Probiotic-containing products have long been studied and appreciated for their positive effect on gastrointestinal (GI) health. The effects of a healthy microbiome reach far more widely than just your gut. Your gut flora affect much more than your digestive health – it affects the health of your entire body, including your brain.
Progast® FloraCare Forte contains the following ingredients per capsule:
Lactobacillus (acidophilus) and Bifidobacterium (longum, bifidum, lactis) 5 billion CFUs
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) 150 mg
Artichoke leaf extract 100 mg
Beta 1,3 Glucan (β-1,3-Glucan) 50 mg
Zinc Gluconate 35 mg
Selenium 10 mg
Manganese 10 mg
Vitamin D3 500 UI
Folic acid (vitamin B9) 250 μg
We have reduced numbers of probiotics due to stress, infection, antibiotic use, and various environmental factors. Probiotics are beneficial in the treatment of gut conditions such as IBS.1
An increasing body of clinical evidence, shows that the role of probiotics reach beyond the GI tract. Just during the last 10 years, numerous studies have shown the potential applications of probiotic bacteria in the mouth2 for prevention and/or treatment of oral diseases.3 The digestive tract starts in the mount, so it is no surprise.
Probiotic bacteria have also been widely recognized4,5 to have other health benefits such as:
- effects on immunological functions
- anti-microbial effects
- protection against pathogenic bacteria
- enhance epithelial barrier function
- improvement of lactose intolerance
- decreasing cholesterol levels
- treatment of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, IBS
- replenishment of intestinal flora after antibiotic therapy and
- weight loss
The benefit of a probiotic is relative to the strain in contains. Two of the more commonly used species in probiotic supplementation, are Lactobacillus6 (more viable in gastric conditions compared to other probiotic species) and Bifidobacterium7 (ferments and digest complex carbohydrates). Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are classified as anaerobic bacteria – they require an oxygen-free environment to grow.8
Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium increase colony numbers after antibiotic use, and a study concluded that these supplementary bacteria are vital in preventing any permanent changes in microbiome after antibiotic treatment.9 Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium produces vitamins such as folate.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Generally used to alleviate nausea, cramping, bloating and indigestion, ginger works by stimulating digestive enzyme secretions in the gut.10
Anti‐inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, and antiulcer effects of ginger have been proven in many scientific studies, and some of the ancient applications of ginger as a home remedy has been confirmed.11
This popular herb helps to relax the smooth muscles in your gut lining and assists with digestion by speeding up the movement of food in the intestinal tract.12 Promising research shows ginger improves, maintains and protects the barrier function during gut inflammation. It did so by decreasing the levels of nitrite.13
Artichoke leaf extract
Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) is an antioxidant rich thistle known to improve digestive and bowel problems such as IBS,14 heartburn, cramping, bloating,15 gas and constipation. In animal studies, liquid extracts of the roots and leaves of artichoke have demonstrated an ability to protect the liver, with possibly even to help liver cells regenerate.
Artichoke increases the production of bile, which helps remove harmful toxins from your liver. In the digestive system, cholesterol is essential for the production of bile — a substance that helps your body break down foods and fats and absorb nutrients in your intestines (especially fat-soluble vitamins). Too much cholesterol in your bile can result in the formation of crystals and then hard stones in your gallbladder. It is this lowering of the cholesterol levels that is giving artichoke heart health benefits.
Due to its specific mechanisms of action, the future use of artichoke leaf extract for the prevention of arteriosclerosis and liver diseases can be expected.16
We need to take note of three specific antioxidants found in artichoke:
- a) Luteolin may help to prevent inflammation and cancer17.
- b) Caffeoylquinic acid helps form bonds with toxic compounds, thus lowering their toxicity18.
- c) Cynarin stimulates bile function, accelerate gut movement, and improves the digestion of certain fats.19
Ginger and artichoke in combination may support gastric motility and help to stimulate the smooth muscle contractions that start in the stomach and move through the intestines (also known as migrating motor complex or MMC). The MMC cleans the small intestine by propelling undigested food residue and cellular debris.
Beta 1,3 Glucan (β-1,3-Glucan)
A prebiotic, known to modulate the immune system. β-Glucan is a naturally derived water-soluble polysaccharide consisting of glucose units. Because it is glue-like and produces short-chain fatty acids, it may delay glucose absorption into the blood, improving postprandial glucose and insulin levels.
