Innovative probiotics and systemic bioactive metabolites. Anti-ageing potential


The benefits attributed to probiotics are increasing steadily. In addition to positive effects on intestinal microbiota and bowel functioning, growing evidence suggests the systemic importance of some strains, in many cases ascribable to the production of bioactive metabolites. This study investigated the ability of selected probiotic microorganisms to synthesise folates and antioxidant molecules, and to lower plasma cholesterol concentration. These activities have been exhaustively evaluated and quantified by in vitro and animal model studies and, in the case of vitamin B9, also by a pilot human intervention trial.

Bifidobacterium catenulatum/pseudocatenulatum BA 03, B. lactis BA 05 and B. pseudocatenulatum BC 01 showed a significant production of folates, maintained also in the human gut. The strains Lactobacillus acidophilus LA 06, L. brevis LBR 01 and B. lactis BS 05 were characterised by their ability to synthesise molecules with antioxidant capacity, with particular reference to glutathione and superoxide dismutase (SOD). B. bifidum MB 109, B. breve MB 113, B. lactis MB 2409, B. bifidum BB 06, B. lactis BS 07 and B. infantis BI 02 showed two, in some ways complementary, mechanisms capable of mediating the reduction of plasma cholesterol. This study confirmed the characteristic of specific probiotic bacteria to synthesise bioactive metabolites that can be absorbed through the intestinal mucosa, therefore becoming systemically relevant. In particular, folates, antioxidant molecules and the active lowering of plasma cholesterol, a well known cardiovascular risk factor, may play an important role in healthy ageing.

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Correspondence to Luca Mogna.

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This article is a translation from Mogna L, Mogna G, Probiotici innovativi e metaboliti bioattivi sistemici. Potenziali antiage. L’integratore nutrizionale 2012, 15(2): 9–21

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Mogna, L., Mogna, G. Innovative probiotics and systemic bioactive metabolites. Anti-ageing potential. Nutrafoods 11, 151–164 (2012).

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  • probiotics
  • folates
  • antioxidants
  • cholesterol-lowering effect
  • healthy ageing
  • bioactive metabolites