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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-8

Probiotics: The marvelous factor and health benefits

1 Department of Biotechnology, Theni College of Arts and Science, Theni; Department of Environmental Studies, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Environmental Studies, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication5-Mar-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. S Vijayaram
Department of Biotechnology, Theni College of Arts and Science, Veerapandi, Theni - 625 534; Department of Environmental Studies, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai - 625 021, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/bbrj.bbrj_87_17

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The aim of this study is well stated to address in recent advances on probiotics in the past 50 years. Probiotics are the living cell organisms. It is a presence in human and animal gut. The probiotic organisms are natural antibiotics in the human-animal gut. This reviews the main role mechanisms of action in probiotics such as probiotics are antibiotics, probiotics in antibacterial activity, probiotic action in fish gut bacteria, dietary supplements of probiotics, gastrointestinal microbiota of fishes, microbial community of the gastrointestinal tract of fish, bioactive compounds from probiotic bacteria, probiotic uses in cancer therapeutic applications, and applications of probiotics. The most common probiotics are used in many ways such as boosting the immune system, inhibition of pathogenic organism, prevention of cancer, reduction of inflammatory bowel disease, reducing cholesterol level, and synthesis of Vitamin A. Nowadays, food products are mainly involved in chemical preservatives. These preservative agents are causing the disease to affect the human health. The probiotic food products are used to the development of human-animal health.

Keywords: Antibiotic resistance, antimicrobial activity, bioactive compounds, gut microbes, probiotic, therapeutic applications

How to cite this article:
Vijayaram S, Kannan S. Probiotics: The marvelous factor and health benefits. Biomed Biotechnol Res J 2018;2:1-8

How to cite this URL:
Vijayaram S, Kannan S. Probiotics: The marvelous factor and health benefits. Biomed Biotechnol Res J [serial online] 2018 [cited 2023 May 30];2:1-8. Available from: https://www.bmbtrj.org/text.asp?2018/2/1/1/226581

  Introduction Top


The probiotic means simply life for originating from the Greek words “pro” and “bios.”[1] The most commonly quote meaning was made by Fuller (1989). The probiotics are live microbial feed supplement which beneficially affects the host animal by improving its intestinal balance. This correct definition is still commonly referred to, despite continual contention. Today, probiotics are quite every day in health-promoting “functional foods” for humans, as well as therapeutic, prophylactic growth supplements in animal production human health.[2],[3],[4] Other commonly studied probiotics include the spore-forming Bacillus spp. Yeasts. Bacillus spp. have been shown to possess adhesion abilities, produce bio activated molecules provide immunostimulation.[5],[6],[7] Bacillus spp. hold an added interest in probiotics as they can be kept in the spore form and therefore stored indefinitely on the shelf.[8] It is often reported that a probiotic must be adherent and colonize within the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), it must replicate to high numbers, it must produce antimicrobial substances, and it must withstand the acidic environment of the GIT.[4],[9],[10],[11],[12] Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have been widely used and researched for human terrestrial animal purposes; LAB are also known to be present in the intestine of healthy fish.[1]

The most commonly used probiotic is LAB, namely, lactobacilli sp. are usually characterized by Gram-positive, nonmotile, nonsporulating bacteria that produce lactic acid as their main byproduct due to fermentation [Figure 1]. The use of probiotics for growth promoter in aquatic animals is increasing with the demand for environment-friendly sustainable aquaculture.[13]
Figure 1: Effects of dairy and biological products. Lactic acid bacteria are present in milk processing and naturally enrich fermented dairy products with a wide range of bioactive metabolites[72]

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Probiotics are reported to enhance by stimulating phagocytic activity, complement-mediated bacterial killing immunoglobulin production.[4],[14],[15] The use of antibiotics to cure bacterial infection prevent fish mortality in aquaculture is becoming limited as pathogens develop resistance to drugs.[16]

In the past decade, several scientists carefully examined the role effects of probiotics in aquaculture as an alternative to antimicrobial drugs, demonstrating positive effects on fish survival,[17] growth,[18] stress resistance,[19] immune system enhancement,[20] finally general welfare [Figure 2].[21] The importance of probiotics in human-animal nutrition is widely recognized.[22],[23]
Figure 2: Beneficial effects of probiotics in aquaculture. Blue arrow indicates additive effects. Red lines indicate inhibitory effect[74]

