Probiotics undoubtedly have become a primary area of wellness interest among the public and medical fraternity alike. There is overwhelming information, discoveries and innovations brought to light each and every day, both good and bad.
Whilst most of the progress is positive, I’m totally bewildered by the fact that we do not get probiotics’ benefit simply because they do not reach our guts!
Yes, less than 4% of probiotics taken orally ever reach our guts, where they are most useful! That’s crazy waste of money, time and worst of all, health benefits that accrue from probiotics use.
Ok. Let’s start from the beginning.
What are Probiotics?
According to WHO, Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer health benefits to the host. This includes the following primary benefits:
- Inhibition of pathogenic growth
- Maintenance of health promoting gut microflora
- Stimulation of immune system
- Relieving constipation, absorption of calcium, synthesis of vitamins and antimicrobial agents, and predigestion of proteins 
Several health benefits have been proved for specific probiotic bacteria, and recommendations for probiotic use to promote health have been published widely.
Year after year, probiotics continue to gain popularity and increased use by clinicians based on evidence and perceived health benefits.
According to FAO/WHO recommendations, for a Probiotics to declare claims of health benefits, it must contain a concentration of 106 to 107 CFU (Colony Forming Units) of Viable probiotics bacteria.
That is how much should be contained in the formulation at the point of purchase by the customer. However, this is not always true. Probiotic viability is affected right from processing, packaging and most importantly at the retailer’s shelf. Most manufacturers try to overcome this hurdle by over-compensating with excess colonies of the probiotics. It is no surprise to find 100x excess of the label claim at manufacture, with presumption that gradual deterioration over the products’ shelf-life will result in residual amount that corresponds to the label.
The main challenges facing the probiotics currently can be largely be divided into two:
1. ) Probiotics’ Shelf-Life
The viability of probiotics under room temperatures has been a matter of concern in the industry.
Most probiotics products take time from 2 months to 18 months on the pharmacy shelf before they can get to the final consumer.
There is gradual deterioration and loss of bacteria during this period due to storage, oxidation and other stress that impacts on the live bacteria.
2. ) Tolerance of Stomach Acid and Bile
Most probiotics do not seem to transiently survive the harsh acidity in the stomach.
At a pH below 2, most probiotics are destroyed alongside other pathogenic bacteria taken orally. This is undoubtedly body’s first line of defense against pathogens eaten alongside food or drinks and probiotics are no exception.
Lactobacilli spp. Of probiotics has been shown to only survive between 30 seconds to several minutes under these conditions.
Previously, different ways of overcoming these challenges have been attempted with varying degrees of success. Most solutions have not delivered optimal and effective ways due to a host of factors:
- Most techniques used have led to high stress and degradation of the live bacteria, resulting to low survival rate and reduced load upon processing.
- The use of various microencapsulation materials lead to unstable and sometimes non viable micro-capsules without any protection of the organism
- Formulations and innovations around gastric or enteric coating (enteric coated capsules) have resulted into the coating not ‘opening’ or dissolving in the GI system and thus not releasing the probiotics at all.
May 2018, will see the launch of Velobiotics™ range of products in the market, with the primary aim of overcoming these two primary challenges facing probiotics.
Velobiotics™ is a novel and patented technology that helps micro-protect probiotics thus increasing viability and efficacy when ingested. The technology utilizes Supercritical Carbon Dioxide (SCO2) in which two hydrophilic polymers interact to form an interpolymer complex, that ‘hides’ or ‘shields’ the probiotics at a microscopic level.
Through research carried out on various probiotics, the SCO2 technology was shown deliver up to 1000x more probiotics to your gut than non-encapsulated probiotics. This was achieved by increasing the shelf-life of the probiotics as well as safe transit through the stomach acid into the gut.
For the VERY FIRST TIME, this has led to probiotics being included in ready-to-eat powder preparations, sports supplements and meal replacements!
Why Settle for Less?
With Velobiotics™, that’s the question that we’re aiming to answer and provide solutions that makes everyone access the full benefits of probiotics.
From meal replacements providing nutritional support for recovery, to sports supplements, Velobiotics™ delivers 1000x more probiotics than non-encapsulated probiotics. From as much as 10 Billion CFU per meal serving (Femina™ with Cranberry) to 16Billion CFU per capsule (Velo) there is absolutely no reason, why you should settle for less. We have also introduced the very first 100% Probiotic Whey Protein (BioSport) and BioGain - Probiotic Meal for Healing and Recovery.
 FAO/WHO. Probiotics in Food.Health and Nutritional Properties and Guidelines for Evaluation, FAO Food and Nutrition Paper 85World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome; 2006
J. Rafter, 2003Probiotics and colon cancer. Best Pract. Res. Clin. Gastroenterol. 17849859