Biotics 101: Going Further Than Probiotics
“Everyone has heard of probiotics in the form of supplements or drinks, claiming to promote ‘good bacteria’ in the gut. But it’s so much more than that. We’ve spent decades researching and developing consumable biotics that aid the body, helping to achieve good gut health, immune health and brain health”. – Dr George Tzortzis, The Y Collection
Biotics and other functional foods are important tools to help maintain humans and animals in good health, for prevention of disease, and/or as alternatives for reducing the risks associated with diseases. Studies conducted on the relationship between the microbiota of the human gut or animal gut and immunology have highlighted the role of biotics in the health of mammals. There is growing evidence suggesting that biotics influence the microbial ecology of the intestines of humans and animals and play a role in alleviating various ailments.
What Exactly are Biotics?
A Biotic is defined as anything relating to living organisms. It is often used to explain influencing factors or conditions in the environment of a living organism that are caused by another living organism or biological entity. For the purposes of this page, we’ll concern ourselves only with consumable biotics that aid the body.
Examples of these are listed below.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that claim to provide health benefits when consumed, generally by improving or restoring the gut flora i.e. the beneficial bacteria. Probiotics are beneficial due to the multiple positive effects from the bacteria-host interaction. They’re beneficial not just by being present; their multiple positive effects are the result of metabolites that they produce and interact with the host. Which metabolites will be produced depends on the diet and lifestyle, something that is very specific to each individual.
There are a multitude of probiotics that have been proven to have health benefits, particularly in the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. Research is still ongoing, and we’re learning more about probiotic strains every day, but some of the more well-researched include Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria, Saccharomyces, Enterococci, Streptococci, Bacilli, Akkermansia and their associated species and strains.
Prebiotics are compounds in food that induce the growth or activity of beneficial microorganisms such as bacteria. The most common example is in the gastrointestinal tract, where selective prebiotics feed our own probiotics.
Think of prebiotics as food for the probiotics in our intestinal tract. Prebiotic foods are fibre-rich, for our gut bacteria to ferment and produce the desired metabolites that offer a health benefit. These include bananas, onions, garlic, apple skins, beans, konjac root and more.
Postbiotics are dead microbes and/or their components that provide numerous health benefits to the host without the need to change the microbiota or its metabolic activity.
The Y SKIN formula is a postbiotic that contains components from a probiotic Bifidobacterium breve involved in communication with the immune system, aiming to guarantee the supply of those beneficial metabolites that promote improved immune fitness, better gut health and a holistic improvement in the body. The Y GUT sensitive formula also contains a postbiotic with a further two ingredients: a prebiotic from bifidobacteria and glucomannan for motility.
Antibiotics are powerful medicines that fight certain infections and can save lives when used properly. They either stop bacteria from reproducing or destroy them before they can multiply and cause symptoms. The immune system can typically kill them too.
White blood cells (WBCs) attack harmful bacteria and even if symptoms do occur, the immune system can usually cope and fight off the infection. Sometimes, however, the number of harmful bacteria is excessive, and the immune system is not fit enough to fight them all. Antibiotics are useful in this scenario.
A synbiotic is defined as a “mixture of probiotics and prebiotics that beneficially affects the host by improving the survival and activity of beneficial microorganisms in the gut.”
Where can you Find Biotics Naturally?
It’s possible to find biotics naturally through certain foods. Prebiotic-rich foods include those in the allium family (garlic, onions, leeks) as well as bananas, nuts, whole grains and legumes. While other foods contain naturally occurring probiotic properties such as fermented foods and drinks like kefir, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut or miso.
However, to get the biotics you need simply from food alone requires you to already have a balanced and diverse microbiome. Otherwise you may be feeding the wrong microbes into your system and experiencing worsening gut symptoms. The distinction is that they are not necessarily reliable sources of beneficial, effective, and live bacteria in adequate amounts, which is where prebiotic supplements (eg fructo-oligosaccharides and galacto-oligosaccharides, which aren’t naturally present in any foods other than human breast milk) come in.
Biotics as Supplements
One's healthy microbiome is not necessarily healthy in another person, so finding the right supplement is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. The answers lie in strain specificity, what this strain is fed on and which metabolites are produced.
Bifidobacterium is called a genus, a ‘group.’ Think back to taxonomy mnemonics from middle school biology (King Phillip Came Over for Good Soup = Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species) and recall that genus is followed by species. Within the Bifidobacterium genus, we have species like Bifidobacterium breve or Bifidobacterium lactis. There is more. Within each species of bacteria, there can also be hundreds or thousands of strains. Strain specificity is very important when it comes to your probiotics, supplements or foods.
Here is an example:
Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 is a non-pathogenic bacterial strain of the infamous Enterobacteriaceae family that has been extensively studied for its beneficial effects on gastrointestinal disorders. Meanwhile, E. coli O157:H7 (a strain designation) is responsible for haemorrhagic diarrhoea and abdominal cramps, leading to kidney failure and death.
The answer becomes simpler if we deliver the active ingredients of well-studied probiotics in a form that doesn't rely on the existing microbiota or lifestyle.
The Y Collection supplements, including Y SKIN and Y GUT sensitive, contain active ingredients from Bifidobacterium breve which are scientifically proven to reinforce the gut barrier, the immune system and the Gut-Skin Axis.
Are Live Bacteria Supplements (Probiotics) Better Than Postbiotics?
There isn't a harsh line dividing which type of supplement is more beneficial to the body. Generally speaking, probiotics that contain 10-15 billion CFU of lactobacilli and/or bifidobacteria and have been well-researched in clinical studies, are good to support a healthy lifestyle.
However, finding the one that works for you can be a bit hit and miss because we are all very different and so are our microbiomes that probiotics aim to modify, which is why The Y Collection range of products are created using postbiotics - more on that further down the page.
Who Should Take Biotics and Why
This goes way beyond just digestive health. The human body is complex and interconnected, and the gastrointestinal system sits at the core of it all. It is connected to and influences everything from gut and immune function to cardiovascular, brain and skin health. So, while gut health benefits are often the most immediate, localised, and conspicuous, biotics can have powerful effects across the entire body.
As our mindset shifts from sick care to self-care, we have become more intentional about our diet, nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle. We now know that beneficial microbes and their components also offer new tools to preventively, proactively, and holistically care for ourselves.
How do The Y Collection Postbiotics work?
The Y Collection postbiotics are active ingredients from a probiotic Bifidobacterium breve. These ingredients are a class of molecules involved in communication with the immune system. We produce them in abundance when we are infants, especially when breastfeeding when our gut is immature and is going through a training process that eventually allows us to move to solid foods. At that time, we have a lot of bifidobacteria, but unfortunately we lose them as we age.
These active ingredients support the gut barrier and prevent the entry of inflammatory stimuli, which is the number one reason for accelerated ageing. They increase our immune resilience and enhance gut function by reproducing the impact of a youthful beneficial microbiota.
Using molecules from bifidobacteria, we set out to enhance gut function by reproducing the impact of a youthful beneficial microbiota. In other words, our products get inside the gut and trick the immune system to become more efficient in preventing health and skin-deteriorating conditions that prematurely age us, and naturally produce more growth hormones in order to promote healthier gut balance.
Achieve good gut health, immune health and brain health through biotics.
Visit our collection for more detail on what our products can do for you, or email us at help@theYcollection.com if you have questions or need more information.