29 July 2018 Posted By : Administrator

Probiotics found in Fermented Soybeans

A fermented soybean product, Tungrymbai, popularly eaten in India, may possess probiotic properties, a study shows. The study, led by the Tezpur University, was published in the journal Acta Alimentaria. Tungrymbai is, according to an article on the Indian journal of traditional knowledge “A traditional fermented soybean food of the ethnic tribes of Meghalaya.  Tungrymbai provides a cheap source of protein to the people of Northeast India “While its unique texture and flavor may not be palatable to everyone, the dish – as well as other fermented foods – is an essential part of the diet of the people in northeast India, as it provides a relatively inexpensive source of protein”

For this Tezpur university led study, the researchers examined likely probiotic properties isolated from Tungrymbai. According to Health.news, “the researchers looked at the potential probiotic properties from bacteria isolated from tungrymbai. To test how it fares when people digest it, the isolated bacteria were put under conditions that simulated the gastric system. After the tests, five acid-tolerant strains were selected. Researchers identified the strain using 16S rDNA sequencing and found the bacteria to be the under the Enterococcus species, which showed adaptability in high concentrations of bile salts”.

Naturalnews.com cites  an earlier study, that examined the microbiota content of tungrybria, where  North –Eastern Hill University researchers studied the materials and equipment used in the production of the food item – looking at the raw soybean seeds, the wrapping leaves commonly used in packaging, and the wooden mortar and pestle. It was found thattungrymbai contained Bacillus subtilis, a rod-shaped, gram-positive bacterium that form endospores. The study recorded that Bacillus strains increase the nutritive value of the food, as it displayed strong peptidase and phosphatase activities during the fermentation process. Within the past years, amidst these studies, it has become popular knowledge that probiotics are the good bacteria which boost the immune system and help maintain digestive health. They are popularly gotten from yoghurt and other food sources, or from dietary supplements.

According to Health.Harvard.edu, probiotics have their benefits and equally have their risks. Some of the benefits include the introduction of microbes into the gut to help digest food; an imbalance of these microbes in the lower intestinal tract may lead to health problems. They are also used to reduce gastro intestinal symptoms. When taken as supplements, they may also reduce the number of colds an individual experiences in a year.

Some of the risk includes the risk of many probiotic supplements on sale not being properly researched in regards of safety for consumption stemming from the fact that they are considered dietary supplements and not drugs. "It's not clear if probiotics that can be bought at pharmacies and health food stores are high-quality products. It's even possible that some lower-quality products may not even contain the probiotic bacteria that are listed on the label," says Dr. Hibberd an infectious disease specialist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital who researches  the safety of probiotics across the life span.

The continuous discovery of probiotics in more natural foods, such as Tungrymbai, would help alleviate some of these risks.

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