Probiotics, Photobiomodulation, and Disease Management: Controversies and Challenges

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 May 6;22(9):4942. doi: 10.3390/ijms22094942.


In recent decades, researchers around the world have been studying intensively how micro-organisms that are present inside living organisms could affect the main processes of life, namely health and pathological conditions of mind or body. They discovered a relationship between the whole microbial colonization and the initiation and development of different medical disorders. Besides already known probiotics, novel products such as postbiotics and paraprobiotics have been developed in recent years to create new non-viable micro-organisms or bacterial-free extracts, which can provide benefits to the host with additional bioactivity to probiotics, but without the risk of side effects. The best alternatives in the use of probiotics and postbiotics to maintain the health of the intestinal microbiota and to prevent the attachment of pathogens to children and adults are highlighted and discussed as controversies and challenges. Updated knowledge of the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the balance between microbiota and immune system for the introspection on the gut-lung-brain axis could reveal the latest benefits and perspectives of applied photobiomics for health. Multiple interconditioning between photobiomodulation (PBM), probiotics, and the human microbiota, their effects on the human body, and their implications for the management of viral infectious diseases is essential. Coupled complex PBM and probiotic interventions can control the microbiome, improve the activity of the immune system, and save the lives of people with immune imbalances. There is an urgent need to seek and develop innovative treatments to successfully interact with the microbiota and the human immune system in the coronavirus crisis. In the near future, photobiomics and metabolomics should be applied innovatively in the SARS-CoV-2 crisis (to study and design new therapies for COVID-19 immediately), to discover how bacteria can help us through adequate energy biostimulation to combat this pandemic, so that we can find the key to the hidden code of communication between RNA viruses, bacteria, and our body.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; abscopal effect; gut; immune; infections; low-level laser; lung; microbiome; pro-, pre-, syn-, para-, and postbiotics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / immunology
  • Brain / radiation effects
  • COVID-19 / immunology*
  • COVID-19 / microbiology*
  • COVID-19 / radiotherapy
  • COVID-19 / therapy
  • Cytokine Release Syndrome / microbiology
  • Cytokine Release Syndrome / radiotherapy
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / immunology*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Lung / immunology
  • Lung / radiation effects
  • Metabolomics
  • Phototherapy / methods
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • SARS-CoV-2 / immunology*
  • SARS-CoV-2 / radiation effects