July 31, 2019
Lactobacillus HK L-137, the primary constituent of House Wellness Foods Immuno-LP20, has received one of its strongest endorsements to date from nutritional biochemist Dr. Christine Houghton, Ph.D.,BSc.,R.Nutr., founder of the Australia-based firm Cell-Logic, and a leader in the field of nutrigenomics, the study of how food-derived nutrients can change the expression of genes. This allows us to select foods based on their ability to enhance the body’s internal defenses, including its immune function.
The endorsement is unsurprising, as the missions of the two firms hold so much in common: to develop supplemental ingredients and functional foods modeled on nature’s approach to the prevention of disease, allergy, and inflammation; that, rather than acting in the manner of drugs, bring out and bolster the body’s own innate defenses. Both companies cite peer-reviewed, evidence-based research showing that loss of cell integrity, deterioration of appearance, diminished stamina, and a general decline in the body’s naturally occurring ability to hold its own against destructive conditions acting on it can be positively addressed through the use of immunobiotics.
As Dr. Houghton states it, the era of unrestrained use of antibiotics, for all their benefits to humankind, left a wake of destruction in the form of resistant pathogens and the elimination of beneficial microbiota. But even more importantly, antibiotics have also been responsible for erosion of the mucous lining of the intestines, and this has led to the breach of one of the body's most important lines of defense, which she refers to as the “gut-immune interface." “Underappreciated is the fact that around 80% of human immune activity occurs just below the single layer of cells lining the gut,” she writes.
Cell-Logic is known for its flagship ingredient, the most potent vehicle available today for the delivery of sulforaphane, an inducer of glutathione S-transferases (GST) and other cytoprotective enzymes, and derived from broccoli sprouts via the company’s proprietary process. As they sought a specific immune-enhancing ingredient that would trigger activity of the gut-immune interface to complement it, Dr. Houghton came across House Wellness’ research into Lactobacillus plantarum, a probiotic bacterium found in abundance in foods prepared by ancient Southeast Asian methods of fermentation. She was impressed with the range of rigorous clinical trials proving the strain’s effectiveness. But, she writes, what she learned about the exact strain the company’s laboratory was working with, “completely turned upside-down some of our ingrained thinking.”
What she was referring to was House’s focus on heat-killed, L. plantarum, HK L-137. While conventional methods attempted to preserve the live bacteria as long as possible, even when ingested, their process involved growing, optimizing, and then killing them via heat induction. A process that Dr. Houghton admits was, “the very thing that we thought would make them useless!”
What convinced her was the recognition that heat killing preserves the bacterium’s cell wall, which contains the main source of the molecule lipoteichoic acid (LTA). LTA is recognized by receptors in the intestinal lining, signaling it to activate its immune defenses. Dr. Houghton was further impressed with the range of clinical research House Wellness Foods carried out on HK L-137, resulting in published, peer-reviewed studies proving its effectiveness not just in bolstering immune functions and countering the detrimental effects of external toxins, but in preventing upper respiratory infection and physically improving the periodontal environment.
She briefly discusses the shortfall in promise of immunobiotic therapeutics such as vitamin C, and counters these with the clear advantages, from an application point of view, of HK L-137’s versatility, citing its long shelf life, and that it “is both heat-stable and acid-stable, three clear advantages over a live probiotic supplement.”
Dr. Houghton concludes by highlighting the enormous potential for HK L-137 in human health. She concludes, “Just as with Cell-Logic’s own signature sulforaphane, HKL-137 is an excellent example of an ingredient that mimics nature’s approach, especially in the prevention and management of infectious disease, allergy and unresolved inflammation. As such, it meshes perfectly with the Cell-Logic philosophy.”