Dairy Bravo Yogurt - The Microbe's Microbe by Dr. Ruggiero
A Closer Look - In the process of carrying on advanced research on Bravo Yogurt, we conducted an extremely detailed analysis of the microbial composition of Bravo using a novel tool that uses the most advanced concepts of molecular genetics. We used the Axiom Microbiome array that is a chip covered in short DNA sequences that are specific to certain target organisms. In short, this assay can detect up to 12,000 different microbes with extremely high specificity and sensitivity. After having performed the current genetic analysis, we found out that there are more than 300 (three hundred) different microbes, the highest number ever recorded in a probiotic!
The discrepancy, in our favor, derives from the fact that under a microscope, as we had to do in the past, we could not distinguish the sub-strains, the plasmids and the phages that only the current genetic analysis can differentiate between these. Just to give you an example, imagine that you want to catalog the animals in a zoo. A superficial analysis (analogous to what we did with a microscope on Bravo) will tell you that there are monkeys, dogs, horses and so on. But a detailed analysis (analogous to what we did with the Axiom Microbiome array) will tell you that among monkeys you have gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans and many other types of monkeys; among dogs, Chihuahuas, great Danes, German shepherds and many others; among horses, Arabian pure-breeds, Mustangs, ponies, English heavy horses etc.
The Axiom Microbiome array was performed by the most reputable company in the field, Eurofins, and we believe it has legal value as far as claims are concerned since this type of analysis is also used to rule out the presence of pathogens. In other words, if we claim that Bravo is unique because it has more than 300 different microbes, and someone asks for proof, we can back this claim with the Eurofins's analysis. I am sure you realize that these results put Bravo in a completely different league, or better, in no league at all since no other probiotic can honestly make such a claim. This is because Bravo, at variance with all other probiotics in the market, was designed since its inception as a means to reproduce the complexity of the healthy human microbiota.
Plasmids - It is not the sheer number of different microbes (more than 300) that is utterly impressive, but rather the biodiversity that makes Bravo even more unique. The genetic analysis revealed that Bravo, in addition to probiotic microbes, contains a great number of plasmids and phages. Plasmids are self-replicating small DNA molecules that carry genes that benefit the survival of the organism and can be transferred to other living beings. Bravo not only contains a very high number of live probiotic microbes; thanks to the presence of plasmids, the probiotic microbes in Bravo are also able to communicate with each other and with the cells of the human body with mutual reciprocal benefits. Thanks to the presence of plasmids, we can say that Bravo not only contains an incredibly high number of live probiotic microbes, but also that these microbes are able to talk to each other and to our human cells. No other probiotic can make this claim.
Phages - Even more interesting could be, for its ramifications, the presence of phages. Phages are the microbes that colonize the microbes; they can also be defined "the microbiota of the microbiota". The study of phages and how they relate to human health represents one of the frontiers of molecular medicine. Phages are the most abundant organisms in the biosphere and have been of interest to scientists as tools to understand fundamental molecular biology, as vectors of horizontal gene transfer and drivers of evolution, as sources of diagnostic and genetic tools and as novel therapeutic agents. Phages impact immunity directly, in ways that are typically anti-inflammatory. Phages modulate innate immunity via phagocytosis and cytokine responses, but also impact adaptive immunity via effects on antibody production and effector polarization. Phages may thereby have profound effects on fighting bacterial infections or cancer growth by modulating the immune response. Thanks to the presence of phages, we can now explain all the almost incredible clinical results that we have seen with Bravo.
In Bravo, probiotic microbes live together with plasmids and phages in a complex network of communication, a symbiosis that is reminiscent of the origin of life on Earth. As you may know, we live in a microbial driven world that only exists because bacteria and Archaea tempered the previously hostile environment on early Earth to create atmospheric conditions that allow eukaryotic life forms such as humans to flourish. It has now become evident that phages were, and still are, responsible for wellbeing of microbes, which themselves impact environments at large. In other words, if it were not for the phages - the microbes of the microbes - life would not exist, and this is why they are so important for our well being and the well being of the environment.