Activia Specifics

Background on Activia

  • Probiotics can be taken in several forms including; capsules, tablets, powders, yogurt, fermented and unfermented milk and in some juices. In these foods or supplements, the probiotics could have been present originally or added during the preparation stages (NCCAM Oct. 2009). Prebiotics are nondigestible food ingredients which stimulate growth and activity of beneficial microorganisms that already exist in the human intestinal tract (NCCAM Oct. 2009).
  • It is stated that certain bifidobacteria contribute to protein and fat metabolism. It is also said that certain bifidobacteria have an anti-microbial activity and POTENTIALLY act on the intestinal tract (http://www.activia.ca/en/).
  • Danone Vitapole researchers isolated Bifidobacterium (animalis) lactis, or DN 173-010, in 1985. The researcher's goals were to identify a Bifidobacterium capable of remaining active and alive in milk (http://www.activia.ca/en/). Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilis are two important bacterial cultures typically found in yogurt. Activia contains both of these bacterial cultures plus Bifidobacterium (animalis) lactis, also known as BL Regularis (http://www.activia.ca/en/). In each cup of Activia yogurt, there are said to be over one billion live, active BL Regularis bacteria (http://www.activia.ca/en/).

BL Regularis as the "key" component

  • Bifidobacterium (animalis) lactis is a gram-positive anaerobic bacteria belonging to the same category as other lactic species, as it produces lactic acid during the fermentation process. This bacterium is part of the same family as bifidobacteria.
  • The researchers chose to add BL Regularis because of its proposed beneficial effects on colonic digestion. Arunachalam et al (1999), stated that there has not been a through review of bifidobacterium, compared to a lot of work done on the specific effects of products containing Lactobacillus acidophilus.The claims are that this specific bacteria BL Regularis is able to survive passage through the stomach and the small intestine and arrive in the large intestine (http://www.activia.ca/en/). In the diagram of the digestive system at work with BL Regularis, it shows in the image BL Regularis in the small intestine. Previous reading about this bacteria said that it is supposed to reach and affect the large intestine (http://www.activia.ca/en/).
  • Activia is a yogurt produced by Danone Canada containing a strain of bifidobacteria called Bifidobacterium (animalis) lactis DN-173 010, or BL Regularis. Each serving of Activia is said to deliver more than 1 billion live BL Regularis to the human system. According to researchers at Danone Vitapole, the ingestion of bifidobacteria exerts many health enhancing effects on an individual. In newborns, bifidobacteria is believed to have a phosphatise activity whereby the newborn can improve absorption of protein from breast milk. Certain strains of these bacteria can also produce vitamins B1, B2, B12, C, PP and folic acid. In vitro studies have also shown that bifidobacteria contains antimicrobial action as it produces substances such as bacteriocins, peroxides and organic acids such as lactic acid and acetic acid. The production of these acids causes a reduced pH in the intestine which can work to antagonise growth of various other microorganisms. (http://www.activia.ca/en/effect/probiotics.aspx). In addition to its apparent beneficial effects on cellular immunity, bifidobacteria is claimed to increase one’s intestinal transit time. (there is still some info that I have to add to this section!)
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