Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN
August 21, 2017
“Superbugs” are strains of pathological bacteria that have developed resistance to virtually all our current antibiotics. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), deadly, drug-resistant “superbugs” represent a huge and growing global health threat.
Two of the best-known “superbug” bacteria are methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and clostridium difficile or C. diff. Many people don’t realize that more people are currently dying from C. diff infections in the U.S. than HIV and AIDS.
A team of scientists recently reported that the co-administration of the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri and glycerol selectively killed C. difficile. When the bacteria were supplied with glycerol, which functioned as a prebiotic food, the bacteria used it to create a postbiotic antibacterial compound named reuterin, which selectively killed C. difficile.
Here is the link to the study which was published in the July 31, 2017 issue of Infection and Immunity.
I wish to make the following comments regarding the scientific study which reported that a combination of Lactobacillus reuteri and glycerol produced a postbiotic metabolite that killed C. diff. This is an example of a probiotic bacteria, Lactobacillus reuteri, utilizing a compound (glycerol) which the bacteria utilize as a prebiotic food, to produce a postbiotic metabolite. In this case, the postbiotic metabolite is a natural antibiotic that is capable of killing C. difficile, which is currently recognized as an antibiotic-resistant superbug that represents a global health threat.
Scientists who study the microbiome and probiotic bacteria are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that the primary function of probiotic bacteria and the reason they are important is because of the thousands of compounds that their metabolic processes create in the human gastrointestinal tract.
In a book titled The Mind-Gut Connection, author Emeran Mayer, MD states that “Your bacteria will use the enormous amount of information stored in their millions of genes to transform partially digested food into hundreds of thousands of metabolites.” Science is just beginning to become aware of the multitude of postbiotic metabolites that probiotic bacteria create. These are the compounds that regulate and control vast amounts of biological and physiological activities in humans.
In cell culture studies, Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® have been shown to produce postbiotic metabolites that are capable of killing two of the most dangerous “superbugs”, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and clostridium difficile or C. diff.
This is one of the reasons why Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® are so effective at helping people quickly resolve gastrointestinal complaints. Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® are famous for causing Rapid Microbiome Restoration in people with GI complaints.
A strain of probiotic bacteria that Dr. Ohhira discovered in the Malaysian fermented food tempeh is named Enterococcus faecalis TH10 (often referred to simply as TH10). TH10 qualifies to be classified as a Keystone Strain of probiotic bacteria. Keystone strains are sub-dominant strains of bacteria that produce very large effects. Thus, even though they are present in relatively small numbers, they have a large effect on directing or regulating biological function(s).
Enterococcus faecalis TH10 produces a postbiotic metabolite that has been shown to be an extremely powerful natural antimicrobial compound. TH10 exerts its antimicrobial effects by producing a postbiotic metabolite named phenyl lactic acid. The electron microscope photos at the end of this article graphically show how a weak 1% solution of phenyl lactic acid is able to destroy the outer cell membrane and kill a strain of pathological bacteria. Fortunately, TH10 does not attack beneficial probiotic bacteria.
I believe the future of probiotic and microbiome research will focus on the wide range of compounds that probiotic bacteria produce. These are the compounds, which we refer to as postbiotic metabolites, function in many ways to regulate a vast amount of human biology and physiology.
Diversity is a key factor in the health of ecosystems. Scientists who study the human microbiome now realize that greater diversity, which means a wider range of different types of bacteria being present in the GI tract, results in a healthier microbiome. Now we can take this one step further and say that a greater diversity of probiotic bacteria results in better health because the bacteria produce a greater diversity of postbiotic metabolites.
This explains the uniqueness and effectiveness of Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics. Dr. Ohhira’s multi-year fermentation process enables the bacteria to produce a multitude of postbiotic metabolites.
In the future, I believe that doctors and scientists will begin to realize that maintaining a healthy microbiome and a heathy immune system is critical in helping people avoid infections with antibiotic-resistant “superbugs”. I hope there will also be a greater emphasis on the ability of natural antibiotics, which are actually postbiotic metabolites produced by probiotic bacteria which can selectively kill “superbug” bacteria without harming beneficial bacteria the way prescription antibiotic drugs do.
Good Bugs and Less Drugs