|Nguyễn Hoà Anh, a professor in microbiology and molecular biology, has managed to formulate the first liquid, multi- spore probiotic products in Việt Nam. — Photo Courtesy of Nguyễn Hoà Anh|
While experts say up to 70 per cent of Vietnamese people are at risk of gastritis, most probiotic products on the market did not help as much as advertised, said Nguyễn Hoà Anh, a professor in microbiology and molecular biology.
Anh was disappointed about the results of a study he conducted on microbiological products available on the market in 2010.
“Up to 95 per cent of probiotic products are produced in the form of cereal powder or capsules. These are the most common and convenient forms of probiotic supplements.”
“The dry form requires a long time for the friendly bacteria to be absorbed while most probiotics cannot survive in the acidic gastric environment of the stomach before reaching, developing and improving the intestine system.”
“The good bacteria need to be living in order to benefit patients, or they’re a waste of money and useless,” he said.
As a scientist who wanted his research to be practical and benefit people, Anh said this gave him pause for thought.
Anh said most foods contained a large amount of antibiotics and chemicals. These killed good bacteria in the digestive system and were the culprit of a series of gastrointestinal diseases.
That’s why spore probiotics are now considered an effective solution as they are covered by a naturally protective shell that safeguards the cell through digestive transit.
A chance came to him in mid-2010 when he met with a foreign professor from Royal Holloway, University of London, who was looking for co-operation on probiotic products for human use.
After studying and working in the fields of microbiology and molecular biology for 15 years, Anh managed to formulate two types of spore probiotics on an industrial scale and signed contracts to launch the products on the market within two months of the research.
At first, Anh produced spore probiotics in the form of raw materials to supply pharmaceutical companies. However, it was not welcomed, so he decided to start his own product.
After two years in the lab at the University of Nature Sciences under the National University of Hà Nội, he has finally produced his first liquid spore probiotic product.
“Liquid probiotics are the freshest and most potent form. However, it’s not easy to formulate it in the liquid form as the spores can easily be activated into normal probiotics weaknesses, which are hard to preserve and non-resistant to an acid environment,” he said.
Anh was not satisfied with his first success. He continued his research to turn the product into a multi-spore one with a concentration of more than three billion bacteria per 5ml.
Anh said he was glad that his research could contribute to a future without antibiotics a reality.
He is now thinking about applying spore probiotics in other fields, including cosmetics and agricultural production.
“I believe that when digestive health is maintained, the body will stay strong and healthy,” he said. — VNS