From Probiotics, Prebiotics and Synbiotics to Living Drugs
Åsa Ljungh and Torkel Wadström
from: Lactobacillus Molecular Biology: From Genomics to Probiotics (Edited by: Åsa Ljungh and Torkel Wadström). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2009)
The human intestine harbours an immense collection of microbes which have co-evolved with us. Recent studies indicate that the gut microbes regulate energy harvest from the diet and participate in the peripheral body metabolism. Elie Metchnikoff understood that gut microbial dysbiosis severely affects many body functions, including a complex interplay of gut-brain interactions, now under intense study. Most probiotic strains belong to the genus Lactobacillus. The promising results of a first generation of probiotic microbes, evaluated in animal models as well as natural infections in animals and humans indicate a promising future for coming generations of probiotics. Antibiotic-associated, travellers' and pediatric diarrhea have been most studied, and more recently, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. The probiotic strains should be thoroughly characterized. Probably future probiotics will contain mixes of strains with complementary characteristics, tailormade for different gastrointestinal diseases, vaginosis or as delivery systems for vaccines, immunoglobulins and other protein based therapies read more ...