It has a capacity of reducing serum cholesterol and excreting bile acids. Higher excretion of bile acids enhances the synthesis of bile acids from cholesterol, which ultimately increase the cholesterol uptake, and thus reduces serum cholesterol.20
β-Glucan has been shown to stimulate the function of innate immune cells and β-1,3-Glucan molecules are almost resistant to the acidic secretions in the stomach. Numerous systematic reviews and meta-analyses indicate the use of β-glucan as a prebiotic fibre.21
Zinc Gluconate is an essential mineral and nutrient in the gut barrier function, and zinc supplementation may aid in restoring the gut lining, ensuring that the intestinal wall is strong and non-porous.22 Recent studies show that zinc deficiency induces damage to the gut membrane barrier.
According to the World Health Organization, diarrhoea kills an astonishing 1.6 million children under five every year. A study23 confirmed that zinc supplementation is effective at treating diarrhoea by reducing the duration and severity, and also helps prevent future bouts of the condition.
Selenium is an essential mineral with anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-cancer potential.24 The composition of the gut microbiota affects selenium levels and intestinal microbes compete for available selenium. So basically Inflammatory bowel conditions can contribute to selenium deficiency, making the gut more vulnerable to disease pathologies. Selenium deficiency increases inflammation and oxidative stress, and the resulting damage to the lining of the gut can actually contribute to gut permeability.25
Manganese is an important micronutrient that plays a vital role in the metabolism of nutrients. It appears that manganese may contribute to decreasing inflammation and pain associated with inflammatory diseases. Manganese has the ability to effect growth on lactobacillus.
Vitamin D deficiency is common in those with inflammatory bowel disorder. Vitamin D is an anti-inflammatory and supports the integrity of the intestinal barrier. According to a study, published26 in the journal Gut, the higher the blood levels of vitamin D, the less likely people were to develop colorectal tumors. Vitamin D, the authors suggest, interacts with the immune system to prevent the growth of this type of malignancy.
The senior author, Dr. Shuji Ogino, an associate professor of pathology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, said: ‘ Vitamin D boosts immunity not just in cancer, but in fighting infections as well.’
Folic acid is a synthetic form of water-soluble vitamin B9 that may be of use to treat atrophic gastritis by preventing or reversing the precancerous lesions. It has been reported that diminished folate status is associated with colorectum cancer. Folate deficiency enhances the development of colonic dysplasia and cancer, providing convincing evidence for the cause and effective relationship between diminished folate status and colon cancer.27
The importance of the gut-brain axis
Is the Secret to Improving Your Mental Health Hiding in Your Gut?
Bidirectional interactions between the brain and your gut flora, might have an important role in modulating the function of the gut.28 Signalling to the brain, the microbiota regulates metabolism, inflammation, hormonal and immunological levels, central and enteric nervous system and many don’t realize it, even your mood and behaviour.
Clinical evidence is mounting to support the role of probiotics to reduce anxiety and stress as well as improving mood.29 Research suggests that pathogenic and non-pathogenic gut bacteria might influence mood-related symptoms.30 Probiotic administration influences the availability of tryptophan, the serotonin precursor, and has a reduction effect on pro-inflammatory immune responses. There is encouraging evidence in support of the proposition that the probiotic Bifidobacteria, may possess antidepressant properties.31
Stress can cause leaky gut, enabling bacteria and toxins to enter the blood stream, causing an immune response that further affect the composition of the gut flora.32 Additional evidence of the importance of this gut-brain axis lies in the very high correlation between stress‐related psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety with gastrointestinal disorders including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD).33
Growing evidence suggests cooperation between the gut flora and nuclear receptors.34A decrease in the desirable gastrointestinal bacteria will lead to deterioration in gastrointestinal, neuro-endocrine or immune relationships and ultimately disease. Enters Progast® FloraCare Forte.
Viability and effectivity
For a probiotic supplement to be effective, it has to not only survive the formulation process, but deliver large numbers of live probiotics and protect them from the harsh effects of the gastric environment and intestinal bile. See diagramme below.35
Progast® FloraCare Forte is encapsulated in novel DRCaps® for maximum freshness and targeted release throughout your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The novel DRCaps® protect the ingredients from degradation in the stomach by stomach acids.
