One of the most promising areas of development in the human nutritional field over the last two decades has been the use of probiotics and recognition of their role in human health and disease. Lactic acid-producing bacteria are the most commonly used probiotics in foods. It is well known that probiotics have a number of beneficial health effects in humans and animals. They play an important role in the protection of the host against harmful microorganisms and also strengthen the immune system. Some probiotics have also been found to improve feed digestibility and reduce metabolic disorders. They must be safe, acid and bile tolerant, and able to adhere and colonize the intestinal tract. The means by which probiotic bacteria elicit their health effects are not understood fully, but may include competitive exclusion of enteric pathogens, neutralization of dietary carcinogens, production of antimicrobial metabolites, and modulation of mucosal and systemic immune function. So far, lactic acid bacteria isolated only from the human gastrointestinal tract are recommended by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) for use as probiotics by humans. However, more and more studies suggest that strains considered to be probiotics could be isolated from fermented products of animal origin, as well as from non-dairy fermented products. Traditional fermented products are a rich source of microorganisms, some of which may exhibit probiotic properties. They conform to the FAO/WHO recommendation, with one exception; they have not been isolated from human gastrointestinal tract. In light of extensive new scientific evidence, should the possibility of changing the current FAO/WHO requirements for the definition of probiotic bacteria be considered?