Probiotics and health: new facts and ideas

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2002 Oct;13(5):486-9. doi: 10.1016/s0958-1669(02)00368-3.


Many trials on probiotics are now published that use established methods to demonstrate their clinical efficacy. Convincing progress has been made in the field of inflammatory bowel disease and allergy prevention in infants. Experimental studies show clear differences (and even sometimes opposite effects) between apparently closely related probiotics and suggest new mechanisms for the observed effects, such as immunostimulation by bacterial DNA and interaction with Toll-like receptors and dendritic cells in the gastrointestinal tract.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Infections / diet therapy*
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Digestive System / drug effects
  • Digestive System / microbiology*
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Health
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / diet therapy*
  • Hypersensitivity / microbiology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diet therapy*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / microbiology
  • Intestinal Diseases / diet therapy
  • Intestinal Diseases / microbiology
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Probiotics / pharmacology
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*