DRcaps® capsules are innovative HPMC (hydroxypropylmethylcellulose) capsules. Owing to their plant-based origin, HPMC capsules are preferred over gelatine capsules by consumers pursuing a plant-based diet. HPMC capsules are also preferred for consumers wanting non-GMO and free-from delivery formats as they are free from preservatives, allergens, starch and gluten.
Certified Vegan, Non-GMO, Vegetarian Society, Halal and Kosher certifications.
*Source: DRCaps® Capsules Achieve Delayed Release Properties for Nutritional Ingredients in Human Clinical Study, 2014
DOSAGE AND DIRECTIONS FOR USE
Our guideline dosage recommendation for using this product may not be suitable to all people. Take 1–2 Progast® FloraCare Forte capsules with 300ml room temperature water at least 30 minutes before or after a meal or other medications, unless otherwise prescribed by a physician. The dosage above has a delayed- release, for targeted delivery of roughly 5 billion CFUs. Recommended for persons 12 years and older. Clinical trials are lacking to provide reliable dosage recommendations that will suit all people, from all medical backgrounds, and therefore you use this product at your own risk.
SIDE EFFECTS AND WARNINGS
Frequency not reported: Hypermagnesemia, magnesium toxicity, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramping, dental disorders, glossitis, dry mouth, excess gas release, loss of appetite. Certain side-effects may not be reported. If you experience a side-effect please report it to your physician immediately.
Even though side-effects may be rare, not everyone is the same in how well they respond to certain substances and sometimes side-effects can be deadly. Tell your physician, and get medical assistance immediately, if you have any of the following signs or symptoms: Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat. Any other concerning abnormalities. Severe diarrhea.
If you have any history of gall stones or obstructed bile passages, please consult a medical practitioner before using this product.
Free from sugar, lactose, gluten, GMO, soya & pesticides. No artificial additives, flavours, colourants & preservatives. Produced in an ISO 9001 facility. For more information, visit Progast.global.
The information published here, does not intend to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The product reviewed has not been evaluated by any regulatory body and is not intended to diagnose treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information given here is not meant to be a substitute for seeing a health professional. It is our opinion only, based on several years of research, in consultation with world experts. We’re sure you’ll find it useful, but please use it wisely and always exercise common sense.
- O’Mahony L, McCarthy J, Kelly P et al. Lactobacillus and bifidobacterium in irritable bowel syndrome: symptom responses and relationship to cytokine profiles. Gastroenterology 2005; 128: 541–51.
- Teughels W, Van Essche M, Sliepen I, Quirynen M. Probiotics and oral healthcare. Periodontology2008;48:111–47.
- McBain A, Madhwani T, Eatough J, Ledder R. An introduction to probiotics for dental health. Food Sci Technol Bull. 2009;6:5–29.
- Mitsuoka T. Recent trends in research on intestinal flora. Bifidobacteria Microflora. 1982;1:3–24.) Inflammatory bowel disease, gut bacteria and probiotic therapy. Int J Med Microbiol. 2010 Jan; 300(1):25-33.
- Makinen K, Berger B, Bel-Rhlid R, Ananta E. Science and technology for the mastership of probiotic applications in food products. J Biotechnol. 2012 Dec 31; 162(4):356-65.
- Vasiljevic T, Shah NP. Probiotics—from Metchnikoff to bioactives. Int Diary2008;18(7):714–28. )
- Carbohydrates: a limit on bacterial diversity within the colon. Rabiu BA, Gibson GR Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc. 2002 Aug; 77(3):443-53.
- Penner R, Fedorak RN, Madsen KL. Probiotics and nutraceuticals: non-medicinal treatments of gastrointestinal diseases. Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2005 Dec; 5(6):596-603.
- Madden JA, Plummer SF, Tang J, Garaiova I, Plummer NT, Herbison M, Hunter JO, Shimada T, Cheng L, Shirakawa T. Effect of probiotics on preventing disruption of the intestinal microflora following antibiotic therapy: a double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study. Int Immunopharmacol. 2005 Jun; 5(6):1091-7.
- Platel K, Srinivasan K. Influence of dietary spices or their active principles on digestive enzymes of small intestinal mucosa in rats. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 1996; 47:55–59.
