Two German companies, BASF Future Business GmbH and OrganoBalance GmbH are actively working on developing a host of health care products–from chewing gum to body deodorant–that will exploit the ability of newly identified Lactobacillus anti-caries to fight Streptococcus mutans, bacterium responsible for tooth decay and other unpleasantries:
Being responsible for caries, the bacterium Streptococcus mutans persistently colonizes the surface of the teeth, where it converts sugar into aggressive acids that breaks down the enamel. To substantially diminish the risk of caries, it is important to significantly reduce the concentration of harmful bacteria in the oral cavity.
“With Lactobacillus anti-caries we have found an antagonist which effectively binds to the caries germs and prevents them adhering to the surface of the teeth”, emphasizes Dr. Andreas Reindl, Project Leader at BASF Future Business. The antagonistic cultures make these caries-inducing bacteria clump together into larger agglomerates no longer capable of causing damage and are rinsed out of the oral cavity. “The effectiveness has been demonstrated and the first oral hygiene products containing probiotic lactobacilli are scheduled to appear in 2007”, explains Reindl.
Our skin is naturally populated with different types of microorganisms. Ideally, those with beneficial health effects, known as commensal microorganisms, dominate over likewise occurring harmful bacteria. If this system gets out of balance, the appearance, health and well-being of the skin are adversely affected. “From a large number of microorganisms, we select the ones that can create a protective microbial barrier and compensate imbalances”, explains Dr. Christine Lang, Managing Director of OrganoBalance. These disorders can occur, for example, after washing or showering. In such cases Lactobacillus stimulans can promote the rapid regeneration of the skin’s protective microbial flora. By secreting growth-promoting substances, it stimulates colonization by its healthful relatives. Since the rapid remediation of skin irritations is of high cosmetic relevance, these microorganisms are interesting candidates for use in lotions or creams and also in medicinal ointments or plasters.
A third application for beneficial lactobacilli is the prevention of body odor. Certain undesired germs are responsible for creating odor, for example in the armpits or on the feet. Lactobacillus pes-odoris, which specifically inhibits the odor-producing bacteria of the feet, and Lactobacillus ala-odoris, which prevents the formation of odor in the armpits, provide the remedy for these situations. Both lactobacillus cultures can improve the effectiveness of deodorants, foot sprays or lotions.
The press release…