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Journal ArticleDOI

Health benefits and health claims of probiotics: bridging science and marketing

14 Nov 2011-British Journal of Nutrition (Cambridge University Press)-Vol. 106, Iss: 9, pp 1291-1296

TL;DR: An open dialogue between basic and clinical scientists, regulatory authorities, food and nutrition industry, and consumers could bridge the gap between science and marketing of probiotics.

AbstractHealth claims for probiotics are evaluated by the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies of the European Food Safety Authority. Despite a substantial amount of basic and clinical research on the beneficial effects of probiotics, all of the evaluated claim applications thus far have received a negative opinion. With the restrictions on the use of clinical endpoints, validated biomarkers for gut health and immune health in relation to reduction in disease risk are needed. Clear-cut criteria for design as well as evaluation of future studies are needed. An open dialogue between basic and clinical scientists, regulatory authorities, food and nutrition industry, and consumers could bridge the gap between science and marketing of probiotics.

Topics: Food safety (50%)

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Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Intestinal permeability, which is a feature of intestinal barrier function, is increasingly recognized as being of relevance for health and disease, and therefore, this topic warrants more attention.
Abstract: Data are accumulating that emphasize the important role of the intestinal barrier and intestinal permeability for health and disease. However, these terms are poorly defined, their assessment is a matter of debate, and their clinical significance is not clearly established. In the present review, current knowledge on mucosal barrier and its role in disease prevention and therapy is summarized. First, the relevant terms ‘intestinal barrier’ and ‘intestinal permeability’ are defined. Secondly, the key element of the intestinal barrier affecting permeability are described. This barrier represents a huge mucosal surface, where billions of bacteria face the largest immune system of our body. On the one hand, an intact intestinal barrier protects the human organism against invasion of microorganisms and toxins, on the other hand, this barrier must be open to absorb essential fluids and nutrients. Such opposing goals are achieved by a complex anatomical and functional structure the intestinal barrier consists of, the functional status of which is described by ‘intestinal permeability’. Third, the regulation of intestinal permeability by diet and bacteria is depicted. In particular, potential barrier disruptors such as hypoperfusion of the gut, infections and toxins, but also selected over-dosed nutrients, drugs, and other lifestyle factors have to be considered. In the fourth part, the means to assess intestinal permeability are presented and critically discussed. The means vary enormously and probably assess different functional components of the barrier. The barrier assessments are further hindered by the natural variability of this functional entity depending on species and genes as well as on diet and other environmental factors. In the final part, we discuss selected diseases associated with increased intestinal permeability such as critically illness, inflammatory bowel diseases, celiac disease, food allergy, irritable bowel syndrome, and – more recently recognized – obesity and metabolic diseases. All these diseases are characterized by inflammation that might be triggered by the translocation of luminal components into the host. In summary, intestinal permeability, which is a feature of intestinal barrier function, is increasingly recognized as being of relevance for health and disease, and therefore, this topic warrants more attention.

874 citations


Cites background from "Health benefits and health claims o..."

  • ...differ between nutrients and drugs, the new tools to modulate intestinal permeability, such as probiotics, prebiotics or other possibly enriched dietetic components, need clear scientific evaluation independent of their legal classification, which can be questioned from a scientific point of view [264,265]....

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Journal ArticleDOI
06 Sep 2018-Cell
TL;DR: The metagenomically characterized the murine and human mucosal-associated gastrointestinal microbiome and found it to only partially correlate with stool microbiome, indicating that empiric probiotics supplementation may be limited in universally and persistently impacting the gut mucosa.
Abstract: Empiric probiotics are commonly consumed by healthy individuals as means of life quality improvement and disease prevention However, evidence of probiotic gut mucosal colonization efficacy remains sparse and controversial We metagenomically characterized the murine and human mucosal-associated gastrointestinal microbiome and found it to only partially correlate with stool microbiome A sequential invasive multi-omics measurement at baseline and during consumption of an 11-strain probiotic combination or placebo demonstrated that probiotics remain viable upon gastrointestinal passage In colonized, but not germ-free mice, probiotics encountered a marked mucosal colonization resistance In contrast, humans featured person-, region- and strain-specific mucosal colonization patterns, hallmarked by predictive baseline host and microbiome features, but indistinguishable by probiotics presence in stool Consequently, probiotics induced a transient, individualized impact on mucosal community structure and gut transcriptome Collectively, empiric probiotics supplementation may be limited in universally and persistently impacting the gut mucosa, meriting development of new personalized probiotic approaches

