(NaturalNews) Researchers from the Institute of Food Research (IFR), part of the Institute of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Council, have materialized a protein that works with probiotic bacteria to help bind them to the gastrointestinal tract. This breakthrough research will help to further the viability of probiotics and to pinpoint the most beneficial strains for use in the body.
Dr. Nathalie Juge, a researcher from IFR, stated that in order for probiotics to be properly assimilated, they need to be effectively bound to the cells lining the intestinal walls. In order to help accomplish this, her research team derived a protein from the probiotic strain Lactobacillus reuteri, a lactic acid bacterium found naturally in the gastrointestinal tract. The proteins bind themselves to the mucus membrane and assist it by serving as additional catch points for bacterium to reside.
The mucous membranes found naturally in the body's largest immune system organ, the gut, help protect its lining and renew its cells by serving as a native fixation point for bacteria. Prior to the study, it was generally unknown what element was utilized by the mucous to make bacteria stick to it. Research published by IFR and the University of East Anglia in a Journal of Biological Chemistry paper revealed that specialized binding proteins are responsible for this important work.
Vital components of maintaining a healthy immune system, these proteins serve as catalysts for the metabolization of probiotic bacteria. They serve as human immunoglobulin protein receptors as well, indicating their crucial role in maintaining overall immune health.