View Full Version : Beneficial bugs in beverages
11-28-2007, 06:17 AM
I was reading this article yesterday about 'Bionade' (http://news.independent.co.uk/health/article3199343.ece) - a new-fangled health drink made by strict German brewery regulations. In comparing it to mass-manufactured soft drinks the Managing Director of the company states:
...while soft drinks are often loaded with cheap, aggressive acids, Bionade's is a product of natural micro-organisms at work. "And the presence of micro-organisms is a good indication of a healthy product," suggests Kowalsky. "Put these in a cola and they'd die."
Maybe it's all the adverts about for 'friendly bacteria'-loaded yoghurts, but this rings true to me - if our bodies are riddled with symbiotic micro-organisms then it makes sense to cultivate a habitable environment.
As a rule, is the presence of micro-organisms a 'good indication of a healthy product'? Do 'sterile' products such as cola 'sterilise' the gut in some detrimental way? Or are our gut bacteria sturdy enough to take whatever we through at them?
11-28-2007, 09:56 AM
As a rule, is the presence of micro-organisms a 'good indication of a healthy product'?
No. If "good bacteria" can grow in it then it's likely that "bad organisms" can grow too. I use the terms "good" and "bad" reluctantly.
Do 'sterile' products such as cola 'sterilise' the gut in some detrimental way? Or are our gut bacteria sturdy enough to take whatever we through at them?
The main ways to disrupt the natural gut flora is to take an antibiotic (or antiseptic) or get an infection with pathogenic organism.
I've heard similar claims about oligosaccharides. Wikipedia entry for Oligosaccharide (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligosaccharide) has some info but no cites:
When oligosaccharides are consumed, the undigested portion serves as food for the intestinal microflora. Depending on the type of oligosaccharide, different bacterial groups are stimulated or suppressed.
Clinical studies have shown that administering FOS, GOS, or inulin can increase the number of these friendly bacteria in the colon while simultaneously reducing the population of harmful bacteria.
11-28-2007, 10:26 AM
Last night at the scout camp
They gave us a drink
We thought it was Kool-Aid
Because it was pink.
But the thing that they told us
Would have grossed out a moose
For that great tasting pink drink
Was really bug juice.
It looked fresh and fruity
Like tasty Kool-Aid
But the bugs that were in it
Were murdered with Raid.
We drank it by gallons
We drank it by tons
But early next morning
We all had the runs.
Next time you drink bug juice
And a fly drives you mad
He's just getting even
'Cause you swallowed his dad.
(Tune: On Top of Old Smokey)
11-28-2007, 10:27 AM
Without e-coli, I'd be dead, but I don't want to be ingesting it.
I think there are too many sweeping statements from the makes about what is good and what is bad.
Is e-coli good? Yeah, cause I'd be dead without it. Is it bad? Sure, if it kills you.
You don't need to ingest anything from a soft drink that has pro-biotics or other 'healthy' organisms. If you do, you have another underlying problem.
11-28-2007, 11:00 AM
The "agressive acids" in soft drinks don't survive the first section of the small intestine. Natural stomach fluids are more acidic than any soft drink, but in the duodenum, the acidity is neutralized by digestive juices. The stuff you ate remains alkaline all they way to the last part of the large intestine. When it turns acidic again, the chemosensors let you know it's time to poop.
In the US, the brand Activia claims to contain a strain of microbes that will "keep you regular." The brand DanActive claims to contain several different strains of microbes to strengthen your immune system. I don't have enough data to support or dispute either claim.
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