Streptococcus thermophilus-From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(ex Orla-Jensen 1919)
Schleifer et al. 1995
|Streptococcus salivarius subsp. thermophilus (Orla-Jensen, 1919) Farrow et Collins 1984|
Description of the Streptococus thermophilus
Streptococcus thermophilus (sometimes called Salivarius subsp. thermophilus) is a gram-positive, fermentative facultative anaerobic bacterium. This means it can survive with or without oxygen. It grows best between 35C and 42C.
This probiotic is often found in the colon and has many digestive, immunity & many other researched health benefits.
Streptococcus thermophilus synthesises antibiotic chemicals to prevent infection from harmful bacteria that cause upper respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia, Clostridium difficile, as well as those in the gastrointestinal tract and help prevent ulcers. Along with all of that it provides general support for the immune functions.
It is widely used in the dairy industry, and found in fermented products such as yoghurt and cheese. An example of how popular it is, in 1998 1.02 billion Kg of mozzarella cheese and 621 million kg of yoghurt were produced using Streptococcus thermophilus.
Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricu are the starter culture for true yoghurt. Most yoghurt today is of little probiotic value as they do not use these cultures and they generally expose it to Pasteurisation which then destroys the “bad” bacteria as well as the “good”.
Health Benefits of Streptococus thermophilus in Brief.
One of the biggest benefits is in lactose intolerance as it assists in the milk digestion.
Cancer treatments cause serious damage to the tissue around it and treatment cancers of the intestinal tract damage can be reduced by S. thermophilus.
Other benefits include, boosting the immune system, assisting in the prevention of autoimmune diseases, assisting in absorption of nutrients, antibiotic-associated diarrhoea.
Streptococcus thermophilus is known to promote gastrointestinal health.
Therapeutic uses of Streptococus thermophilus
This is the most popular use for probiotics. The diarrhoea is thought to be due to the fungal over growth in the large intestine, as there is no longer any competition for food from the bacteria.
This is the same as the diarrhoea but is often in women, vaginal, and babies, oral.
The S. thermophilus breaks down the lactose in the milk, assisting in milk digestion in lactose intolerant people. It can be used by infants to geriatrics. The breakdown of lactose into lactic acid reduces the ph of the area, which causes the milk to curdle. The reduced ph prevents the growth of “bad” bacteria who are generally unable to survive in low ph.
Mucositis or inflammation of the the intestines, mainly the small intestine, can be a serious side effect of cancer treatment. It can be fatal. There is no effective drug treatment on the market to fix this. The use of S. thermophilus has been used to great effect to improve the health and functioning of the affected intestines.
Mice injected with cancer cells then treated with Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus, the incidence of lung cancer was 33% less than expected.
Colon cancer reduction is another effect of taking this probiotic regularly.
The possible mode of action for protection is the natural ability of Streptococcus thermophilus to prevent transformation of nitrates into cancer-causing nitrites.
Other conditions that are treated by Streptococus thermophilus
- improve digestion
- thermophilus correlates with better growth in children
- decrease ulcerative colitis symptoms
- decrease leaky gut symptoms
- decrease IBS symptoms
- decrease acute diarrhoea
- enhance immunity
- prevent & fight upper respiratory infections (eg. pneumonia)
- decrease AIDS symptoms
- fight Clostridium difficile
- increase immunity
Additional health benefits
- improve non-breast-fed infant probiotic flora
- reduce symptoms of atopic dermatitis
- decrease chance of kidney stones
- increase HDL (good cholesterol)
- increase anti-tumor activity
- decrease baby colic
As research continues to produce varied strains of Streptococcus thermophilus, the usefulness of this probiotic seems limitless. Its effects on digestive and overall health have already been widely documented. Its benefits to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy are beginning to be understood. Streptococcus thermophilus is one of the many reasons probiotics are changing the health industry.
This supplement is being examined for its effects on cholesterol and cardiovascular health, improving allergies and atopic dermatitis and even for its effects on cancer tumours.