Guest Interview

Impact of Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) Fermented Extract on Skin and Eczema (#Biogenics16 series)

Last week, we learnt much about LAB Fermented Extract (Biogenics 16) and its effects on a child’s intestinal health, as well as the dosage and safety of Biogenics 16. This 2nd part of the series will focus on clinical studies on LAB Fermented Extract’s effect on skin and eczema, specifically examining the two published studies conducted by Japan researchers. It is seen in various studies the preventive effect of probiotics on onset of eczema and today’s sponsored post focus will be on lactic acid bacteria (LAB) fermented extract and its efficacy on skin.

As always, I appreciate that the marketing team at Lifestream Group has gone the extra mile to provide the case studies below and also to have the manufacturer and its team of medical professionals answer questions on Biogenics 16.

Studies on Biogenics Probiotic extract kids health and skin

The study of the effect of LAB Fermented Extract on atopic dermatitis was conducted by Dr Shigehiro Tsuchiya of Tsuchiya Hospital, Japan.

Patients: 2 children (boys), age 7 and 9

Skin condition: Reactive skin conditions characterized by generalized rashes with itch; treatment received had included oral and topic administration of 10cc per day of LAB Fermented Extract.

Duration of study: 2 months

Finding: Rashes improved gradually over two months and no longer visible, with decreasing IgE levels. No relapse of rash was seen within the next 12 months.

MarcieMom: I understand that the study was a case study, instead of a double-blind placebo controlled study. Whenever it comes to atopic dermatitis, it is difficult to control all variables due to eczema being a multi-factorial condition. To give some background to readers, many of whom are parents of eczema children, is there information on:

(a) How long did the two boys have eczema and did they have any confirmed allergies?

Both boys have been identified with eczema years prior to the study.

(b) Did the two boys continue with their corticosteroid topical or oral application during the two months of taking LAB?

They did not continue with any oral forms of medication, except for a topical corticosteroid during the test period. The test results were measured according to IgE level which has more relevance to consumption of LAB Fermented Extract. Test results indicate a significant improvement after using LAB Fermented Extract.

Study image Probiotics Fermented Extract
Image from the study provided by Lifestream Group

(c) Were there any other eczema therapeutics that were given to the two boys during the two months? (for instance, bleach bath therapy, wet wrap therapy)

No other eczema therapeutics was given to the 2 boys during the test period of 2 months. Results observed were based on the beneficial effects of LAB Fermented Extract (Biogenics 16).

MarcieMom: More research is showing the link between our gut flora and our skin flora. Similar to the intestinal gut, our skin has both good and bad bacteria. In an interview with former president of American Academy of Dermatology, readers have learnt that our skin has beneficial bacteria, e.g. staphylococcus epidermidis and bad bacteria such as S. aureus and S. pyogenes. Of interest to eczema sufferers is staphylococcus aureus which frequently colonizes eczema skin, making it difficult for eczema to recover while increasing skin inflammation.

I’d like to understand the mechanism of how LAB Fermented Extract improves eczema, does it

(a) Impact the skin flora by encouraging growth of beneficial bacteria on the skin, or

There have been studies showing the effectiveness of topical probiotics in inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria, virus and yeast in skin. In the study by Dr Shigehiro Tsuchiya of Tsuchiya Hospital, Japan, it is reflected that oral and topical application of Biogenics 16 is effective in improving the condition of atopic dermatitis in the 2 subjects. Since LAB Fermented Extract does not contain live bacteria, the risk of allergies or rejection by skin flora can be further minimized. However, further research is still being carried out at this point on the exact benefits in topical application of Biogenics 16.

(b) Impact the skin health by encouraging growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestine or other mechanism?

A healthy intestine with balanced gut flora is important to keep the skin healthy and for overall well-being. Unhealthy intestine dominated with bad bacteria may be one of the causes of poor skin condition which may be due to the following possibilities:

1. Unbalanced gut flora increases intestinal permeability, leading to a condition known as “leaky gut syndrome”. This means that bad bacteria, toxins, undigested foods and other foreign substances gets leaked out into the bloodstream, contributing to systemic inflammation which may lead to poor skin condition.