583 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Caution in selecting and monitoring of probiotics for patients is needed and complete consideration of risk-benefit ratio before prescribing is recommended, as probiotic properties have been shown to be strain specific, accurate identification of particular strains is also very important.
Abstract: Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms, which when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. Health benefits have mainly been demonstrated for specific probiotic strains of the following genera: Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Saccharomyces, Enterococcus, Streptococcus, Pediococcus, Leuconostoc, Bacillus, Escherichia coli. The human microbiota is getting a lot of attention today and research has already demonstrated that alteration of this microbiota may have far-reaching consequences. One of the possible routes for correcting dysbiosis is by consuming probiotics. The credibility of specific health claims of probiotics and their safety must be established through science-based clinical studies. This overview summarizes the most commonly used probiotic microorganisms and their demonstrated health claims. As probiotic properties have been shown to be strain specific, accurate identification of particular strains is also very important. On the other hand, it is also demonstrated that the use of various probiotics for immunocompromised patients or patients with a leaky gut has also yielded infections, sepsis, fungemia, bacteraemia. Although the vast majority of probiotics that are used today are generally regarded as safe and beneficial for healthy individuals, caution in selecting and monitoring of probiotics for patients is needed and complete consideration of risk-benefit ratio before prescribing is recommended.

438 citations


Cites background from "Health benefits and health claims o..."

  • ...However, this definition is not accepted by European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [13,14] at the moment since they insist that the health claim incorporated in the definition is not measurable due to the fact that commercial markets have outpaced the ability of science to substantiate the evidence....

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  • ...Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [13,14] at the moment since they insist that the health claim incorporated in the definition is not measurable due to the fact that commercial markets have outpaced the ability of science to substantiate the evidence....

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  • ...Over the last two decades there has been growing interest on both basic and clinical science in probiotics which has resulted in over 6000 publications in the biomedical literature, with over 60% published in the last 5 years, some in the top ranking scientific journals [14]....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is demonstrated that the administration of a probiotic, VSL#3, prevented and treated obesity and diabetes in several mouse models and suggested that probiotics can modulate the gut microbiota-SCFA-hormone axis.
Abstract: Obesity and diabetes are associated with excess caloric intake and reduced energy expenditure resulting in a negative energy balance. The incidence of diabetes has reached epidemic proportions, and childhood diabetes and obesity are increasing alarmingly. Therefore, it is important to develop safe, easily deliverable, and economically viable treatment alternatives for these diseases. Here, we provide data supporting the candidacy of probiotics as such a therapeutic modality against obesity and diabetes. Probiotics are live bacteria that colonize the gastrointestinal tract and impart beneficial effects for health. However, their widespread prescription as medical therapies is limited primarily because of the paucity of our understanding of their mechanism of action. Here, we demonstrate that the administration of a probiotic, VSL#3, prevented and treated obesity and diabetes in several mouse models. VSL#3 suppressed body weight gain and insulin resistance via modulation of the gut flora composition. VSL#3 promoted the release of the hormone GLP-1, resulting in reduced food intake and improved glucose tolerance. The VSL#3-induced changes were associated with an increase in the levels of a short chain fatty acid (SCFA), butyrate. Using a cell culture system, we demonstrate that butyrate stimulated the release of GLP-1 from intestinal L-cells, thereby providing a plausible mechanism for VSL#3 action. These findings suggest that probiotics such as VSL#3 can modulate the gut microbiota-SCFA-hormone axis. Moreover, our results indicate that probiotics are of potential therapeutic utility to counter obesity and diabetes.

402 citations


Cites background from "Health benefits and health claims o..."

  • ...atherogenesis, allergy, and inflammatory bowel diseases (19, 20)....

