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Genus, Species and Strains: A Probiotic Primer

WHITE PAPER What’s In Your Probiotic? A probiotic is only as good as its bacterial components. Organized by genus, species and strains, bacteria do battle in the body with different strains exerting discrete benefits for different parts of the body. Probiotics’ adaptive qualities make them stellar defenders of gut health, as they perform double duty banishing bad bacteria, while building up better bacteria to create a more robust immune system*.

Our probiotic primer is your guide to the quality components within our Flora product line. With a baseline of genera capsuleLactobacillus and Bifidio, we have added a range of strains, each with its own distinctive properties. We’ve provided source, characteristic, gastrointestinal performance and health benefits for each strain. Behold the power of the probiotic.

Microbes outnumber human cells in the body by 10 to 1. Taking up residency in the intestines, microbes release substances that determine whether human genes turn on or off and influence the immune system’s defenses against pathogens. More than 1,000 different species of bacteria with more than 3 million genes, work industriously to affect digestion, metabolism, vitamin synthesis, host cell development, immune system function, intestinal barrier function and pathogen defense*.

The number is impressive, yet it’s the elaborate interplay amidst the bacterium, fungal cells and the human cells that have roused the attention of researchers, who are delving deeper into the role the human microbiome plays in health maintenance.

Keen Adapters

The microbe population changes in response to diet, medication, age, environment and other factors. This dynamic ecosystem strives toward balance daily. The quickly shifting ecosystem calls for an equally responsive supplement that can proactively alter the microbiota to keep the human body on the path toward health.* Probiotics play that role with zeal, because of their unique ability to directly and indirectly affect the activities of colonizing microbes.*

It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. The variety of genus, species and strains of probiotics is vast and expanding as scientists and formulators develop new hyper-specific strains in the laboratory. It’s vital to know the properties and capacities of each strain, so the product you prescribe is most effective. Get to know your genera above and beyond the patriarchs, Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium, and uncover the potential of the probiotic.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


Have you thought about digestive enzymes? Probiotics are but one step in the process to restore digestive health. Learn more the role of supportive enzymes, A Synergistic Approach to Supporting Digestive Health (GI Response) and a free White Paper. 

References, respective of slideshow order.

  1. SP Borriello et al. Safety of Probiotics That Contain Lactobacilli or Bifidobacteria. Clin Infect Dis. 2003, 36 (6): 775-780.
  2. L Rodrigues da Cunha, et al. Characterization of Lactobacillus gasseri isolates from a breast-fed infant. Gut Microbes. 2012 Jan-Feb;3(1):15-24.
  3. MJ Loera-Arias et al. Secretion of biologically active human interleukin 22 (IL-22) by Lactococcus lactis. Biotechnol Lett. 2014 Dec;36(12):2489-94.
  4. GB Erkens GB, Slotboom DJ. Biochemical characterization of ThiT from Lactococcus lactis: a thiamin transporter with picomolar substrate binding affinity. Biochemistry. 2010 Apr 13;49(14):3203-12.
  5. MA Ciorba. A gastroenterologist’s guide to probiotics. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Sep;10(9):960-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2012.03.024.
  6. Rebecca Martin et al. Role of commensal and probiotic bacteria in human health: a focus on inflammatory bowel disease. Microbial Cell Factories 2013, 12:71  doi:10.1186/1475-2859-12-71
  7. Loris R Lopetuso et al. Commensal Clostridia: leading players in the maintenance of gut homeostasis. Gut Pathogens 2013, 5:23  doi:10.1186/1757-4749-5-23
  8. K Neeraj et al. Deciphering a tete-a-tete between microbiota and the immune system. J Clin Invest. 2014;124(10):4197-4203. doi:10.1172/JCI72332.

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