The number of studies claiming probiotic health effects of Lactobacillus plantarum is escalating. Lb. plantarum is a lactic acid bacterium found in diverse ecological niches, highlighting its particular capabilities of adaptation and genome plasticity. Another function that needs to be underlined is the capabilities of Lb. plantarum to produce diverse and potent bacteriocins, which are antimicrobial peptides with possible applications as food preservative or antibiotic complementary agents. Taken together, all these characteristics design Lb. plantarum as a genuine model for academic research and viable biological agent with promising applications. The present review aims at shedding light on the safety of Lb. plantarum and run through the main studies underpinning its beneficial claims. The mechanisms explaining probiotic-related features are discussed.
Keywords: Lactic acid bacteria; Lb. plantarum; Lb. plantarum genome; Probiotic safety.