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The role of probiotics in nutrition health of certain aquaculture species has also been investigated by Fuller, Balcázar et al., Rinkinen et al., and Lara-Flores and Olvera-Novoa.[2],[24],[25]

Mechanisms of action of probiotics

Probiotic bacteria can inhibit pathogens by the production of antagonistic compounds/by competitive exclusion (competition for nutrients attachment sites). Probiotic bacteria directly take up or decompose the organic matter and improve the water quality of an aquatic ecosystem. Beneficial microbial cultures produce a variety of exoenzymes such as amylase, protease, and lipase, which help to degrade the unconsumed feed feces in the pond, in addition to the possible role of these enzymes in the nutrition of the animals by improving feed digestibility and feed utilization. Among all the microbial interventions to augment the production, use of probiotics is in the central dogma. The modes of action of probiotics include the inhibition of a pathogen through the production of bacteriocin-like compounds, competition for attachment sites, competition for nutrients (particularly iron in marine microbes), alteration of the enzymatic activity of pathogens, immunostimulatory functions, and nutritional benefits such as improving feed digestibility and utilization [Figure 3].[12],[26],[27]
Figure 3: Four different methods of protecting probiotics from the intestines against known diseases. Probiotics compete against pathogens for essential nutrients and are less likely to be used for pathogens (a). They attach to adhesion sites and reduce pathogen dependence by reducing the available ground surface for pathogenic colonization (b). Signaling of immune cells by probiotics leads to secretion of cytokines and targeting the pathogen for destruction (c). Ultimately, probiotics with direct bacterial release of bacteriocins (d)[75]

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Probiotics in antibiotics

Probiotics have also been reported to stimulate the immunological system, counteract allergies decrease cholesterol level.[28] Microbial drugs are making their continuous influence as cancer chemotherapeutic agents. The discovery of actinomycin has led to venture into a microbial world in the quest for anticancer compounds. Among the approved products deserving special attention are Actinomycin D, anthracycline, bleomycin, (mithramycin, streptozotocin, and pentostatin), calicheamicin, and taxol epothilones. Actinomycin, an antibiotic isolated from Streptomyces antibiotics, has served well against Wilms tumor in children.[2],[29]

Probiotics in antibacterial activity

The beneficial effects of probiotics have been attributed to their ability to promote the immunological and nonimmunological defense barrier in the gut; normalization of increased intestinal permeability altered gut microflora.[12] Twelve different intestinal bacterial colonies were isolated from black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon).[30]

Among them, a bacterium, Bacillus subtilis strain was studied and characterized due to antagonistic properties against three target pathogenic bacterial strains of Vibrio alginolyticus, Vibrio harveyi, and Vibrio vulnificus.[31],[32]

Several bacteria have been reported as pathogenic to fish. Among them, six Gram-negative rods (Aeromonas, Proteus, Citrobacter, Pseudomonas, and Flavobacterium Chromobacterium) and three Gram-positive cocci (Micrococcus and Streptococcus Staphylococcus) have been reported for their pathogenicity.[33]

Probiotic action in fish gut bacteria

The use of probiotic for aquatic animals is increasing with the for environment-friendly sustainable aquaculture.[34] The gut microbiota of aquatic animals is probably constituted by indigenous microbiota jointly with artificially high levels of microorganisms so maintained by their constant ingestion from the surrounding water.[35] Probiotic strain increased the survival of larvae of the crab and Portunus trituberculatus also reduced the amount of Vibrio sp. in the water used to rear the larvae.[24],[36],[37],[38] Subsequently, it has been reported that bacterial strains associated with intestinal skin mucus of adult marine turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) dab (Lima lima), suppressed the growth of the fish pathogen V. anguillarum.[24],[39]

