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A percentage of beneficial bacteria from oral probiotics do colonize in the intestines. The fact that it’s an unknown percentage which depends on other factors is why we suggest such high amounts of CFUs to be taken throughout the treatment.
A study was conducted on human subjects to test the colonization ability of oral probiotics containing strains of lactobacillus given as probiotic supplements to a group of volunteers; the volunteers were given a total of two doses a day for 17 days at which point the lactobacillus probiotic was stopped. The volunteers then went through an 18-day washout period in an attempt to clear the intestines completely of the beneficial bacteria. During this time, feces of the volunteers were tested for strains of the bacteria. The samples were taken at days 0 and 18 during the oral dose period as well as during and following the washout period; there were a total of 12 volunteers. The highest number of volunteers who continued to host the specific lactobacillus bacteria strains was 10 out of 12, and the lowest number hosting the same species of lactobacillus was 7 out of 12 samples.
I don’t have the details concerning how the point was completely proven by the study, because I don’t have access to the full study but only the published report; however, according to the report, the experiment revealed that “beneficial bacteria of the lactobacillus species obtained by the human beings via the oral administration were capable of colonization in the human intestines.”
This was reported in the Applied and Environmental Microbiology journal in April 2010 as well as the Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology journal in May 2011.