Gut Microbiota and Probiotic Science Foundation (India) hosts two-day symposium “Probiotics Through the Lifespan” at Amity University
A growing number of studies are showing that specific probiotic bacteria could be useful in improving the balance of the intestinal microbiota and modulation of the immune system
Recent studies suggest that gut health determines the overall health and immunity of everyone who is battling with modern day stress, malnutrition and various lifestyle disorders like diabetes, hypertension, cancer etc. The concept of probiotics which literally means, “For Life” has emerged as a scientifically proven way to increase beneficial bacteria in the intestine that are absolutely essential for life and help improve gut health and build immunity.
With a focus to establish the relevance of the intestinal microbiota and role of probiotics and its benefits during pregnancy, neonates,infants, children, adults and the elderly, the Gut Microbiota And Probiotic Science Foundation (India) along with Amity University, Kolkata, ICMR – National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), Kolkata and the Indian Institute of Liver and Digestive Sciences (IILDS), Kolkata is hosting a highly informative and interactive two-day scientific symposium – “Probiotics Through the Lifespan” on November 24-25, 2018 at Amity University, Kolkata.
Dr John D Clemens, Executive Director, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) was the Chief Guest at the symposium. Leading National and International experts in this field such as Prof N K Ganguly, Prof of Eminence (Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences), New Delhi, Prof Yoshifumi Takeda, Emeritus Member, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, Dr Masanobu Nanno, Deputy Director, Yakult Central Institute, Tokyo, Japan, Prof G Balakrish Nair, Former Regional Advisor, World Health Organization, SEARO, Prof Dhrubajyoti Chattopadhyay, Vice Chancellor, Amity University, Kolkata, Prof Abhijit Chowdhury, Secretary, Board of Governors, Indian Institute of Liver and Digestive Sciences (IILDS), Kolkata, and Dr Shanta Dutta, Director, ICMR – National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), Kolkata were present at the symposium. Some of the recent findings suggest that what a woman eats during pregnancy can influence her microbiome and affect the baby’s risk of allergies, asthma, obesity and metabolic diseases. Researchers think that giving the right probiotic during pregnancy could give a child’s microbiome the best start in life.
In adulthood too, imbalance in the microbiome of adult individuals has been linked to diseases like cancer, alzheimer’s disease, crohn’s disease, diabetes and ulcerative colitis. A growing number of studies are showing that specific probiotic bacteria could be useful in improving the balance of the intestinal microbiota and modulation of the immune system.
Among the elderly, owing to their weak digestive system and poor immunity, several studies have shown that there is an increase in harmful pathogenic organisms and their toxins as one ages. The Eldermet study conducted on a large cohort of elderly people in Ireland in 2008 showed that there were significant differences in the intestinal microbiome of these individuals. Several studies have shown that probiotics may reduce the risk of upper respiratory disorders and colon cancer.
Giving the welcome address at the symposium, Prof N K Ganguly, President, Gut Microbiota and Probiotic Science Foundation (India) said, “We are happy to organise this symposium in Kolkata where the latest advances about the science of intestinal microbiota and probiotics will be shared, exchanged and debated. This is a key area of research and translation which spans human health across ages.”
Reiterating the benefits of probiotics, Prof Dhrubajyoti Chattopadhyay, Vice Chancellor, Amity University, Kolkata said, “My experience of working in the field of Metagenomics convinced me that probiotics will help us fight against drug resistantbacteria. Adding to this Prof G Balakrish Nair, Former Regional Advisor, World Health Organization, SEARO, New Delhi said that the urgent public health threat to antibiotic resistance and need for reduced use could possibly be met with the use of alternate interventions like probiotics.”
Speaking on the importance of probiotics, Prof Yoshifumi Takeda,Emeritus Member, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan in his special talk said, “The paper that appeared on January 5, 2018 issue of science that reported the effective influence of gut microbiota, especially Akkermansia muchiniphila on PD-1-based immunotherapy against epithelial tumors including melanoma suggests a brilliant future of probiotics.”
According to Dr Masanobu Nanno, Deputy Director, Yakult Central Institute, Tokyo, Japan, “Microorganisms exist in not only the environment but also all livings. Previously, microorganisms were thought to cause disease, but current understanding is that we and the microorganisms co-evolve and the commensal microorganisms are necessary for us to grow and develop normally. However, gut microbiota could be disturbed by various factors including diet, antibiotics-usage and ageing. Therefore, probiotics are safe and useful to maintain the health through recovering well-balanced gut microbiota.”
Speaking on the benefits of probiotics, Prof Anura Kurpad Professor & Head, Division of Physiology & Nutrition, St John’s Medical College, Bengaluru said, “Take care of your colon – it needs good bacteria and those in turn need good substrates or prebiotics.”
According to Prof Abhijit Chowdhury, Secretary, Board of Governors, Indian Institute of Liver and Digestive Sciences (IILDS), Kolkata, “Fecal transplants, a procedure where the fecal matter is transferred from a donor to a patient to repopulate their colon has already begun to prove its utility in treating diseases including ulcerative colitis, Clostridium difficile infection and crohn’s disease.”
Dr Shanta Dutta, Director, ICMR – National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) said, “India accounts for a fifth of the world’s births and quarter of the world’s child deaths. Diarrhoea is among one of the most important reasons for childhood mortality and studies suggest that certain probiotic bacteria could reduce the incidence and duration of diarrhoea.”
Although the concept of probiotics is still nascent in India, the increasing scientific credibility and the emerging holistic concept of health that focuses on promoting good health rather than the manifestations of ill health will see the probiotic category advance as an important functional food for promoting and maintaining good health.