- Bodagh M, Maleki I, Hekmartdoost A, Ginger in gastrointestinal disorders: A systematic review of clinical trials. Food Science & Nutrition.Nov 2018
- Yamahara J, Huang QR, Li YH, Xu L, Fujimura H. Gastrointestinal motility enhancing effect of ginger and its active constituents. Chem & Pharmaceuticalbulletin. 1990; 38:430–431
- Yunyoung K, Dong-Min K, Yeon Kim, Y. Ginger Extract Suppresses Inflammatory Response and Maintains Barrier Function in Human Colonic Epithelial Caco‐2 Cells Exposed to Inflammatory Mediators. Jnl of Food Science, Mar 2017.
- Walker AF, Middleton RW, Petrowicz O. Artichoke leaf extract reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in a post-marketing surveillance study. Phytother Res. 2001 Feb;15(1):58-61.
- Holtmann G, Adam B, Haag S, Collet W, Grünewald E, Windeck T. Efficacy of artichoke leaf extract in the treatment of patients with functional dyspepsia: a six-week placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicentre trial. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2003 Dec;18(11-12):1099-105.
- Kraft K. Artichoke leaf extract – Recent findings reflecting effects on lipid metabolism, liver and gastrointestinal tracts. Phytomedicine. 1997 Dec;4(4):369-78.
- Negro D, Montesano V, Grieco S, Crupi P, Sarli G, De Lisi A, Sonnante G. Polyphenol compounds in artichoke plant tissues and varieties. J Food Sci. 2012 Feb;77(2):C244-52.
- Heidarian E, Rafieian-Kopaei M. Protective effect of artichoke (Cynara scolymus) leaf extract against lead toxicity in rat. Pharm Biol. 2013 Sep;51(9):1104-9.
- Kirchhoff R, Beckers C, Kirchhoff GM, Trinczek-Gärtner H, Petrowicz O, Reimann HJ. Increase in choleresis by means of artichoke extract. Phytomedicine. 1994 Sep;1(2):107-15.
- Deepak Mudgil. The interaction between insoluble and soluble Fibre. Dietary Fiber for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, 2017
- Mitmesser, M. Combs. Prebiotics: Inulin and Other Oligosaccharides. The Microbiota in Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology, 2017.
- Larson CP, Saha UR, Nazrul H (2009) Impact Monitoring of the National Scale Up of Zinc Treatment for Childhood Diarrhea in Bangladesh: Repeat Ecologic Surveys. PLoS Med 6(11): e1000175
- Negro R. Selenium and thyroid autoimmunity. Biologics. 2008;2(2):265-273.
- Kudva AK, Shay AE, Prabhu KS. Selenium and inflammatory bowel disease. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2015 Jul 15;309(2):G71-7.
- Song M, Nishihara R, Wang M, et al Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D and colorectal cancer risk according to tumour immunity status Gut 2016;65:296-304
- Kim YI. Role of folate in colon cancer development and progression. J Nutr.2003;133:3731S–3739S
- O’Hara AM, Shanahan F. The gut flora as a forgotten organ. EMBO Rep 2006; 7: 688–693.
- Maragkoudakis PA, Zoumpopoulou G, Miaris C, Kalantzopoulos G, Pot B, Tsakalidou E. Probiotic potential of Lactobacillusstrains isolated from dairy products. Int Diary 2006;16(3):189–99.
- Huang TT, Lai JB, Du YL, Xu Y, Ruan LM, Hu SH. Current Understanding of Gut Microbiota in Mood Disorders: An Update of Human Studies. Front Genet. 2019 Feb 19;10:98
- Desbonnet L, Garrett L, Clarke G, Bienenstock J, Dinan TG. The probiotic Bifidobacteria infantis: an assessment of potential antidepressant properties in the rat. J Psychiatr Res2008; 43: 164–174.
- Salvador-Cartier, C.; Fioramonti, J.; Ferrier, L.; Bueno, L. Phenotypic changes in colonocytes following acute stress or activation of mast cells in mice: Implications for delayed epithelial barrier dysfunction. Gut 2006, 55, 655–661.
- Cryan JF, O’Mahony SM. The microbiome-gut-brain axis: from bowel to behavior. Neurogastroenterol Motil2011; 23: 187–192.
- Kalinna Duszka, Walter Whhli. Enteric microbiota-gut-brain-axis from perspective of nuclear receptors. J. Mol. Sci.2018, 19(8), 2210.
- Govender M, Choonara YE, Kumar P, du Toit LC, van Vuuren S, Pillay V. A review of the advancements in probiotic delivery: Conventional vs. non-conventional formulations for intestinal flora supplementation. AAPS PharmSciTech. 2014;15(1):29-43.