Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Probiotics are dietary supplements of live microorganisms thought to be healthy for the host organism. According to the currently adopted definition by FAO/WHO, probiotics are: "Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host". Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and bifidobacteria are the most common types of microbes used as probiotics; but also certain yeasts and bacilli are available.
At first, probiotics were thought to beneficially affect the host by improving its intestinal microbial balance, thus inhibiting pathogens and toxin producing bacteria. Today specific health effects are being investigated and documented including alleviation of chronic intestinal inflammatory diseases, prevention and treatment of pathogen-induced diarrhea, urogenital infections, and atopic diseases