Medical College of Wisconsin
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Probiotics in health and disease: fooling Mother Nature? Infection 2019 Dec;47(6):911-917

Date

09/04/2019

Pubmed ID

31478123

DOI

10.1007/s15010-019-01351-0

Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85072106390   12 Citations

Abstract

Probiotics are ubiquitous, consumption by the general public is common, and the dogma remains that they are beneficial for general and gut health. However, evolving evidence suggests a potentially "harmful" impact of many commercially available probiotics. There is also significant variability in formulations that leads to a lack of a universally acceptable definition of probiotics. In this perspective, we review the flaws with definition, relevant observational and randomized studies that showed both positive and negative impacts on health and disease, unbiased interpretation of key trials, emerging evidence from microbiome and immuno-oncological studies, and impact on systemic immunity. We propose that caution be exercised prior to endorsements of their illness-directed consumption and rampant general usage. As a deeper understanding of the human microbiome accrues and our ability to manipulate this complex ecosystem improves, the probiotic of tomorrow might be the precision tool that deals with diseases on a broad front. Gut microbiome, akin to fingerprints, is indigenous to an individual and 'one size fits all' prescription strategy should be discouraged until a more universally acceptable 'favorable taxa' or a 'personalized probiotic,' to complement an individual's native microbiota, gets fashioned.

Author List

Abid MB, Koh CJ

Author

Muhammad Bilal Abid MD Assistant Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin




MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Gastrointestinal Microbiome
Humans
Observational Studies as Topic
Probiotics
Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
Terminology as Topic