UNAIR expert reviews role of probiotics in improving intestinal immune system

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Dr. Alpha Fardah Athiyyah, dr., Sp.A (K)., one of the experts at Airlangga University. (Illustration: Nuri Hermawan)

UNAIR NEWS – Probiotics are live bacteria that can benefit human health when given the right dose, especially in improving the innate immune system in the intestines. It is the opening statement of Dr. Alpha Fardah Athiyyah, dr., Sp.A (K)., in her scientific paper pulished on UNAIR NEWS on Monday, February 1.

In the article about the role of probiotics, dr. Alpha, one of the experts of Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) explained that the immune system of the intestinal mucosa surface exposed to the outside world has an important role in the immune system to fight infection. So disorders that occur in the intestinal mucosal immune system certainly play a role in the occurrence of disease.

In a journal article a entitled “Effects of probiotics on the enhancement of the innate mucosal immune response against pathogenic bacteria”, dr. Alpha also explained that there are several known working mechanisms of probiotics, such as increasing the ratio of good bacteria like  Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli  compared to disease-causing bacteria and compete with disease-causing bacteria for nutrition and adhesions on the surface of the intestines.

“Furthermore, probiotics also work to increase the production of mucin or mucus layer for the body’s defense, increase anti-microbial activity, and influence the intestinal immune response,” she explained.

She also explained that her research used a combined probiotics with a dose of 1 × 10 9  CFU consisting of  Lactobacillus acidophilus ,  L. casei subsp. Casei ,  L. rhamnosus ,  L. bulgaricus ,  Bifdobacterium breve ,  B. infantis , and  Streptococcus thermophilusLipopolysaccharide  (LPS), she continued, is made of  Escherichia coli  so it can resemble bacterial exposure. 

“Our results show that probiotics can enhance the immune system’s response to disease-causing bacteria. This result is in line with research conducted in Argentina and Japan, although this study only uses one type of probiotic, Lactobacillus casei , ” she explained.

At the end, she also emphasized that many studies show different results with this study. Therefore, she argued, the differences were based on research objectives and uncertain mechanisms in understanding the innate immune response.

“However, from studies on the probiotics and non-probiotics when exposed to this LPS, we can conclude that combination probiotics can increase the innate intestinal immune response and maintain a balance of intestinal mucosal immune response against disease-causing bacteria,” she concluded.

Author: Nuri Hermawan

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