Probiotics and microbiota composition

BMC Med. 2016 Jun 2;14(1):82. doi: 10.1186/s12916-016-0629-z.

Abstract

Accumulated evidence, corroborated by a new systematic review by Kristensen et al. (Genome Med 8:52, 2016), suggests that probiotics do not significantly impact the fecal microbiota composition of healthy subjects. Nevertheless, physiological benefits have been associated with probiotic consumption by healthy people. Some studies have suggested that probiotics may impact the function of colonizing microbes, although this needs to be further studied. An alternative hypothesis is that probiotics may promote homeostasis of the gut microbiota, rather than change its composition. This hypothesis warrants investigation as a possible mechanism for how probiotics may benefit healthy people.Please see related article: http://genomemedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13073-016-0300-5 .

Keywords: Gut microbiota; Homeostasis; Lactobacillus; Metagenomics; Probiotic.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Feces / microbiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Homeostasis / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Microbiota / drug effects*
  • Probiotics / chemistry*
  • Probiotics / pharmacology*