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Posts Tagged bacteria

Immune system

The immune system is a complex collection of organs, cells and tissues that work collectively to protect the body against disease caused mostly by pathogens (bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi).

Parts of the immune system include the tonsils, lymph nodes, appendix, spleen, thymus, skin and mucous membranes.

The lymph nodes in particular produce lymphocyte cells (white blood cells) whose role is to destroy invading pathogens.

Eleven claims have been authorised by the EU for contributions to the normal function of the immune system, and these are:-

Health claim Vitamin Mineral
Contributes to the normal function of the immune system Vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D Copper, Iron, Selenium, Zinc

The claim may be made for one of the nutrients or several of the nutrients.

The EU Health Claims Register is dynamic in nature and should be checked for updates.

 

Digestive health

In recent years, these probiotic-bacteria have become popular ingredients in foods designed to promote digestive health.

Foods that claim to improve digestive health are now commonplace on the supermarket shelves. In recent years, these probiotic-bacteria have become popular ingredients in foods designed to promote digestive health. These days, it’s not as simple as adding ‘fibre’ – many more exotic sounding ingredients such as resistant starch, inulin, oligosaccharides and polydextrose are used, not to mention the lactic acid bacteria that are added to yogurts and yogurt drinks.

Inulin, for example, is a carbohydrate that acts as a prebiotic soluble fibre. It may help reduce the risk of some infections and relieve the symptoms of inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. As a prebiotic fibre, it helps promote the growth of the ‘friendly’ bacteria that live in the intestinal tract and play an important role in the digestive process.

In recent years, probiotic bacteria have become popular ingredients in foods designed to promote digestive health. The most common of these are lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. The idea is to maintain a healthy balance of these bacteria in the gut, because their numbers can be reduced by illness, stress, poor nutrition and antibiotics. Claims have been made that they can help strengthen the immune system, and reduce the impact of some diseases.