- The gist of this article
A recent BBC article ran the headline “Probiotics labelled ‘quite useless” and reports that “A group of scientists in Israel claim foods that are packed with good bacteria … are almost useless.” Immediately, Nutraingredients’ editor Stephen Daniells countered with “No BBC ! Probiotics are not 'quite useless',” explaining how the Israeli scientists completely overlooked the many scientifically documented benefits of probiotic supplements.
Dr. Masquelier’s probiotics research
It is a little known fact that Jack Masquelier, the French scientist who pioneered the isolation and medical/nutritional development of OPCs, also performed seminal research in the field of probiotics. In 1958, Masquelier and his colleague J. Beustes reported how ‒ in guinea pigs ‒ the serious disruption of the intestinal bacterial flora induced by the use of wide-spectrum antibiotics can be alleviated by giving the animals probiotics, in this case the lactobacillus acidophilus. [i] It is a well known fact that antibiotics have the devastating side-effect of destroying the intestinal bacteria and cause moniliasis, which is a yeast infection better known as candida albicans.
Antibiotics kill the bad and the good bacteria. In most cases, this also leads to antibiotic-associated diarrhea or AAD. Although this side-effect is common and frequently more severe in hospitalized elderly adults, it affects anyone taking antibiotics. Investigating the protective effect of lactic ferments in antibiotic therapy, Masquelier found that “bacteriotherapy” remains the most effective weapon against bacterial deterioration in the gut.
The intestinal flora, antibiotics and candida albicans
The bacterial content of your intestines has numerous functions in maintaining health. It forms the “heart” of your immune system, supports a healthy skin, helps you manage weight and obesity, shortens the length of respiratory tract infections and diahrrea, and helps the body in absorbing essential nutrients and other food-born bioactives. In 1959, when the concept of “probiotics” was still in its infancy, Masquelier wrote that in the normal microbial flora in the digestive tract “there are a number of pathogenic species that would become virulent if given the opportunity to proliferate. However, this opportunity often arises in individuals subjected to treatment using wide-spectrum antibiotics. In these patients, the biological balance is dramatically disrupted, [...], and a series of selections and substitutions of flora quickly ensues. […] In the end, the only species to be found in the digestive tract are antibiotic-resistant ones. […] Thus, pathogenic yeasts are selected, the most frequently encountered ones being of the Candida genus.” [ii] Simply put: use of antibiotics produces candida albicans, diahhrea and a host of other side-effects ! Which means that one must use antibiotics only when absolutely necessary and that their use must always be accompanied by taking probiotics.
Healthy gut, probiotics and Masquelier’s OPCs
A healthy intestinal flora not only produces “stand alone” health benefits, but also helps digestion and the uptake of nutrients and bioactives. This is where OPCs take over from your gut, since they support your microvascular system, your capillaries or “hair vessels.” Your capillaries form the organ of exchange of fluids and solids between the blood and the tissues. Nutrients and oxygen are transported into the tisues while waste materials are passed from the tissues into the bloodstream on their way to excretion. Like your intestinal flora, OPCs produce numerous “stand alone” benefits, such as regulating inflammatory processes and fighting oxidative stress. Masquelier’s OPCs, which was shown to enhance the anti-inflammatory effect of the adrenal hormone cortisol and mitigate the release of the allergy booster histamine, certainly has its place in your immune system. Probiotics and Masquelier’s OPCs are “brothers in arms,” helping you to boost your immunity and secure optimum health.
Read more about OPCs in my book OPCs, Dr. Jack Masquelier’s Mark on Health !