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  • ...Probiotics are food supplements that confer beneficial effects under various clinical conditions (31, 32) inclusive of atherogenesis, allergy, and inflammatory bowel diseases (19, 20)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This Perspective highlights key advances, challenges and limitations in striving toward an unbiased interpretation of the large amount of data regarding over-the-counter probiotics, and proposes avenues to improve the quality of evidence, transparency, public awareness and regulation of their use.
Abstract: Consumption of over-the-counter probiotics for promotion of health and well-being has increased worldwide in recent years. However, although probiotic use has been greatly popularized among the general public, there are conflicting clinical results for many probiotic strains and formulations. Emerging insights from microbiome research enable an assessment of gut colonization by probiotics, strain-level activity, interactions with the indigenous microbiome, safety and impacts on the host, and allow the association of probiotics with physiological effects and potentially useful medical indications. In this Perspective, we highlight key advances, challenges and limitations in striving toward an unbiased interpretation of the large amount of data regarding over-the-counter probiotics, and propose avenues to improve the quality of evidence, transparency, public awareness and regulation of their use.

272 citations


References
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Journal ArticleDOI
04 Mar 2010-Nature
TL;DR: The Illumina-based metagenomic sequencing, assembly and characterization of 3.3 million non-redundant microbial genes, derived from 576.7 gigabases of sequence, from faecal samples of 124 European individuals are described, indicating that the entire cohort harbours between 1,000 and 1,150 prevalent bacterial species and each individual at least 160 such species.
Abstract: To understand the impact of gut microbes on human health and well-being it is crucial to assess their genetic potential. Here we describe the Illumina-based metagenomic sequencing, assembly and characterization of 3.3 million non-redundant microbial genes, derived from 576.7 gigabases of sequence, from faecal samples of 124 European individuals. The gene set, ~150 times larger than the human gene complement, contains an overwhelming majority of the prevalent (more frequent) microbial genes of the cohort and probably includes a large proportion of the prevalent human intestinal microbial genes. The genes are largely shared among individuals of the cohort. Over 99% of the genes are bacterial, indicating that the entire cohort harbours between 1,000 and 1,150 prevalent bacterial species and each individual at least 160 such species, which are also largely shared. We define and describe the minimal gut metagenome and the minimal gut bacterial genome in terms of functions present in all individuals and most bacteria, respectively

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"Health benefits and health claims o..." refers background in this paper

  • ...For the fifty-seven most common bacterial species identified by metagenome sequence analysis in the human gut, the inter-individual variability of abundance is between 12- and 2187-fold((16))....

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  • ...However, a clearly distinct composition of gut microbiota, both compared with healthy individuals and between the two diseases, is found in inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease)((16))....

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Journal ArticleDOI
29 May 2008-Nature
TL;DR: It is reported here that the prominent human symbiont Bacteroides fragilis protects animals from experimental colitis induced by Helicobacter hepaticus and that molecules of the bacterial microbiota can mediate the critical balance between health and disease.
Abstract: Humans are colonized by multitudes of commensal organisms representing members of five of the six kingdoms of life; however, our gastrointestinal tract provides residence to both beneficial and potentially pathogenic microorganisms. Imbalances in the composition of the bacterial microbiota, known as dysbiosis, are postulated to be a major factor in human disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease. We report here that the prominent human symbiont Bacteroides fragilis protects animals from experimental colitis induced by Helicobacter hepaticus, a commensal bacterium with pathogenic potential. This beneficial activity requires a single microbial molecule (polysaccharide A, PSA). In animals harbouring B. fragilis not expressing PSA, H. hepaticus colonization leads to disease and pro-inflammatory cytokine production in colonic tissues. Purified PSA administered to animals is required to suppress pro-inflammatory interleukin-17 production by intestinal immune cells and also inhibits in vitro reactions in cell cultures. Furthermore, PSA protects from inflammatory disease through a functional requirement for interleukin-10-producing CD4+ T cells. These results show that molecules of the bacterial microbiota can mediate the critical balance between health and disease. Harnessing the immunomodulatory capacity of symbiosis factors such as PSA might potentially provide therapeutics for human inflammatory disorders on the basis of entirely novel biological principles.

1,906 citations


"Health benefits and health claims o..." refers background in this paper

  • ...In a series of landmark publications((7,19,20)), Dennis Kasper’s group has demonstrated that the capsular polysaccharide polysaccharide A of Bacteroides fragilis is indispensable for normal development of mucosal T lymphocytes and control of exper-...

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  • ...Unfortunately, with a few exceptions((7,8)), the genes that determine or underlie the health benefit delivered by specific probiotic strains have not been identified to date....

