A Bakers Dozen – Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® Probiotic Strains

A Monthly Breakdown of Each Starter Strain Selected for
Fermentation in Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics

By Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN
Scientific Director, Essential Formulas

Dr. Ohhira was a visionary microbiologist who was decades ahead of his time. He recognized that in the human gastrointestinal tract and throughout nature, one of the primary functions of bacteria is to ferment/digest organic matter, which produces compounds that play critical roles in regulating health. Dr. Ohhira originally called these metabolites biogenic compounds. Today, they are more commonly referred to as postbiotic metabolites.

Dr. Ohhira carefully selected and researched strains of probiotic bacteria to be the starter strains used in the multi-year fermentation process to produce Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics. These strains of bacteria have substantially different DNA, which enables them to ferment other compounds in the food you eat (primarily dietary fibers and polyphenols). The net result is that different strains of bacteria can produce various kinds of postbiotic metabolites, which have a wide range of health benefits.

This month, we will highlight the second added strain, Bifidobacterium infantis M63.

Bifidobacterium infantis M63

Infants get their initial exposure to bifidobacteria from the mother’s vaginal microbiome during normal vaginal delivery. Bifidobacterium infantis (B. Infantis) is the most abundant species of probiotic bacteria that inhabit the intestinal tract of breastfed infants. The superior effectiveness of B. Infantis at colonizing the GI tract of breastfed infants is because it is more effective than all other strains of bacteria at metabolizing the human milk oligosaccharide (HMOs) in breast milk.

Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are a diverse group of more than 200 sugars that comprise a large portion of human breast milk. Humans cannot digest HMOs; hence, HMOs do not provide any nutritional value to infants.

B. infantis contains genes that enable it to metabolize human milk HMOs effectively. This results in the production of several postbiotic metabolites that are classified as short-chain fatty acids. These metabolites provide anti-inflammatory activity and play important roles in developing the infant’s immune system.

B. infantis M63 is commonly used in infant feeding formulas, either alone or in combination with other strains. Studies have reported that infants receiving B. infantis have lower rates of colic, asthma, and allergies.