The best lactic ferments. Discover the secrets to maintaining a correct intestinal balance. What are the probiotics on the market, the prebiotics, the symbionts and which are the best lactic ferments.


Current research estimates that 70-80% of the cells of the immune system are in the gastrointestinal tract, especially in the colon, and that only 11% is present in the blood. During the life of an individual, the intestinal mucosa comes into contact with an incalculable number of antigens, therefore, the presence of defenses that ensure adequate immune protection is essential.

What is an intestinal microbiota?

The term “intestinal microbiota” (old term still in use: intestinal bacterial flora) defines the microbial community of the enteric tract, consisting mainly of bacteria, as well as yeasts, parasites and viruses, which form a lining of the intestinal mucosa. When these communities live in equilibrium there is a definite condition of eubiosis. In physiological conditions, the microbiota performs a protective function against pathogenic germs, ensures intestinal regularity, promotes the absorption of nutrients, strengthens the defensive functions of the immune system, therefore, the role that a microbiota plays is fundamental for general health. of the organism.

The balance of the microbiota can be altered by various factors, such as antibiotic treatment, nutritional modifications, gastrointestinal motility alterations, malabsorption syndromes, genetic alterations and immune system deficits. Any alteration of this balance caused by the prevalence of some bacteria over others modifies the microbiota and causes the appearance of numerous disorders. This condition is known as intestinal dysbiosis and plays such an important role that it is considered the “mother of all diseases”.

The composition of the microbiota can be controlled through probiotics (oral supplements of vital microorganisms that improve the balance between different intestinal bacterial species, bringing beneficial effects) or prebiotics (oligo-saccharides used by the intestinal flora).

Lactic ferments: what they are

The term “lactic ferment” indicates a bacterium endowed with enzymatic fermentation activity towards milk, of which the sugary component (lactose) is used to feed, grow and multiply, producing at the same time lactic acid and other substances useful for our body. Lactic ferments are commonly found in milk and cheese and are used to make beverages or fermented milk (yogurt). Very often the term “lactic ferments” is used erroneously to indicate “probiotics”.

Probiotics: what they are

Probiotics allow the intake of live microorganisms, including lactobacilli, bifidobacteria and saccharomycetes in order to prevent bacterial infection by enriching the intestinal microflora with microorganisms capable of counteracting the growth of pathogenic bacteria.

On the market there are several products containing different species of these bacteria, in combination and not. These products make the bacterial flora more resistant and reactive; they are used in the prevention and treatment of certain gastrointestinal disorders (diarrhea associated with antibiotics, infectious diarrhea, rotavirus-induced diarrhea in children, lactose intolerance, inflammatory bowel diseases).

In order to be defined as a “probiotic”, a bacterium must possess the following specific characteristics and properties. It must:

  • normally be present in our intestine;
  • be safe for use in humans;
  • have human origin;
  • not be a carrier of acquired and / or transmissible antibiotic resistance;
  • resist the digestive action of gastric juice, intestinal enzymes and bile salts;
  • be able to adhere to intestinal cells and colonize them;
  • have a beneficial effect on human health, thanks to the antagonism towards pathogenic microorganisms and the production of antimicrobial substances;
  • be active and vital in the intestine in such quantities as to justify any beneficial effects observed in efficacy studies;
  • have verifiable viability and conservation stability;
  • be able to persist and multiply in the human intestine;
  • not give immune or otherwise harmful reactions.

On the other hand, “tindalized probiotics” are meant probiotic bacteria subjected to heat treatment at 56°C for 30 minutes which optimize the defensive function of the immune system in the intestine. Heat kills bacteria but preserves their structure and function, making them stable against gastric acids and bile juices, as well as at room temperature, for long periods.

Prebiotics: what they are

Over time, it has been discovered that the probiotic approach has a drawback: before reaching the colon and exercising their specific activity, live microorganisms remain for about 60 minutes in the stomach in an acidic environment and therefore hostile to their survival.

An attempt has been made to overcome this problem by providing specific nourishment to the intestinal microbiota in order to stimulate its growth, rather than implementing it from the outside with the administration of germs. This approach is called prebiotic. According to the definition of the Ministry of Health, prebiotics are “non-digestible substances of food origin which, when taken in adequate quantities, selectively favor the growth and activity of one or more bacteria already present in the intestinal tract or which are taken together. to the prebiotic. Prebiotics are basically soluble dietary fibers found in fruits and vegetables ”.

Specifically, only oligosaccharides act as true prebiotics ((fructo-oligosaccharides (Fos), galacto-oligo-saccharides (Tos), gluco-oligo-saccharides (Gos), soy-oligo-saccharides (Sos)).

The best lactic ferments for maintaining intestinal balance

Associations of probiotics and prebiotics have recently been proposed: their function is to improve the survival of probiotic organisms and to provide a specific substrate for the resident bacterial flora. These associations are defined with the term of Symbiotics.

In Blend Rigenera® (present in the “Erboflora” products), with symbiotic activity, the probiotic strains have unique characteristics and are stable in the acidic environment of the stomach (confirmed by laboratory studies) and the prebiotic components have been dosed with specific ratios: for for example, they respect the Gos / Fos ratio 9: 1 as in breast milk, and this ratio is to be considered fundamental and must be kept unchanged, especially if we consider mother’s milk as the first natural dietary element forming the balanced intestinal microflora of the newborn; they also respect the 10: 1 ratio of bifidogenic fiber (Gos plus Fos) with the lactogenic fiber (polydextrose), considering the 10: 1 ratio existing between bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in a healthy intestine.

Only these characteristics can guarantee efficacy and correct nourishment of the probiotic component and exclude symptoms such as abdominal swelling typical of incorrectly dosed and not carefully selected fibers.

In summary, there are many types of lactic ferments on the market, but if they are not with the right content and ratio, they may not give the desired effect! We have selected for you, for all the reasons indicated above, the Erboflora Line. The Erboflora vials have 3Phase® packaging with a patented triple protective layer to ensure an impenetrable barrier against moisture, guaranteeing the vitality of the enzymes in the vials. You can find, depending on the occurrence: Erboflora Intolerance, Erboflora rigenera, Erboflora junior.

Dr. Laura Comollo

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