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Lactobacillus bulgaricus is now official known as Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus. It is commonly used a starter for yogurt, along with streptococcus thermophilus. It is found naturally in the gastrointestinal tract and  female urogenital tract, especially of people living in Bulgaria. It is part of phylum of Firmicutes.  Like other lactobacillus types it produce lactic acid. The bacteria also thickens yogurt by partially coagulates the milk proteins. Some strains  produce  toxins called bacteriocins, which  inhibit the growth of similar or closely related bacteria (1).

The Nobel prize winner Ilya Metchnikoff, noted for his work on immunity studied the relationship between the longevity of Bulgarians and their consumption of yogurt. In his own theory of aging he suggested that aging was caused by the toxic substances produced by harmful microbes in the intestine.  He attributed the longevity of Bulgarian peasants to their yogurt consumption and suggested that lactic acid produced by bacteria such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus could prolong life (2,3). He drank sour milk every day.

Lactobacillus bulgaricus when administered along with other bacteria has been shown to help in the treatment of ulcerative colitis(4).

Research

 

  1. Simova, E. D.; Beshkova, D. M.; Angelov, M. P.; Dimitrov, Z. P. (2008). “Bacteriocin production by strain Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. Bulgaricus BB18 during continuous prefermentation of yogurt starter culture and subsequent batch coagulation of milk”. Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology. 35 (6): 559–567. doi:10.1007/s10295-008-0317-x.Mackowiak, Philip A. (2013). “Recycling Metchnikoff: Probiotics, the Intestinal Microbiome and the Quest for Long Life”. Frontiers in Public Health. 1: 52. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2013.00052. PMC 3859987Freely accessible. PMID 24350221.
  2. Podolsky, Scott H (2012). “Metchnikoff and the microbiome”. The Lancet. 380 (9856): 1810–1811. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)62018-2. PMID 23189332.
  3. Brown, AC; Valiere, A (2004). “Probiotics and medical nutrition therapy”. Nutrition in Clinical Care. 7 (2): 56–68. PMC 1482314Freely accessible. PMID 15481739.
  4. Ghouri, Yezaz A; Richards, David M; Rahimi, Erik F; Krill, Joseph T; Jelinek, Katherine A; DuPont, Andrew W (9 December 2014). “Systematic review of randomized controlled trials of probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics in inflammatory bowel disease”. Clin Exp Gastroenterol. pp. 473–487. doi:10.2147/CEG.S27530. Retrieved 17 May 2016.

 

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