The human body plays host to trillions of bacteria – on the skin, and in the mouth, gut, and vagina. Historically, public perception of bacteria has been negative, and most medical professionals’ knowledge and experience of bacteria have been associated with disease.
But ‘good bacteria’ do exist to benefit our health: they’re called probiotics.
Understanding Probiotic Science
‘Probiotic’ is derived from the Greek pro and bios meaning ‘for life’. The modern history of probiotics starts in the early 20th century with Nobel Prize-winning Russian scientist Eli Metchnikoff who associated the longevity of rural people to their consumption of fermented products.
The Human Genome Project, an international, collaborative research programme that ran 1990-2013, discovered the number of bacteria hosted by humans to outnumber human cells tenfold. Since then, the human body’s been considered an ecosystem for microorganisms.
Our bodies’ bacteria help degrade consumed food, make nutrients available, and neutralise toxins. Also, they play an essential role in defending against infections, protecting colonised surfaces from invading pathogens.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that have a positive effect on the environment they live in, like the human body. With that in mind, it’s simple to understand the concept of probiotic supplements.
Fermented foods like yogurt or kimchi are common sources of probiotics. However, what sets probiotic supplements apart is that they contain specific types of well-researched bacteria.
Different types of bacteria with different characteristics play different roles in the body. Bifidobacteria, for example, normally live in our intestines and stomach, while L. rhamnosus travels around the body. The same goes for their effects – if a specific kind of lactobacillus helps prevent an illness, that doesn’t mean another kind of lactobacillus would do likewise.
“That’s why MAAB has removed the overwhelming choice of probiotics by providing products focusing on the five key health areas: gut health, women’s health, oral health, skin health, and respiratory health,” says Betty Su, co-founder and chief operations officer of MAAB Probiotics. “So, shoppers can easily find a probiotic supplement to suit their own particular health needs.”
MAAB, a New Zealand company founded by pharmaceutical industry veterans, develops and sells a range of probiotic supplements internationally. "A new era of probiotic use
has arrived,” says Betty. “Humans are more mature in understanding ourselves and our relationship with the environment. Finding and using the good bacteria to fight the bad ones to achieve internal balance is the logical, natural way."
MAAB’s Fastmelt range is unlike many other supplement products made as capsules or pills. The tasty-but-sugar-free probiotic powder is easily ingested without water, ideal for those that resent the idea of taking pills to stay healthy – just pour one gram of probiotic powder onto your tongue and enjoy.