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Revista chilena de nutrición

On-line version ISSN 0717-7518


BRUNSER T, Oscar. Therapeutic potential of the use of lactobacilli in gastroenterology and human nutrition. Rev. chil. nutr. [online]. 2013, vol.40, n.3, pp.290-302. ISSN 0717-7518.

Lactobacilli are normal inhabitants of the human intestine. They are also present in maternal milk, where Lactobacillus reuteri was first described. This confirms that maternal milk transfers components of the maternal microbiota to the offspring. L. reuteri ATCC 55730 decreases the intensity and duration of infantile colic defined as episodes of strident crying for at least 3 hours, 3 times a week during 3 months. Its etiology is unknown but recent evidence shows that affected infants harbor less Iactobacilli and more Bacteroides in their feces. In 2008 it was shown that this strain carries plasmidia that could transfer resistance to antibiotics. For this reason L. reuteri it was cured of these factors and this resulted in L. reuteri DSM 17938 which is devoid of them; tests in vitro, in laboratory animals and in humans demonstrated that both strains are equivalent. The effect of L. reuteri in infantile colic may be explained by its blocking at the level of the dorsal ganglia of the spinal chord of the transmission to the central nervous system of afferent pain stimuli. L. reuteri has effects on gastroesophageal reflux probably through the acceleration of gastric emptying and it decreases the incidence and severity of necrotizing enterocolitis. Other positive effects are related to chronic constipation and acute diarrhea. L. reuteri synthesizes a molecule with intense bactericidal activity, β-hidroxy propenal o reuterin from glycerol, which may explain some of its effects. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG ATCC 53103 is probably the probiotic that has been studied the most and for a longer period. It shortens the duration and it decreases the number of evacuations in acute diarrhea as well as the duration and frequency of vomiting. It also induces improvements of antibiotic associated diarrhea and of upper respiratory infections. The positive effects of Lactobacillus GG may be due to the stimulation of innate and adaptive immunity and to the activation of macrophages and of NK lymphocytes. One of its effects refers the response its administration induces in infants with atopy/eccema. Some studies have demonstrated that the severity and extent of the lesions is decreased after Lactobacillus GG administration, that may persist for some years after its administration has been ended. Lactobacillus GG also exerts positive effects on conditions such as the irritable bowel syndrome through mechanisms that are not known with certainty.

Keywords : Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 53730; Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938; Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG ATCC 53103; reuterin; acute diarrhea.

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