More than a century after Élie Metchnikoff, “The Father Of Natural Immunity” received his Nobel Prize and is credited with our modern understanding of natural immunity, how has his theory shaped today’s understanding?

The term “probiotic”, is generally attributed to Metchnikoff 

Probiotics are live microorganisms intended to provide health benefits when consumed, generally by improving or restoring the gut flora. The introduction of a hypothesis similar to the modern concept, but not the term, “probiotic”, is generally attributed to Metchnikoff, who suggested that “the dependence of the intestinal microbes on the food makes it possible to adopt measures to modify the microbiota in our bodies and to replace the harmful microbes by useful microbes”.

Probiotic research began with infectious diarrheal disease. Current research on the efficacy of probiotics include such conditions as metabolic disease, antibiotic-associated and C. difficile-associated diarrhea, IBS, constipation, IBD, chemotherapy associated diarrhea, respiratory tract infection, ventilator-associated pneumonia, NAFLD, liver encephalopathy, periodontitis, depression, vaginosis, urinary tract infections, pancreatitis, pneumonia, hospital infection, mortality of posttrauma patients and necrotising enterocolitis in premature infants. The study of the microbiome and ‘useful organism providing benefit’ to its host is an extremely complex subject in light of microbial science and plague ridden history and has taken many years and enormous cost in research dollars to determine some ‘useful benefits’ of microbes.

Understand prebiotic effects. 

It was never proposed that probiotics be consumed apart from their natural environments. Cheese and many fermented foods were readily available until the modern marketplace gave rise to ‘probiotic capsules’ or powders and health benefit was implied.

While it would be impossible to cover the numerous benefits of useful microbes in one post some of the most substantial related to the topic of natural oral immune therapy are the ability to influence macrophages and regulate host response.

Many probiotics are capable of converting Gc to GcMaf via available lactose.

Many substances can activate macrophages, some probiotics are able to independently activate macrophages. Enzymes of certain strains of microorganisms contained in yogurt and kefir are able to convert milk Gc-protein into active DBP-MAF.

Most probiotic capsules without milk or an effective prebiotic (substrate) like colostrum are worthless. Most probiotic capsules do not provide much benefit as a stand alone treatment as probiotics interact with their environment. Fiber is also a substrate but many with SIBO can not digest fiber well in the beginning of treatment and should rely on other substrates, especially lactose which helps reduce H2S formation.

Bovine colostrum increases colonization of probiotics 52 fold

milk oligosaccharides and high bacterial counts enable probiotic colonization

Probiotics Host Colonization

The use of human mucins rather than mucins derived from cell culture or from commercial sources is crucial to identify the exact oligosaccharide structures involved in bacteria–host crosstalk. This will clarify the molecular mechanisms of O-glycan mediated interactions and selecting probiotics with a high capacity for mucus adhesion and colonization.

Microorganisms June 2018

Bovine milk contains many oligosaccharides that are identical to those found in human milk. Oligosaccharides recovered from whey could serve as ingredients for infant formula, as their composition is similar to that of HMOs and such an ensemble cannot currently be produced synthetically.

Annu Rev Food Sci Technol. 2018

…the intestinal macrophage pool requires constant regeneration, unlike other macrophage


Clinical & Translational Immunology (2016) Gastroenterology and Liver Units, Department of Medicine, Hebrew University- Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel

Oligosaccharides act independently of microbiota; however probiotics exert profound Influence as well. Recently, it has become clear that many gut related disorders are correlated with an imbalance in the microbiota and the immune system. Well-known examples include inflammatory bowel diseases like colitis. Oligosaccharides act systemically and modulate the immune response in a microbiota-independent manner. However, probiotics are also metabolically active and interact continuously with their environment including other bacteria, the gut epithelium, mucosal immune system, the central nervous system, and the endocrine system, they are able to exert a significant influence on the postnatal development and host physiology; the metabolic activity of microflora is considered to be equal to that of liver.

Liquid whey (acid whey) is a super food called ‘the breast milk for adults’, it can restore protein deficiency, is a great liver and kidney tonic, is full of ionic minerals like magnesium, is easily digestible and full of lactose for the perfect energy ‘food’ for lactic acid bacteria. Lactose does not cause necrotizing enterocolitis in premature infants, unlike formula with novel prebiotics like inulin. Liquid whey proteins are easily digested, have a full complement of amino acids. Liquid whey is equal to milk for kwashiorkor. It is often combined with probiotics in functional food drinks being marketed today by Activia™, Danone and others.

benefits of probiotics

1. Type II diabetes Reduction of glucose and glycated hemoglobin. 

2. Dyslipidemia Reduction of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. 

3. Hypertension Improvement in blood pressure, especially if the basal blood pressure is high. 

4. Helicobacter Pylori Significant improvement of the eradication rate of bacteria 

5. Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Practical option in ulcerative colitis both as induction therapy and maintenance therapy. 

6. Constipation Improve in whole gut transit time, stool frequency and stool consistency. 

7. Atopic syndrome and hypersensitivity to food Reduction in eczema infant, improvement of atopic syndrome. 

8. Respiratory tract infections Reduction in the incidence of symptoms of respiratory tract infections. 

9. Non alcholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) NAFLD decrease in liver aminotransferase levels and improving insulin resistance. 

10. Encephalopathy Probiotics decrease overt hepatic encephalopathy in patients with liver cirrhosis. 

11. Periodontitis Use as an adjunct to nonsurgical periodontal treatment of chronic periodontitis. 12. Depression Decrease in the score on the depression scale. 

13. Children born prematurely Reduction of sepsis, both bacterial and fungal origin, that reduced incidence of severe necrotizing enterocolitis. 

14. Post-trauma patients Reduction in the incidence of hospital infections, ventilatory associated pneumonia and length of intensive care stay.



Be aware that probiotics interact with their environment and that environment can greatly affect the benefits. Some interactions can occur almost immediately.

Slowly introduce strains as if an infant if you have severe gut issues. Bifido is always well tolerated in the majority and can greatly impact inflammation.

Most familiar strains of probiotics do not colonize and need regular replacement, the benefits of kefir are that many kefir organisms do colonize and repopulate the gut.

Always add probiotic capsules to milk or another suitable sugar.

Combine kefir, yogurt, milk and colostrum to ensure that greatest number of strains and the greatest probability of colonization. If you desire you can add any probiotic complex to this daily drink.

Learn how individual strains can benefit you and add them to your routine.


Beneficial organisms interact. Don’t forget the substrate is as influential as the microbe.