Probiotics have become the latest and greatest new health product within the market, and even a cursory glance through the various search engines on the Internet, alongside magazines and even newspapers will highlight the significant increase in the range and variety of such products. Not to be confused with prebiotics, which are non-digestible food ingredients that stimulate the growth and activity of bacteria in the digestive system, which are also known as bifidobacteria
It would seem that the population at large has developed what can be only politely described as “probiotic fever”. Although this is a facetious description of the current events and trends, it belies a rather worrying new development within the proceedings, which is this: probiotixcs foods are not considered medical products.
This is in itself of significance by virtue of the fact that the actual degree of professional scrutiny and care that is being exercised with regards to the likes of Lactobacillus acidophilus products is very limited indeed. There have been calls upon the FDA (Food Drug Administration) to enforce and implement a more intense battery of scrutiny, regulation and screening: to date, little has actually been done.
The reason that there are such fears with regards to items such as Lactobacillus Acidophilus is due to the fact that the different strains of probiotics that can potentially provide beneficial effects for the health and wellbeing of the person who ingest such products will require very specific and tightly controlled environmental conditions to ensure that they are safe.
For example, particular care must be exercised with regards to Lactobacillus acidophilus, the reason for this is due to the fact that even a slight alteration in the ambient temperature of Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria can cause contamination and compromise the efficacy and quality of the product as a whole.
Scientific studies have identified that Lactobacillus acidophilus will quickly degrade and decompose when exposed to room temperature, even if the actual length of duration for that exposure happens to be extremely short-lived. Ideally, samples and products containing the Lactobacillus acidophilus must be stored in refrigerated conditions, which do not exceed 15 degrees Celsius, a condition which is not always realistic or practical from a financial or logistical perspective for average consumer.
Furthermore, considerable attention to detail must be exercised in relation to the actual packaging and containers within which the Lactobacillus acidophilus strains are stored. Specifically, it is strongly recommended in the most emphatic terms possible that Lactobacillus acidophilus be stored in glass containers which are created using amber.
The reason for this is simple: amber containers have been identified as the most effective method of packaging to reduce the risk of excess levels of oxygen, moisture, humidity and other contaminants from entering and therefore spoiling the good bacteria contained within. Again, this is not always a practical solution to implement and so poses significant challenges for the consumer.