Gut microbiota and the role of probiotics in therapy

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2011 Dec;11(6):593-603. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2011.09.010. Epub 2011 Oct 11.


Thanks to rapid progress in the development and application of molecular techniques to the assessment of the human gut microbiome, the true nature, diversity and metabolic potential of this 'hidden organ' are being revealed. Simultaneously, the complex physiological, immunological and metabolic interactions between host and microbiome are being untangled. By contrast, the probiotic concept has been with us for decades and, while supported more by fad and folklore in the past, is now gaining support, not only from experimental work in animal models, but also by well-designed studies in human diseases, most notably infectious diarrheas, inflammatory bowel disease and the irritable bowel syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dysentery / microbiology
  • Dysentery / prevention & control
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diet therapy
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / microbiology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / prevention & control
  • Intestinal Diseases / diet therapy*
  • Intestinal Diseases / microbiology
  • Intestinal Diseases / prevention & control
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / diet therapy
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / microbiology
  • Metagenome*
  • Probiotics / adverse effects
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Terminology as Topic