ProbioticS: What you need to know
Although people often think of bacteria and other microorganisms as harmful “germs,” many are actually helpful. Some bacteria help digest food, destroy disease-causing cells, or produce vitamins. Many of the microorganisms in probiotic products are the same as or similar to microorganisms that naturally live in our bodies.
What types of bacteria are in probiotics? Probiotics may contain a variety of microorganisms. The most common are bacteria that belong to groups called Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Other bacteria may also be used as probiotics, and so may yeasts such as Saccharomyces boulardii.
Different types of probiotics may have different effects. For example, if a specific kind of Lactobacillus helps prevent an illness, that doesn’t necessarily mean that another kind of Lactobacillus or any of the Bifidobacterium probiotics would do the same thing.
Are prebiotics the same as probiotics? No, prebiotics aren’t the same as probiotics. Prebiotics are nondigestible food components that selectively stimulate the growth or activity of desirable microorganisms.
What are synbiotics? Synbiotics are products that combine probiotics and prebiotics.
How popular are probiotics? The 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) showed that about 4 million (1.6 percent) U.S. adults had used probiotics or prebiotics in the past 30 days. Among adults, probiotics or prebiotics were the third most commonly used dietary supplement other than vitamins and minerals. The use of probiotics by adults quadrupled between 2007 and 2012. The 2012 NHIS also showed that 300,000 children age 4 to 17 (0.5 percent) had used probiotics or prebiotics in the 30 days before the survey.
How might probiotics work? Probiotics may have a variety of effects in the body, and different probiotics may act in different ways.Probiotics might: Help your body maintain a healthy community of microorganisms or help your body’s community of microorganisms return to a healthy condition after being disturbed Produce substances that have desirable effectsInfluence your body’s immune response.. Drag me to add paragraph to your block, write your own text and edit me. What has science shown about the effectiveness of probiotics for health conditions? A great deal of research has been done on probiotics, but much remains to be learned about whether they’re helpful and safe for various health conditions.
Probiotics have shown promise for a variety of health purposes, including prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea (including diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile), prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis and sepsis in premature infants, treatment of infant colic, treatment of periodontal disease, and induction or maintenance of remission in ulcerative colitis.
However, in most instances, we still don’t know which probiotics are helpful and which are not. We also don’t know how much of the probiotic people would have to take or who would be most likely to benefit. Even for the conditions that have been studied the most, researchers are still working toward finding the answers to these questions.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is among the many agencies funding research on the microbiome. Researchers supported by NCCIH are studying the interactions between components of food and microorganisms in the digestive tract. The focus is on the ways in which diet-microbiome interactions may lead to the production of substances with beneficial health effects.
+ The mechanisms by which probiotics may help to reduce postmenopausal bone loss+ Engineering probiotics to synthesize natural substances for microbiome-brain research+ The mechanisms by which certain probiotics may relieve chronic pelvic pain+ The effects of a specific Bifidobacterium strain on changes in short-chain fatty acid production in the gut that may play a role in antibiotic-associated diarrhea. More To Consider + Don’t use probiotics as a reason to postpone seeing your health care provider about any health problem.+ If you’re considering a probiotic dietary supplement, consult your health care provider first. This is especially important if you have health problems. Anyone with a serious underlying health condition should be monitored closely while taking probiotics.+ Take charge of your health—talk with your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use. Together, you can make shared, well-informed decisions. For More Information NCCIH Clearinghouse
The NCCIH Clearinghouse provides information on NCCIH and complementary and integrative health approaches, including publications and searches of Federal databases of scientific and medical literature. The Clearinghouse does not provide medical advice, treatment recommendations, or referrals to practitioners. Toll-free in the U.S.: 1-888-644-6226tty (for deaf and hard-of-hearing callers):1-866-464-3615Website: https://nccih.nih.gov/Email: firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends email)PubMed®
A service of the National Library of Medicine, PubMed® contains publication information and (in most cases) brief summaries of articles from scientific and medical journals. For guidance from NCCIH on using PubMed, see How To Find Information About Complementary Health Approaches on PubMed.Website: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/MedlinePlus
To provide resources that help answer health questions, MedlinePlus (a service of the National Library of Medicine) brings together authoritative information from the National Institutes of Health as well as other Government agencies and health-related organizations. Website: https://www.medlineplus.gov/ VIEW THIS INFORMATION AT: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics-what-you-need-to-know Key References Bafeta A, Koh M, Riveros C, et al. Harms reporting in randomized controlled trials of interventions aimed at modifying microbiota: a systematic review. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2018;169(4):240-247. Blaabjerg S, Artzi DM, Aabenhus R. Probiotics for the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in outpatients—a systematic review and meta-analysis. Antibiotics. 2017;6(4).pii:E21. Butel M-J. Probiotics, gut microbiota and health. Médecine et Maladies Infectieuses. 2014;44(1):1-8. Cohen PA. Probiotic safety—no guarantees. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2018;178(12):1577-1578. Degnan FH. The US Food and Drug Administration and probiotics: regulatory categorization. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2008;46(Suppl 2):S133–S136. Didari T, Solki S, Mozaffari S, et al. A systematic review of the safety of probiotics. Expert Opinion on Drug Safety. 2014;13(2):227–239. Dryl R, Szajewska H. Probiotics for management of infantile colic: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Archives of Medical Science. 2018;14(5):1137-1143. Fijan S. Microorganisms with claimed probiotic properties: an overview of recent literature. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014;11(5):4745-4767. Ford AC, Harris LA, Lacy BE, et al. Systematic review with meta-analysis: the efficacy of prebiotics, probiotics, synbiotics and antibiotics in irritable bowel syndrome. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 2018;48(10):1044-1060. Goldenberg JZ, Yap C, Lytvyn L, et al. Probiotics for the prevention of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea in adults and children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2017;(12):CD006095. Accessed at www.cochranelibrary.com on January 23, 2018. Guarner F, Khan AG, Garisch J, et al. World Gastroenterology Organisation Global Guidelines. Probiotics and Prebiotics. October 2011. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. 2012;46(6):468–481. Hempel S, Newberry SJ, Maher AR, et al. Probiotics for the prevention and treatment of antibiotic-associated diarrhea: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 2012;307(18):1959–1969. Hempel S, Newberry S, Ruelaz A, et al. Safety of Probiotics to Reduce Risk and Prevent or Treat Disease. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment no. 200. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2011. AHRQ publication no. 11-E007. Rao SC, Athalye-Jape GK, Deshpande GC, et al. Probiotic supplementation and late-onset sepsis in preterm infants: a meta-analysis. Pediatrics. 2016;137(3):e20153684. Sanders ME, Akkermans LM, Haller D, et al. Safety assessment of probiotics for human use. Gut Microbes. 2010;1(3):164-185. Thomas JP, Raine T, Reddy S, et al. Probiotics for the prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis in very low-birth-weight infants: a meta-analysis and systematic review. Acta Paediatrica. 2017;106(11):1729-1741. Zuccotti G, Meneghin F, Aceti A, et al. Probiotics for prevention of atopic diseases in infants: systematic review and meta-analysis. Allergy. 2015;70(11):1356-13