2. The damage to the mucosa triggers an inflammatory reaction from the immune system. The continuous cycle of inflammation worsens the state of the gut, leading to poor skin health.

Different from probiotics or prebiotics, LAB Fermented Extract does not contain live bacteria, but instead is a high strength extract resulted from the co-culture of 16 unique strains of Lactic Acid Bacteria extracted using a unique, patented extraction process. It encourages the proliferation of our intestine’s own good bacteria, while suppressing bad bacteria. When the condition of intestinal permeability is improved, skin condition will also be improved, as less foreign substances can reach the bloodstream. This will reduce skin inflammation as well as lower the level of IgE, which can be identified from the clinical study by Dr Shigehiro Tsuchiya in the chart in fig.1

igE values with LAB fermented extract
Image provided by Lifestream Group

By supporting the improvement of our intestinal health with LAB Fermented Extract, much of the mentioned symptoms, including skin condition may then be improved.

The next skin-related study was on Effects on Female Beauty, by Dr Shintaro Hashimoto, Daimyo-cho Skin Clinic, Japan.

Subjects: 75 female, age 30 to 70 (average age of 35)

Duration of study: 30 days

Finding: Improvement in skin texture, skin moisture retention, reduction in acne and skin breakout, improvement in skin elasticity; This was seen that sulcus, or grooves in the skin, straightened and the skin became smoother.

MarcieMom: This is an interesting study and possibly have implications for people with defective skin barrier. Often, the skin barrier is considered defective for eczema children because it is dry (inability to retain moisture and short of skin lipids) and porous (vulnerable to irritant penetration). An improvement in skin texture and moisture retention is therefore helpful and since LAB Fermented Extract is safe for infants, theoretically, parents have another ‘tool’ to use to prevent the onset of eczema. (The studied ‘tool’ is via moisturizing from 3 weeks old for high-risk infants.)

Moreover, we have seen research whereby sensitization to food comes from outside-in, i.e. via the skin. It is therefore of great comfort to parents to ‘arrest’ the allergic march by strengthening the child’s skin barrier from young.

Again, can you explain

(a) the mechanism of how a healthy gut affect the skin barrier?

Our intestine is the largest immune organ in our body. Many of the skin issues occurring maybe caused due to a lowered immunity. Therefore by improving our intestinal health through proliferation of our good bacteria and suppressing the bad ones, we will be able to effectively improve our immunity, in turn relieving skin symptoms.

(b) the layer of skin cells (epidermis, dermis) that improved with LAB Fermented Extract?

Results of the study is based on a questionnaires answered by the subjects on their skin condition. Other skin texture improvement in this study is being observed and analyzed on the epidermis of the skin. Improvement in epidermis often is reflected when there is improvement in the base layer and dermis of the skin.

(c) whether the improvement in the skin cells is permanent or is it one whereby LAB Fermented Extract has to be taken regularly to maintain the improved skin barrier?

Our body is constantly under attack from harsh environments, processed foods, stressful lifestyles and also ever changing virus strains. All these contribute to a lowered immunity, which also affects other parts of our body including skin condition. By ensuring that our intestine has sufficient support in maintain a good colony of good bacteria and suppressing bad bacteria, it will lower chances of skin issues, helping us maintain not use good quality skin, but optimal health.

Biogenics 16 is also recognized by more than 850 clinics in Japan, many of which is skin related.

Once again, thank you to Lifestream Group Pte Ltd, for sponsoring this series.

Get additional $5 of website price when you purchase Biogenics 16 at Simply quote coupon code MEI5OFF upon check out to get the discount.

