Scientists have discovered that the bacteria Lactobacillus brevis may prevent the flu. Lactobacillus brevis comes from Suguki, a pickled turnip popular in Japan. When a particular strain of Lactobacillus brevis was eaten by mice, it showed protective effects against influenza infection. Suguki enthusiasts have often cited its protective powers, but it is not known yet whether the same effects will be seen in humans. Human clinical trials using a probiotic drink containing Lactobacillus brevis bacteria are underway and scientists are hopeful that, given a suitable quantity of bacteria, foods containing Lactobacillus brevis may turn out to be the next superfood.
Letters in Applied Microbiology, November 2013