1 | BACTERIA AND BACTERIA-PRODUCING SUBSTANCES
In general, lactic acid bacteria produce energy by decomposing sugars to produce lactic acid. It is without a doubt that the live probiotic lactobacilli will improve, for example, the intestinal environment and contribute to improved health when incorporated into yogurt or lactobacillus beverages. However, it is also important to note that lactic acid is not naturally produced by the human body, and hence lactobacilli have trouble proliferating and settling within the microbiome. As a result, lactobacilli are often excreted outside the body as transit bacteria.
In contrast, lactic acid bacteria-producing substances are non-living bacteria. Lactic acid bacteria-producing substances are made based on the idea that ingesting (or incorporating externally, for instance using topical non-live probiotic) substances metabolized by good bacteria in the microbiome is beneficial for overall health. Taking lactic acid bacteria-producing substances improves the microbiome environment and allows useful ingredients to be absorbed directly into the body. On the other hand, even if lactic acid bacteria (live bacteria) enters the body, it is said that it is difficult for it to proliferate and settle within the microbiome, as they are different from the bacteria that are native to the human microbiome.
2 | BIOGENICS
Dr. Tomotari Mitsuoka, a world renowned bacteriologist at the University of Tokyo, coined the term “biogenics” to describe these non-live probiotic substances. Simply put, if you take probiotic supplements, or apply a topical probiotic to your skin, this component has a positive effect on the body, either directly or along with improving the microbial environment. After a lifetime of research, Dr. Mitsuoka has deduced that bacteria-producing substances have the advantage of maintaining normal human health.
In other words, whether the bacteria are alive or dead is not so important. Substances produced by lactic acid bacteria–including dead bacteria, metabolites and bacterial components–stimulate microbial immune function. It is important to understand the mechanism that promotes the functional activity of the whole body and has a positive effect on the internal flora, and to use it for health.
This lactic acid bacterium-producing substance is produced in an environment that artificially creates a healthy human microbiome, so to speak, in a “factory outside the body”, and this is exactly what biogenics is all about. Food ingredients such as vitamins, bioactive peptides, polyphenols, and DHA also fall into this category, but they all have a single function and do not have an integrated function that controls health like lactic acid bacteria-producing substances.
Biogenics, unlike live probiotics, have properties that bring about biofunctional activities that go beyond just improving the internal flora. Biogenics is an evolved form of probiotics, which can be expected to be used in combination with prebiotics to prevent lifestyle-related diseases, and promote health maintenance and longevity.