  • Promotion valid from 3-31 Dec 2015
  • Terms & conditions apply

Lifestream manages LABO NutritionTM under which Biogenics 16 is distributed. Parents can understand from this sponsored post how taking LAB supplement can affect the skin and potentially, improve eczema.

Guest Interview

Impact of Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) Fermented Extract on Children’s Health (#Biogenics16 series)

Intestinal health has gained importance in recent years due to studies that showed the link between intestinal health and numerous other health conditions, (beyond gastrointestinal conditions) even to skin and allergic conditions. It is known that not all probiotic strains are effective and also not all probiotic supplements are of high density and quality to have an effect on intestinal balance.

Today’s sponsored post is on LAB Fermented Extract, known as Biogenics 16 in Singapore. Questions are answered by the manufacturer and its team of medical professionals, an aspect which I appreciate as it showed the level of commitment and transparency. The key features of Biogenics16 and its impact on a child’s health are the focus of this 2-part blog series.

Biogenics Probiotic extract children health

Feature #1 High Strength with 16 Unique Strains of LAB

LAB fermented extract is neither prebiotics or probiotics, but an extract of secretions and bacteria body substance of lactic acid bacteria from 16 high strength bacteria strains through a patented extraction technology. The 16 bacteria strains include L. acidophilus, L. brevis, L. casei, L. curvatus, L. fermentum, L. plantarum, L. rhamnosus and L. salivarius.

It was observed by the late Dr Kazuyoshi Masagaki that ingested probiotic supplements do not survive well in body temperature and the acidic stomach environment, thus expelled as the body may not recognize it as its own. Instead lactic acid bacteria (LAB) fermented extract helps the body proliferate and grow its own good bacteria. At the same time, it also strengthens the immune cells, 70% of the body’s immunity cells are found along the intestinal walls.

MarcieMom: I read your report that about 95% of probiotics ingested get destroyed by stomach acid and most probiotics degenerate at temperature more than 25 degrees C. It is indeed worrying as probiotics products are not cheap and if most of them get destroyed, it appears then it is of limited efficacy. On the other hand, Biogeneics 16 uses an organic, non-GMO soya bean broth as a culture medium, to cultivate and extract the friendly strains with patent technology to encourage the body to grow its own friendly bacteria while diminishing the bad bacteria.

Like to clarify:

a. When we talk about probiotics, we usually talk about the strains to be at least in billions of colony forming units (CFU). What is the equivalent unit of measure for Biogenics 16?

Biogenics 16 does not contain live bacteria. It is instead an extract of Secretions and Bacteria Body Substance of 16 strains of lactic acid bacteria that are clinically proven to increase natural growth of body’s own friendly bacteria effectively for better health. Thus, it is unnecessary to measure the forming units of bacteria.

b. If LAB’s Fermented Extract is able to encourage the growth of good bacteria, why is it recommended to be taken daily? i.e. should it be taken more initially and when the gut is able to produce the good bacteria on its own, the dosage can then be reduced?

Factors such as poor diet, stress, pollutants, prescription of drugs and antibiotics deplete the amount of good bacteria in our body while contributing to the proliferation of bad bacteria. The imbalance of intestinal flora may lead to many health problems especially constipation, indigestion and undischarged toxic waste accumulate and may leak back into the body. Thus, it is important to take LAB’s Fermented Extract daily so as to ensure the balance of good bacteria while continuing to inhibit the on-going growth of bad bacteria, in order to achieve optimum gastrointestinal health.

Feature #2 High Resilience and Higher Performance

LAB Fermented Extract had been tested in clinical studies to improve

  • Intestinal health – 1. The level of bad enzymes/ carcinogens decreased during the time of administering LAB; 2. The intestines appeared cleaner after taking LAB for 4 weeks to 2 months
  • Immunity – where a higher amount of bad bacteria led to increase in intestinal toxins in the intestine, bloodstream which can affect nutrient absorption and oxygen circulation
  • Bowel irregularity
  • Rash and skin texture – will be covered in part 2 of this series
  • Oral health

MarcieMom: Children suffer from a range of gastrointestinal conditions, such as indigestion, constipation and diarrhea. At the same time, parents want to feed their children healthy but if the healthy food is not absorbed due to gut imbalance, it seems pointless to have good nutrition. I’m interested in how LAB Fermented Extract helps in nutrition and immunity:

a. We won’t know if a child is absorbing nutrients properly – do you have pointers where a parent can use to ‘gauge’ if the child has enough good bacteria?

