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The role of probiotics in digestive health

Authors Ouwehand AC

Received 20 July 2015

Accepted for publication 29 October 2015

Published 10 December 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 103—109

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDS.S74714

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Elizabeth Steels

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Gary Johanning

Arthur C Ouwehand

Active Nutrition, DuPont Nutrition and Health, Kantvik, Finland

Abstract: Although probiotics have documented health benefits outside the gastrointestinal tract, digestive health remains the key benefit for probiotics. Advances in technology have made even more in-depth analyses of the intestinal microbiota possible. Nevertheless, a healthy microbiota cannot be defined due to individual differences and changes with age. Probiotics, in general, will not cure or prevent disease, but will aim at maintaining health and reducing risk for disease; although probiotic pharmaceuticals are possible. Meta-analyses have indicated several areas where probiotics can exert health benefits such as certain types of diarrhea, constipation, and inflammatory diseases of the intestine. There is also an ever-increasing understanding of the mechanisms of probiotic action. However, it remains challenging to pinpoint specific strain (combinations) for explicit health benefits. The increased understanding of the intestinal microbiota composition and activity will make it likely that in the future we will see new probiotics from genera other than Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, or Saccharomyces; these may focus on new or existing health targets.

Keywords: Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, intestinal microbiota, health, novel probiotics
 

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