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Journal ArticleDOI
17 May 2010-PLOS ONE
TL;DR: Evidence is provided for the fact that the ageing process deeply affects the structure of the human gut microbiota, as well as its homeostasis with the host's immune system, because of its crucial role in the host physiology and health status.
Abstract: Background: Age-related physiological changes in the gastrointestinal tract, as well as modifications in lifestyle, nutritional behaviour, and functionality of the host immune system, inevitably affect the gut microbiota, resulting in a greater susceptibility to infections. Methodology/Principal Findings: By using the Human Intestinal Tract Chip (HITChip) and quantitative PCR of 16S rRNA genes of Bacteria and Archaea, we explored the age-related differences in the gut microbiota composition among young adults, elderly, and centenarians, i.e subjects who reached the extreme limits of the human lifespan, living for over 100 years. We observed that the microbial composition and diversity of the gut ecosystem of young adults and seventy-years old people is highly similar but differs significantly from that of the centenarians. After 100 years of symbiotic association with the human host, the microbiota is characterized by a rearrangement in the Firmicutes population and an enrichment in facultative anaerobes, notably pathobionts. The presence of such a compromised microbiota in the centenarians is associated with an increased inflammatory status, also known as inflammageing, as determined by a range of peripheral blood inflammatory markers. This may be explained by a remodelling of the centenarians’ microbiota, with a marked decrease in Faecalibacterium prauznitzii and relatives, symbiotic species with reported anti-inflammatory properties. As signature bacteria of the long life we identified specifically Eubacterium limosum and relatives that were more than ten-fold increased in the centenarians. Conclusions/Significance: We provide evidence for the fact that the ageing process deeply affects the structure of the human gut microbiota, as well as its homeostasis with the host’s immune system. Because of its crucial role in the host physiology and health status, age-related differences in the gut microbiota composition may be related to the progression of diseases and frailty in the elderly population.

975 citations


"Health benefits and health claims o..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Moreover, the intestinal microbiota also changes in time as was illustrated recently in a study, in which age groups up to 100 years were compared((17))....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The nonclassic actions of vitamin D are cell specific and provide a number of potential new clinical applications for 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) and its analogs, however, the use ofitamin D metabolites and analogs for these applications remains limited by the classic actions of Vitamin D leading to hypercalcemia and hypercalcuria.
Abstract: Context: Vitamin D receptors are found in most tissues, not just those participating in the classic actions of vitamin D such as bone, gut, and kidney. These nonclassic tissues are therefore potential targets for the active metabolite of vitamin D, 1,25(OH)2D. Furthermore, many of these tissues also contain the enzyme CYP27B1 capable of producing 1,25(OH)2D from the circulating form of vitamin D. This review was intended to highlight the actions of 1,25(OH)2D in several of these tissues but starts with a review of vitamin D production, metabolism, and molecular mechanism. Evidence Acquisition: Medline was searched for articles describing actions of 1,25(OH)2D on parathyroid hormone and insulin secretion, immune responses, keratinocytes, and cancer. Evidence Synthesis: Vitamin D production in the skin provides an efficient source of vitamin D. Subsequent metabolism to 1,25(OH)2D within nonrenal tissues differs from that in the kidney. Although vitamin D receptor mediates the actions of 1,25(OH)2D, regulati...

804 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This Review highlights the documented signalling interactions of the surface molecules of probiotic bacteria (such as long surface appendages, polysaccharides and lipoteichoic acids) with PRRs with respect to host pattern recognition receptors of the gastrointestinal mucosa.
Abstract: Interactions between host cell receptors and the surface molecules of bacteria are important determinants of the nature of the relationship between the two organisms. In this Review, Lebeer, Vanderleyden and De Keersmaecker examine the signalling interactions of probiotic bacterial cell surface molecules. How can probiotic bacteria transduce their health benefits to the host? Bacterial cell surface macromolecules are key factors in this beneficial microorganism–host crosstalk, as they can interact with host pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) of the gastrointestinal mucosa. In this Review, we highlight the documented signalling interactions of the surface molecules of probiotic bacteria (such as long surface appendages, polysaccharides and lipoteichoic acids) with PRRs. Research on host–probiotic interactions can benefit from well-documented host–microorganism studies that span the spectrum from pathogenicity to mutualism. Distinctions and parallels are therefore drawn with the interactions of similar molecules that are presented by gastrointestinal commensals and pathogens.

738 citations


"Health benefits and health claims o..." refers background in this paper

  • ...For a number of strains, it has been demonstrated now that the probiotic bacteria can bind to receptors on cells of the immune system including dendritic cells((27))....

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