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XLargeThumb.00005176-201607000-00000.CVA paper published in the Journal of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition explores the role of probiotics in the management of functional gut problems in children. Published in July 2016, the authors conclude that appropriately selected organisms represent a plausible (read effective) intervention for such cases. However, strain specific bacteria were tested and random bacteria are not as effective.1

08A review article in Gastroenterologica e Dietologica explores the evidence for the use of LGG as a therapeutic probiotic.[1] Probiotics are becoming increasingly important in basic and clinical research, but they are also a subject of considerable economic interest due to their expanding popularity. They are live micro-organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host.

From this very well-known definition, it is clear that, unlike drugs, probiotics might be useful in healthy subjects to reduce the risk of developing certain diseases or to optimise some physiological functions. They also may offer some advantages in already ill persons in relieving symptoms and signs, e.g. people with acute diarrhoea.

Cclogo.svgBackground

Probiotics may improve a person’s health by regulating their immune function. Some trials have shown that probiotic strains can prevent respiratory infections. Even though the previous version of our review showed benefits of probiotics for acute upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), several new studies have been published.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), is a chronic inflammation of the small intestine and colon caused by a dysregulated immune response to host intestinal microbiota in genetically susceptible subjects. A number of fermented dairy products contain lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and bifidobacteria, some of which have been characterised as probiotics that can modify the gut microbiota and may be beneficial for the treatment and the prevention of IBD.

The objective of this review was to carry out a systematic search of LAB and bifidobacteria probiotics and IBD, using the PubMed and Scopus databases, defined by a specific equation using MeSH terms and limited to human clinical trials. The use of probiotics and/or synbiotics has positive effects in the treatment and maintenance of UC, whereas in CD clear effectiveness has only been shown for synbiotics.

Symbiosis between the gastrointestinal microbiota and the host is the basis for these health benefits. In exchange for a stable environment and adequate nutrients, the microbiota play a role in maturation of the gastrointestinal tract, provide the host with nutritional contributions and help safeguard the host from harmful microbes. When this symbiosis is disturbed, introduction

“Diet is a central issue when it comes to preserving our gastrointestinal health, because by eating and digesting we literally feed our gut microbiota, and thus influence its diversity and composition,” says the distinguished microbiota expert Professor Francisco Guarner (University Hospital Valld’Hebron, Barcelona, Spain).

If this balance is disturbed, it might result in a number of disorders, including functional bowel disorders, inflammatory bowel diseases and other immune mediated diseases, such as coeliac disease and certain allergies. Also, metabolic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, and perhaps even behavioural disorders, such as autism and depression, can be linked to gut microbial imbalances. Although a disrupted microbial equilibrium can have many causes — infectious pathogens or use of antibiotics among them — the role of our daily food and lifestyle is crucial. Thus, the maintenance of our gastrointestinal health is to a considerable extent in our own hands.

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A very exciting paper published in the journal Cell has identified (in an animal model) the ability of commensal bacteria to reverse autistic behaviours, reinforcing the indications explored by us in the blog over the last few years that the relationship between brain and gut is in part mediated by organisational complexity and competence in the gut microbiota. This looks to be an exciting investigation that will build on many others works.[1]

Doses of a human gut microbe helped to reverse behavioural problems in mice with autism-like symptoms, researchers report today in Cell. The treatment also reduced gastrointestinal problems in the animals that were similar to those that often accompany autism in humans.

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The Gut Microbiota and ME/CFS

Thursday, 15 August 2013 by

A paper out in the journal Anaerobe explores the potential role of our commensal bacteria and the development and progression of chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis.[1]

Developing a theme started in part by the Australian scientist Thomas Borody and colleagues[2] in which they utilised the method of faecal transplant therapy and identified that 70% of the patients responded initially and after a prolonged follow up period ((15-20 years) found that 58% had a sustained response, suggesting that the relationship between bacteria in the digestive tract and symptoms of CFIDS may have a credible mechanism for intervention.

At the International Liver Congress 2013: 48th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL). An abstract was presented exploring the role of probiotics in the reduction of risk for development of hepatic encephalopathy Abstract 78. Presented April 26, 2013.

Your gastrointestinal tract is home to complex microbial populations, which, collectively, are referred to as the microbiota. The relation between the microbiota and you – the host is meant to be symbiotic, with you providing a warm moist physical niche and suitable food to intestinal bacteria and then if all works well you in turn gain benefit from the enhancement of resistance to infection and the improved facilitation of the absorption of ingested food [1],[2]

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