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Related to probiotic: prebiotic


live microorganism administered to a host with the intention of providing a health benefit, or a food, supplement, or treatment containing such microorganisms. Many of the microbes found in the human digestive system, primarily in the large intestine, benefit human health, as by breaking down foods and making them more digestible, producing certain vitamins, and crowding out or destroying harmful microorganisms. Probiotics are intended to replenish or supply such beneficial microorganisms, but in order to be useful to the host they must be able to survive the acidic conditions of the stomach after ingestion and then establish colonies. Microorganisms regarded as probiotics are typically bacteria of the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, but other bacteria and some yeasts also are considered probiotics.

Most studies have found that consuming or taking probiotics provides no health benefits to healthy individuals, but a number of preliminary studies have indicated that probiotics may be beneficial to some individuals with certain intestinal disorders, such as those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or from the side effects of taking antibiotics. A report in 2017 indicated that a specific strain of Lactobacillus plantarum (one of more than 200 tested during a decade of investigation) appeared significant in preventing sepsis in babies in rural India; the bacterium had been isolated from a fecal sample from a healthy baby. How probiotics may work is not well understood, and serious complications from taking probiotics have been reported in some patients with weakened immune systems or other significant health problems.

Yogurt and other fermented dairy products; sauerkraut, kimchi, and other fermented vegetable preparations; and other foods produced by the action of live bacteria are typically regarded as, and marketed as, probiotic. Some foods are sold fortified with probiotic microorganisms, and capsules and pills containing freeze-dried probiotic microorganisms are sold as probiotic supplements. These foods and supplements, however, contain usually several varying strains and amounts of microorganisms, are not subject to regulatory controls, and have not been approved by U.S. or European Union agencies for treatment of any health problem. The freshness of yogurt and other probiotic foods also is a factor in their value as a potential source of live probiotic microorganisms.


1. a harmless bacterium that helps to protect the body from harmful bacteria
2. a substance that encourages the growth of natural healthy bacteria in the gut
References in periodicals archive ?
Along with dietary and lifestyle changes, probiotic supplements can help.
For other gastrointestinal conditions and general health, Webb advises that you look for a broad-spectrum probiotic that contains a variety of bacterial species and strains that provide more than 5 billion microorganisms per dose.
Another tip is to look for labeling that lists probiotic concentrations in colony-forming units or CFUs, Dr.
Nexabiotic Probiotic for Pregnant & Breastfeeding Moms contains PreforPro, cranberry, mannose, probiotics and more.
Every three ounces of the drink contains one billion units of probiotic, which just happens to be the same daily amount recommended by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics.
thermophiles was found to significantly increase stratum corneum ceramide levels in healthy females after two weeks of application (2) Skin hydration was also improved following use of probiotic lysate-containing cream.
The probiotics are individually packed to preserve the number and viability of the live cultures.
Starting probiotics within 2 days of the first antibiotic dose could cut the risk of Clostridium difficile infection among hospitalized adults by more than 50%, according to the results of a systemic review and metaregression analysis.
Universite Laval Professor Angelo Tremblay and his team tried to determine if the consumption of probiotics could help reset the balance of the intestinal microbiota in favor of bacteria that promote a healthy weight.
Probiotic bacteria were spray-dried in NaCas solutions containing LMF, and combined with either: maltodextrin, pullulan, gum ghatti or gum Arabic.
A growth(r) probiotic showed significant decrease in cortisol hormone and bacterial counts in gastrointestinal tract than fish receiving Tonolest(r) probiotic in all weeks.