A healthy child with enough good bacteria does not fall sick as easily, has lots of energy, clear skin, bright eyes and a good appetite. His weight will also be within healthy range.

In contrast, one with an unhealthy intestine tract has low immunity, bowel irregularities (constipation/diarrhea), is more lethargic and easily succumbs to allergies and infections. These symptoms can be indicators that your child does not have enough good bacteria in their intestine.

b. How does having good bacteria in the gut translate to high nutrient absorption and immunity? And which of the 16 strains help with this?

The small intestine is the place where nutrients are being absorbed in the body. If there are insufficient good bacteria in the intestines, the ecology of the good and bad bacteria gets upset. With insufficient good bacteria to digest food, bad bacteria take over and undigested food that is not discharged regularly from the bowels will clog up the gut. Undischarged wastes create toxins and cause the body and its vital organs to work harder and this creates stress on the body. Nutrients absorption is naturally compromised.

LAB Fermented Extract in Biogenics 16 is produced from the co-culture of specially selected 16 strains of LAB. When consumed, Biogenics 16 works in three ways, namely:

  1. Creating a conducive gastro intestinal environment to encourage the natural proliferation of the body’s own bacteria, which is the best fit for the individual as compared to foreign ingested probiotics.
  2. Suppressing bad bacteria. As the good bacteria flourish in the environment facilitated by LAB Fermented Extract, the bad bacteria colony shrinks and its reproduction is inhibited.
  3. Strengthening the immune system and Peyer’s Patch (an immune sensor of intestine) to activate immunity cells. (70% of entire body’s immune cells – Gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) are located in intestine).

Feature #3 Premium Quality and High Potency

The fermentation and maturation of Biogenics16 is maintained at a fixed temperature and humidity for a period of 1 year. The patented technology helps to deliver high quality and consistent active ingredients. The dosage is half a sachet for children two years and above, and 1 ml drop for children below two years old. Biogenics 16 is lactose-free and gluten free.

MarcieMom: On the dosage for children, I’m curious to find out if (a) taking a full sachet will have side effects or will it be ‘wasted’?, (b) the effect of taking LAB Fermented Extract on alternative day as opposed to daily?, (c) what if the child is already taking fermented drinks like Yakult and Vitagen or already taking probiotics supplement?

a) Biogenics 16 LAB Fermented Extract does not contain any live bacteria, sugar, additives, pesticides, colouring or flavouring, making it absolutely safe for children consumption.

b) Observing your child’s stool is a good way to gauge if he/she is actually taking enough. Yellowish brown and odorless stool would indicate that your child is having good intestinal health, while dark brown with foul odor would mean otherwise. Through this observation, you will be able to better decide how much LAB Fermented Extract your child actually requires.

c) According to Dr Hiromi Shinya, a pioneer of modern colonoscopic techniques and author of many bestselling books in Asia, taking fermented drink that contains non-resident (ie. Not the body’s own) bacteria are not fully effective in increasing the beneficial bacteria living in the intestine. This is because the live bacteria in fermented drink are not heat stable and as much as 95% of the bacteria are dead even before consuming. Thereafter, the remaining bacteria are easily destroyed when passing through our acidic stomach environment, or excreted in the stool if the body recognizes it as a foreign bacteria. Aside from that, fermented milk products may also contain high amounts of sugar, which is unhealthy for the child’s diet.

Biogenics 16 is 100% resistant to heat and stomach acids. It encourages the growth of our body’s friendly bacteria while inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria, while strengthening the immune cells.

