The human gut contains a highly diverse microbial community that is essentially an open ecosystem, despite being deeply embedded within the human body. Food-associated fermentative bacteria, including probiotics, are major sources of ingested bacteria that may temporarily complement resident microbial communities, thus forming part of our transient microbiome. Here, we review data on the fate and activity of ingested bacteria and, in particular, lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and their impact on the composition and metabolism of the gut microbiome with a focus on data from clinical studies. In addition, we discuss the mechanisms involved and the potential impact on the host's health.
Keywords: clinical studies; gut microbiota; ingested bacteria; probiotics; transient microbiome.
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.