What Are the Different Types of Probiotics?
We know the microorganisms in wildbrine’s fermented foods are crucial for our good health, so let’s meet up-close and personal some specific types of probiotics we’re likely to find in them.
Because we don’t add commercial strains of probiotics to our foods (we do it wild!), but allow the wild microbes that nature provides to do the fermenting, we can’t say precisely which microorganisms are working in each product, but we can name some of the most common types of probiotics, most of which are likely to be in the mix.
The following types of probiotics are our friends; in fact, they are essential to our health, they protect us from disease, they enhance our nutrition, and they turn ordinary vegetables into fabulously tasty fermented superfoods.
Bifidobacterium bifidum. This microbe is found in the stomach and intestinal tract. It shows promise in suppressing infection in the stomach of Helicobacter pylori, the pathogen that causes stomach ulcers. Several studies show that it helps lower and contain the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It’s typically found in sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles.
Bifidobacterium lactis. This gut bacteria’s role as a probiotic has been well studied and its chief benefit to the human body is its ability to modulate and strengthen the immune system. It’s found in fermented vegetables such as wildbrine’s sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickled veggies, as well as in yogurt.
Bifidobacterium longum. This bacterium has a positive effect on the mix of other probiotics in the intestines, causing a significant increase in the amount of biotin (vitamin B7) produced. Biotin helps the body turn food into energy. The bacteria are common in fermented vegetables.
Lactobacillus acidophilus. This is the beneficial workhorse bacterium that ferments wildbrine’s line of probiotic-laden vegetables. It may prevent diarrhea, minimize symptoms of IBS, help lower cholesterol, and support vaginal health. It contributes greatly to the healthy ecology of the gut microbiome.
Lactobacillus casei and L. rhamnosus. These closely related probiotics are among the most widely researched species of lactobacillae that likely occur in wildbrine’s vegetable products. They have been shown to prevent or treat diseases and disturbances to the gut biome, stabilizing and strengthening it.
Lactobacillus reuteri. Get to know this one-celled friend, for it’s an all-around healer. In humans, it’s found in the gut microbiome, urinary tract, on the skin, and in breast milk. It produces antimicrobial substances that inhibit disease-causing germs and remodels the gut bacteria mix to increase human health. It can reduce inflammatory agents while promoting T-cell formation. (T-cells are immune cells that protect the body from diseases and cancer.) L. reuteri also strengthens the intestinal wall, preventing leaky gut syndrome and its impact on inflammatory disease throughout the body.
Lactobacillus salivarius. L. salivarius is one of the lactic acid bacillae that occurs in the fermentation of vegetables and it helps improve oral health by suppressing gum disease, reducing dental caries, and checking halitosis. It also confers health benefits to the intestinal tract.
Streptococcus thermophilus. This friendly bacterium produces lactase enzyme that helps people digest milk more efficiently. It also decreases ulcerative colitis symptoms, decreases leaky gut symptoms that cause inflammation throughout the body, decreases IBS symptoms, enhances the immune system, prevents and fights pneumonia, fights Clostridium difficile (a particularly nasty intestinal disease), and has many other health benefits.
These are just a handful of the most important probiotics that may be found in wildbrine products. There are hundreds more.
About the Author: Sonoma County resident Jeff Cox is the author of 24 books, including The Essential Book of Fermentation (Avery, 2013)