This project has the following objectives these are:
<OL> <LI> A preliminary study of the contents of all probiotics on the UK market was completed in preparation for this project. This non-agency funded work involved the use of a number of methodologies to recover all live microbial strains. These strains were identified genotypically and phenotypically, and used in subsequent survival studies.
<LI> The selected probiotic bacteria will be treated with digesta that resemble the gastric and small intestinal environments. This will determine where in the GI tract probiotic organisms are able to survive.
<LI> A model of the human large intestine that reflects microbial events in the ascending, transverse and descending regions of the colon. The use of this model will not only gauge survival, but will allow the ability of probiotic organism to persist in the prescence of a complex microbiota to be assessed. Only strains that survive the upper gut challenges will be tested.
Probiotic supplements are now widely available for human use in the UK. These range from fermented milks to lyophilised forms containing both single and multiple bacterial strains.
However, there is little comparative data on the survival of probiotics within the human gut.<P> This project builds on existing information on the microbial content of currently available probiotics and assesses survivability.
This will involve assessing the ability of individual probiotic bacteria to survive in models of each of the gastric, small and large intestinal regions and will look at effects on the colonic microflora balance.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.