These are products of bacterial origin that are released during the fermentation processes of food matrices. Postbiotics are proving to be the latest and most recent frontier against inflammation and chronic infections. The clinical applications of these substances have been the subject of several recent studies. These include those signed by Professor Maria Rescigno, Professor of General Pathology at Humanitas University, who explained how and why these molecules would prove to interact with our immune system, modulating the response, activating it or turning it off in case of an excessive reaction.
What are postbiotics and what do they derive from
In the last few years the use of probiotics and symbionts in the food industry has multiplied as supplements in order to balance the diet and improve intestinal homeostasis. Probiotics and postbiotics is a thriving field of research that attempts to investigate how functional molecules can act directly on our immune system by modifying the flora of intestinal bacteria. Recently the first results arrived to define the effects of some functional molecules deriving from the fermentation of food matrices by probiotic bacteria, called postbiotics. These were subsequently studied as alternatives for clinical applications, particularly in chronic inflammations such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The barrier of intestinal fermentation
“Overcoming the intestinal fermentation step, and making it take place under controlled conditions outside the body with microorganisms, on selected substrates, was the subject of a strand of study that led to a better understanding of the effects of postbiotics – said Professor Rescigno -. After prebiotics and probiotics, postbiotics represent the ultimate goal of the functional food approach in the field of intestinal microbiome and microbiota. Foods are fermented with microorganisms, including probiotics, which, depending on the type, can generate a series of substances with different properties.
Among the most common matrices used in the fermentation process is milk. According to a preclinical study by Prof. Rescigno, the effect of this fermented substance plays a role in inhibiting pathogenic bacteria or viruses in infections and inflammations. “We have noticed an interaction with our immune system that reactivates and extinguishes inflammation. Other studies, such as those conducted by Dr. Gian Vincenzo Zuccotti, director of the department of pediatrics of a well-known nosocomial in Milan, have shown how postbiotics had an effect on patients suffering from atopic dermatitis, an inflammatory skin disease.
Pharmaceutical therapy adjuvant
With the postbiotic and the results obtained so far with them, there is hope for a positive effect of fermented products as adjuvants of drug therapy in the treatment of atopic dermatitis. The new studies will confirm whether these substances are able to make significant progress in the treatment of chronic diseases which are already closely related to the activity of bacterial modulation in the intestine.