Scientists improve health benefits of bacteria

Scientists at the University of Wolverhampton have discovered a way to improve the body’s health-boosting bacteria.

A team of researchers from the University’s microbiology department have discovered that taken orally, many probiotics – such as those found in yoghurts – die off due to acid levels in the stomach.

By the time the bacteria actually reach the gut, its numbers have been significantly reduced, diminishing the health benefits of the organisms.

FermentationBut a team led by Dr Iza Radecka has developed an acid coating for the probiotics, which can help the probiotic bacteria survive passage through the stomach in greater numbers.

And though the work is still in progress, the team hope the coating will help increase the health benefits of using probiotic bacteria.

The coating is called poly-γ-glutamic acid and the team’s work has an international patent pending.

Dr Iza Radecka, senior lecturer in Microbiology at the University, said: “The findings of the work carried out to date, has opened up new avenues on how probiotics can be administered and has already stirred up significant interest within the probiotics industry.

“Our research is still on-going and we are seeking additional collaborations with commercial partners to discover the full potential of improvements that can be made to benefit the industry in the future.

“In addition, we are also keen to meet with partners who can assist in the production of poly-γ-glutamic acid on a commercial scale.”

ENDS

For more information please contact Chris Jones in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736

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