Clinical Indications for Probiotics: An Overview

Clin Infect Dis. 2008 Feb 1;46 Suppl 2:S96-100; discussion S144-51. doi: 10.1086/523333.

Abstract

Probiotic bacteria are used to treat or prevent a broad range of human diseases, conditions, and syndromes. In addition, there are areas of medical use that have been proposed for future probiotic applications. Randomized double-blind studies have provided evidence of probiotic effectiveness for the treatment and prevention of acute diarrhea and antibiotic-induced diarrhea, as well as for the prevention of cow milk-induced food allergy in infants and young children. Research studies have also provided evidence of effectiveness for the prevention of traveler's diarrhea, relapsing Clostridium difficile-induced colitis, and urinary tract infections. There are also studies indicating that probiotics may be useful for prevention of respiratory infections in children, dental caries, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease. Areas of future interest for the application of probiotics include colon and bladder cancers, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. The probiotics with the greatest number of proven benefits are Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG and Saccharomyces boulardii.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / growth & development
  • Dental Caries / prevention & control
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / microbiology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / prevention & control
  • Preventive Medicine*
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Saccharomyces / growth & development