Feature #4 High Safety Assurance and Patented Extraction Technology

Biogenics 16 is safe for all ages, including infants and elderly and in full compliance with the Japan Health Authority. There is no added sugar, preservatives, pesticides, artificial coloring and flavoring.

Feature #5 Proven Results, Trusted Choice

Biogenics 16 is an established product, researched for 100 years and backed by clinical trials.

MarcieMom: How long from the time it is manufactured can Biogenics 16 be safe to consume (product expiry)? And is there a certain period after which the product will degenerate?

The shelf life of Biogenics 16 is 3 years from the date of manufacturing. Made from high potency with controlled fermentation process and patented extraction technology in Japan, Biogenics 16 provides LAB Fermented Extract that is highly stable and provides the same effectiveness and benefits for consumption by the date of expiry.

Once again, thank you to Lifestream Group Pte Ltd, for sponsoring this series.

Get additional $5 of website price when you purchase Biogenics 16 at Simply quote coupon code MEI5OFF upon check out to get the discount.

  • Promotion valid from 3-31 Dec 2015
  • Terms & conditions apply

Lifestream manages LABO NutritionTM under which Biogenics 16 is distributed. It is very useful information for parents and certainly help parents to be more aware of the child’s intestinal health and also in assessing products for it. Next week’s sponsored post will help readers of this blog understand how LAB Fermented Extract affects skin and improves eczema.

Eczema Tips

Should you and your child take Probiotics?

Probiotics tablet and milk

Though the answer is still uncertain, it’s leaning towards a Yes for pregnant woman to take probiotics Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG) in her third trimester. 1st things first, probiotics are live lactic acid bacteria that has been purported to help with food digestion, production of vitamins, prevention of infection and regulation of immune system. Probiotics is commonly used to treat digestive issues as they can withstand the stomach and bile acids, colonize the digestive tract and balance the good/bad bacteria. Some probiotics strain helps to reduce diarrhea and bloating in children treated with antibiotics. There are many different strains of probiotics and over 200 probiotics products, with different strain and dosage.

So what’s this LGG and is it proven?

LGG, is one of the most researched strain and used to strengthen the gut by defending against unwanted bacteria and virus. Increasingly, there’s research supporting the use of LGG for treatment of eczema and clinical studies have been conducted. You can refer to this article for a summary of the studies, but in a nutshell, not all the studies conclude eczema prevention and reduction in eczema severity but 2 out of the 3 studies on LGG showed reduced incidence of eczema in children by age 2. The mothers (in one study, only allergy-prone moms) started taking the probiotics in the last 5 weeks of pregnancy and during breast-feeding for 3-6 months after birth. Sometimes the child is also given the probiotics and generally, the incidence of eczema is reduced by half. There’s less support that probiotics can reduce asthma or allergy, and in one of the study, there’s actually higher incidence of wheezing after taking probiotics.

How to take these probiotics?

Your genealogist must be consulted as there’re so many types of probiotics and the dosage varies. Dosage is counted in CFU, which stands for colony forming units. I’ve read that to be effective, the CFU need to be in billions. You can also ask your genealogist of his/her knowledge of the research studies on the probiotics that you’re being prescribed. Also, some advised against giving the probotics supplement directly to infant, especially those below 1 month old (I’ve found a product online that gives probiotics to children above 4 years old in the form of chewable tablet, not available in Singapore). So do check with your doctor before taking these probiotics.

Would I take LGG in my next pregnancy?

If you read this post, you’d know I haven’t decided if I want to have a second child! So far, I’ve known of a friend who has eczema who took LGG prescribed by her genealogist in both pregnancies and so far, both her girls aged 3 and 5 have no eczema. So, I think I will give probiotics a shot if my genealogist is supportive of it. But, I’d still be keeping my fingers crossed because I’m not the one with eczema (my hubby is). Anyone has any experience on taking LGG? Do comment and let the rest of us know!