The overall completed study revealed that the isolated Bacillus spp. fulfill the required criteria for probiotics such as acid tolerance, bile salt tolerance, autoaggregation, antibiotic resistance, and antimicrobial activities to harsh conditions; it can be produced bacteriocin extracellular which inhibits pathogenic organisms. These isolates were used for potential probiotics [Table 1].[40]
Table 1: Some features of bacterial species as probiotics

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Dietary Supplements of Probiotics

Dietary supplements such as probiotics originally defined as live microbial feed supplements that beneficially affect the intestinal microbial balance of the host organism [21],[41] and have received heightened attention in aquaculture over the past several years.[2],[21],[42] The symbiotic and pathogenic organisms are affected by prebiotics are played important roles in several processes as well as growth, digestion, and immunity disease resistance of the host organism as demonstrated in poultry,[21],[43] other terrestrial livestock companion animals,[21],[44] as well as in humans [Table 2].[21],[45] At this time, the application of prebiotics in aquaculture has been rather limited but holds considerable potential. However, to effectively apply prebiotics or probiotics in aquaculture, the microbial community of finfishes has to be better characterized understood.[21]
Table 2: Features and differences of probiotics and prebiotics

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  Gastrointestinal Microbiota of Fishes Top

The GIT of invertebrates' vertebrates provides habitat for a diverse ecosystem of microorganisms. These microorganisms play an important role in the health nutrition of the host. The vertebrate GIT is predominantly an anaerobic environment; the GIT microbial community of fishes, especially the anaerobic microbial community, is poorly studied and understood. The majority of studies characterizing the fishes' intestinal microbial community have been aerobic studies,[13],[21] which consequently determined the dominant facultative anaerobic bacteria, but did not cultivate the strictly anaerobic bacteria. Using aerobic methods to culture bacteria have led some investigators to conclude that anaerobic bacteria play a minor role in the GIT microbial community of fishes. For example, Spanggaard et al. concluded that the anaerobic microbial community was a minor component of the GIT microbial community of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss because the plate count estimates direct count estimates produced similar results. However, it is impossible to determine microbial species using microscopic direct count methods, even if the estimates were similar, the species counted cultured could be different. The isolate characterization of anaerobes from the GI tract of fishes; the first was reported by Trust et al. (1979). They isolated bacteria from the GIT of grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idelly, goldfish Carassius auratus, and rainbow trout. The bacteria identified were largely unknown Anaerobic bacteria were next isolated from the intestinal tract of various freshwater fish species.[21],[46]

  Microbial and Ecology of the Gastrointestinal Tract of Fish Top

The dominant bacterial species isolated was not specifically described but was cellulolytic thus may help the host to digest plant materials. Anaerobic studies of the GIT of fishes are essential to fully characterize the microbial community of the host and evaluate the effects of dietary supplements designed to stimulate specific beneficial bacteria. The limited use of strict anaerobic techniques has led to some faulty conclusions. However, their sampling procedure for intestinal microbiota exposed the intestinal contents to oxygen before transfer to an anaerobic bag; thus any obligate anaerobes might have been killed. In addition, the samples were placed on dry ice (−20°C) for up to 96 h, which is lethal to some microorganisms.[21],[47] Weinstein et al. (1982) observed that the intestinal tissue appeared to be the source of the cellulose the intestinal contents had very little if any cellulase activity. However, even after washing the GI tissues thoroughly with water, cellulolytic bacteria may still adhere to the walls of the intestinal lumen and exhibit cellulase activity.

  Bioactive Compounds from Probiotic Bacteria Top

The fish GIT is populated with the complex microbial community. It plays a vital role in promoting the health of the host through the production of secondary metabolites. Probiotic bacteria may produce types of secondary metabolites. The bacterial bioactive compounds are used to inhibit the growth of the human fish pathogens.[48],[49]

The microbial extraction of different bioactive molecules as a valuable source has served in drug discovery efforts in the isolation of several important drugs.[50] The chemical composition of bioactive compounds of microbial origin is often highly complex [Figure 4].[51]
Figure 4: Summary of gastrointestinal (red), nongastrointestinal (blue) and neoplastic (green) disorders that are currently known to respond to probiotics[76]

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  Probiotic Uses in Cancer Therapeutic Applications Top

