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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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The global animal feed probiotics market remains moderately fragmented, with leading and mid-sized players who collectively hold more than 50% revenue share.
- In terms of product type, probiotic beverages emerged as the largest segment in 2018 with a revenue of USD 39.56 billion.
In those studies only using IRIF, 80% were effective when using non-probiotic interventions, while only 45% were found to be effective when using probiotic ways.
The authors state one reason that non-probiotic interventions more effective than probiotic interventions were possible due to the fact that changing diet (a diverse energy source) could have more of an impact on gut bacteria growth.
Probiotic supplementation holds great promise for the prevention and treatment of AD in infants and children.
Lu referenced three clinical trials, in two of the trials on probiotic supplements, mothers gave birth to seemingly healthier newborns newborns with a higher weight average than those who did not.
But in addition to the classics, all of us as health care professionals have an opportunity to expand the conversation with customers and patients to include probiotics, which can help the body's immune system protect itself from germs.
A: Many small, preliminary studies have looked at whether healthy people are, say, less likely to get the flu or have gastrointestinal discomfort if they take a probiotic. But the results are inconsistent.
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.
However, many food don't include the probiotic nutrition essential to preventing children's ailments, and maintaining their mental and physical well-being.
This is a new probiotic area and a completely new health indication for Probi.
QUESTION: I'm seeing probiotics in many vegan products.