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Putting the spotlight on probiotics

by Annina Whipp,
Registered Dietitian and Health Writer
Publication date: 04/2022

Author: Annina is a Registered Dietitian and Health Writer with clinical experience in both adult and paediatric settings. She specialises in gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes and weight management, and is driven by translating nutritional science to support people to achieve their specific health goals.

Target audience: For healthcare professionals interested in learning about probiotics and their effects on the gut microbiome.

Learning objectives: By the end of this article, you should understand:

  • The definition of probiotics, their modes of action, and influence on the gut microbiome
  • Different probiotic delivery systems and formulations, and how they influence viability
  • Probiotic regulation, health claims, and safety considerations
  • The future of probiotics and potential for personalisation

Probiotics are defined as “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host” (WHO, 2011).

There is growing interest in probiotics as a gut-microbiome (GM) targeted therapy, given the associations between a dysregulated GM and potential health implications.

While the body of research on probiotics has rapidly expanded in recent years, fewer studies have focused on factors influencing efficacy (e.g., manufacturing processes, formulation, and delivery format).

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