Protecting the Goodness
In our last post, we talked about how probiotics are actually living bacteria, and the challenges of getting those living cells from Natren manufacturing facility in California to our customers here in the UK and Europe, so that they are alive and well when they arrive.
Then there is the journey through the body. The gastrointestinal tract is the nutrition path through the body, with two of the primary components being the stomach and the intestines. Probiotics do their work in the intestines, where the “good bacteria” multiplies and forms colonies along the intestinal walls and, helps the body with the digestion process.
However, before making it to the intestines, the probiotics first have to make it through the stomach – which is naturally designed as a bath of low-pH acid intended to break down solids for digestion, and to keep bacteria away from our sensitive digestive system. The difficulty is how to get the “good bacteria” in the probiotic through a system that was designed to keep “bad bacteria” out. They could make an Indiana Jones movie about this journey!
The answer is the delivery system used by Natren. When we deliver our three-strain Healthy Trinity probiotic in capsule form, we use a protective oil matrix that isolates the bacteria from the stomach acid, and also from each other so the strains don’t fight in transit. In our single-strain powder-based products, we use a unique approach – Natren’s Supernatant Advantage.
The “supernatant” is produced during the manufacturing process. At the start of the process, beneficial bacteria are grown using a balanced, nutritionally-rich base called a “culturing medium”. As the bacteria grow and develop, this original culturing medium transforms into what is called a supernatant. While this supernatant is not actually living bacteria, it is intrinsically part of the bacteria’s environment, is nutritionally rich, and is beneficial to both the bacteria, and to the human or animal recipient.
Many probiotic manufacturers skim away this supernatant as a way of greatly reducing the amount of material that needs to go through the expensive freeze-dry manufacturing process. This may yield major cost savings, however it strips away the natural nourishment and protection from the bacteria, leaving it exposed and prone to damage.
Natren is different. We leave this intrinsic supernatant protection in place. It is quite costly to produce this way, but the supernatant serves a valuable purpose in naturally protecting the bacteria through the stomach, ensuring that it is healthy, and provides the bacteria with everything it needs to produce viable colonies when it reaches the intestine.
Packaging matters, and not just the physical bottle. By optimizing the immediate environment of the bacteria and giving it everything it needs to survive the journey, we are able to guarantee the quality and viability of the probiotic from manufacture to consumption – a claim that makes Natren the leading choice of probiotics for people who are serious about their health.