I'm tracking stories about probiotics. Friendly microorganisms can be a benefit to both people and the planet.
A health dividend without side-effects
By Jane Clarke, The Times nutritionist
tens of thousands of Britons who suffer from digestive problems, but
could also bring health benefits to a wider public.
of what are known as probiotic bacteria to aid digestion. The
scientists fermented one such bacterium, Lactobacillus casei, with the
beans to decrease the proportion of soluble fibre, a cause of
a key ingredient in probiotic yoghurt drinks, but the new technique
should deliver the bacterium in exactly the right quantities. Its
presence should counteract all the negative social effects of the beans
while retaining their health benefits.Bean enthusiasts will probably
not be helped much by thisdevelopment as their systems have
become used to eating beans. Butthose who avoid beans because
of worries about flatulence shouldbenefit greatly.Beans are a
cheap source of protein and contain no saturated fat.
The modified beans will also have higher levels of insoluble fibre,
which has been linked to reduced cholesterol and hence could improve
the health of your heart.
If this work is successful then there is no reason why similar
methods cannot be applied to other notoriously windy foods, such as
cabbage and Brussels sprouts.