Overview of gut flora and probiotics

Int J Food Microbiol. 1998 May 26;41(2):85-101. doi: 10.1016/s0168-1605(98)00044-0.


Scientific developments in recent years have opened new frontiers and enable a better understanding of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) as a complex and delicately balanced ecosystem. This paper focuses on more recent information related to the microbial population of the GIT and its functional role in human physiology and health. Special attention is also given to modern approaches for improving or stabilising the intestinal system and its functioning by the deliberate application of viable microbial cultures, so-called 'probiotics', selected for special functional properties.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena*
  • Bifidobacterium / physiology
  • Digestive System / microbiology*
  • Food, Organic
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus / physiology
  • Luminescent Measurements
  • Models, Biological
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Probiotics* / adverse effects
  • Probiotics* / therapeutic use