Probiotics and Prebiotics: Current Status and Future Trends
Koen Venema and Ana Paula do Carmo
from: Probiotics and Prebiotics: Current Research and Future Trends (Edited by: Koen Venema and Ana Paula do Carmo). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2015) Pages: 3-12.
Over the past several decades the research into the health benefits of probiotics and prebiotics has rocketed sky high. There are several new applications and diseases and disorders for these healthy dietary components that were previously unthinkable. However, the efficacy has not been scientifically substantiated for all these applications yet, and care needs to be taken that pro- and prebiotics are not considered as a cure for everything. For starters, probiotic effects are strain dependent, and hence not all strains are beneficial for all disorders. In fact, some strains may be detrimental when given to certain patients, and it may aggravate the problems that these patients have. Similarly, prebiotics are not identical, and will stimulate different microorganisms in different individuals, in some case leading to worsening of the disease. Moreover, dose-dependency has rarely been studied and in the case of probiotics, culture conditions may affect their efficacy as well. In addition, although numerous positive results have been obtained with several well-studied probiotic strains, the mechanism of action usually is still completely unclear, let alone what the molecular molecule is that is responsible for the benefit. So, despite several decades of intense research there is still much to be discovered read more ...