30 April 2006

Probiotic bacteria aids digestion

Posted in Media, Probiotic at 12:56 am by urbanwild

I'm tracking stories about probiotics. Friendly microorganisms can be a benefit to both people and the planet.

A health dividend without side-effects
By Jane Clarke, The Times nutritionist

THE development of a flatulence-free bean should be a comfort to the tens of thousands of Britons who suffer from digestive problems, but could also bring health benefits to a wider public.

The Venezuelan research is part of continuing studies into the use of what are known as probiotic bacteria to aid digestion. The scientists fermented one such bacterium, Lactobacillus casei, with the beans to decrease the proportion of soluble fibre, a cause of flatulence.

Lactobacillus casei’s benefits have been known for some time and it is a key ingredient in probiotic yoghurt drinks, but the new technique should deliver the bacterium in exactly the right quantities. Its presence should counteract all the negative social effects of the beans while retaining their health benefits.

Bean enthusiasts will probably not be helped much by this development as their systems have become used to eating beans. But those who avoid beans because of worries about flatulence should benefit greatly.

Beans are a cheap source of protein and contain no saturated fat. The modified beans will also have higher levels of insoluble fibre, which has been linked to reduced cholesterol and hence could improve the health of your heart.

If this work is successful then there is no reason why similar methods cannot be applied to other notoriously windy foods, such as cabbage and Brussels sprouts.


1 Comment »

  1. Marianne said,

    Please keep me updated on this information. I am very interested in the possibility of more digestible bean not only for everyone with digestive problems, but the world as a whole.

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