both helpful and potentially harmful, it’s essential to avoid dysbiosis.

Probiotics are Continually Evolving

Probiotics continue to evolve as consumer interest drives demand. As a result, researchers are discovering new health benefits of probiotic strains, and manufacturers are improving technologies and techniques. Probiotic strains vary in their unique benefits and characteristics that influence suitability and application, such as skin, health, or mood support. Lactobacillus and bifidobacterium have been the most common strains used in dietary supplements, but new interests include synbiotics, immunobiotics, psychobiotics, and postbiotics.

 Not Just a Pill

The increase in probiotic demand has also led manufacturers to move beyond capsules and become more innovative in the delivery of their products. With a never-ending search for the most convenient products, pill alternatives are on the rise. For example, children can ingest a daily probiotic that is in the form of a straw, alleviating the struggle of swallowing a pill. Functional foods and beverages, such as gummies and mini-drinks, are a more enticing delivery method, and for some, a more accessible option.

 Benefits Athletic Performance

A well-balanced gut flora provides many benefits, including smooth digestion, protection against pathogens, vitamin and nutrient absorption, and immune support. These functions are critical for fitness enthusiasts and athletes—essential to improving performance—and the high nutrient needs of these active individuals are best met via healthy digestion. A healthy microbiome supports the digestion of macronutrients, allowing for optimized nutrient absorption. Probiotics can also aid muscle growth, recovery time, and reduced inflammation by promoting the absorption of key amino acids. The strain Bacillus subtilis DE111® (from Deerland) produces many enzymes to help break down protein, and recent research supported its role in reducing markers of inflammatory compounds that arise during exercise. As more clinical data is collected, the role of probiotics in athletes becomes an important link for improved performance.

Deerland Probiotics & Enzymes developed DE111, a genome sequenced and clinically tested strain of Bacillus subtilis––a probiotic spore that supports digestive and immune health. Human clinical studies show the strain’s ability to control microbial populations, aid in digestion, and maintain general health. DE111 has the ability to form spores that protect the microbes from harsh conditions until they enter an environment ripe for germination, such as the GI tract. Because of this spore-forming ability, DE111 remains viable under a wide temperature and pH range, making it ideal for use in supplements as well as food and beverages. Besides DE111, Deerland has developed an exclusive line of university-studied products which can be used as-is, or as the basis for a custom formulation. To learn more about Deerland and DE111, click here.

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