Many of the hundreds of bacterial species that live in our gut (known as the “human microbiome”) are helpful to us: they help us digest certain substances, produce vitamins and fight off more dangerous bacteria. But miscommunication between these bacteria and our gut lining can lead to conditions like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 1.4 million persons in the United States alone may suffer from these diseases.
One type of helpful bacteria often used in yogurt production and in nutritional supplements, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), has been used in attempts to prevent intestinal disorders such as IBD and diarrhea, as well as other conditions such as dermatitis (skin inflammation). However, results generated using whole bacteria have been mixed.
Yan began studying LGG in 2001 while working in the lab of D. Brent Polk, the former director of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Vanderbilt.
From the May 24, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.