Probiotics, an example of a functional food, have been the focus of intense research activity in recent years and have been defined as “living microorganisms which upon ingestion in certain numbers exert health benefits beyond inherent general nutrition.”[52] The list of beneficial effects attributed to probiotic bacteria is extensive [53] that includes alleviation of lactose intolerance symptoms; serum cholesterol reduction; anticancer effects alleviating constipation, relieving vaginitis to name but a few (joseph rafter) studies have shown that probiotic bacteria prevent putative preneoplastic lesions or tumors induced by carcinogens such as 1,2-dimethylhydrazine or azoxymethane.[54],[55],[56] Many strains such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG,[56],[57]Lactobacillus acidophilus,[56],[57]Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium longum,[56],[58]Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium adolescentis, and Bifidobacterium breve showed significant suppression of colon tumor incidence [Figure 5].[56] In addition, there is direct evidence for antitumor activities of LAB obtained in studies using preimplanted tumor cells in animal models.[59]
Figure 5: Mechanism of different probiotic action in colon cancers[77],[78],[79],[80],[81]

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Antitumor activity found in peptidoglycans [60] isolated from B. infantis strain ATCC 15697[61] reported antitumor polysaccharide fractions originating from Lactobacillus cultures. Nowadays, food is no longer considered by consumers only in terms of taste, immediate nutritional needs but also in terms of their ability to provide specific health benefits beyond their basic nutritional value. The largest segment of the functional food market is dominated by healthy food products targeted toward improving the balance activity of the intestinal microflora in recent years.[62] The probiotics are suppressed the harmful bacteria by controlling pH of the large intestine through the production of lactic, acetic acids.[63]

Microbial-based therapy of cancer is one of the emerging cancer treatment modalities. Important advancements have been made to study develop live bacteria or bacterial products such as proteins, enzymes, immunotoxins secondary metabolites of bacteria fungi which specifically target cancer cells cause tumor regression through growth inhibition, cell cycle arrests or apoptosis induction.[64]

  Probiotics as Agents Top

Probiotic bacteria have antiviral effects. The mechanism of probiotic bacteria do this is not known, laboratory tests show that the inactivation of viruses can occur by chemical biological substances, such as extracts from marine algae extracellular agents of bacteria. It has been reported that different type of bacterial strains such as Pseudomonas sp, Vibrios sp, Aeromonas sp, groups of coryneforms isolated from salmonid hatcheries, these bacterial are showed antiviral activity against infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) with >50% plaque reduction.[62] Girones et al. (1989) reported that a marine bacterium, tentatively classified in the genus  Moraxella More Details, showed antiviral capacity, with high specificity for poliovirus. Direkbusarakom et al. isolated two strains of Vibrio spp. from a black tiger shrimp hatchery displayed antiviral activities against IHNV Oncorhynchus masou virus (OMV), with percentages of plaque reduction between 62% and 99%, respectively.

  Applications of Probiotics Top

The use of probiotics as beneficial bacteria, which control pathogens through a variety of mechanisms, is increasingly viewed as an alternative to use antibiotics.[24] The use of probiotics in the human animal for the nutritional purpose was well documented [24],[65],[66],[67] recently; they have begun to apply in aquaculture.[25],[68],[69],[70] Some benefits linked to the administration of probiotics are as competitive exclusion of pathogenic bacteria [33],[71],[72],[73],[74],[75] as a source of nutrients enzymatic contribution to digestion [24],[76],[77],[78] as direct uptake of dissolved organic material mediated by the bacteria. Probiotics also act as enhancement of the immune response against pathogenic microorganisms [Figure 6].[21],[69],[76],[77],[78]
Figure 6: Therapeutic application of probiotics

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  Conclusion Top

The probiotics are most commonly used in many ways such as foods and drugs scientific research etc. and the probiotics' main important role is the development of the human animal health. Now, a day's probiotics are classified to uses of human health; the world health organization approved to uses of probiotics in human animals these are generally recognized as safe. In this review, probiotic and its secondary metabolites are used to the development of aquaculture therapeutic applications.[81]

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

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  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6]

  [Table 1], [Table 2]

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