LECTURE

Probiotics

Are probiotics really effective for chronic GI diseases?

Current scientific evidence

Already the ancient Egyptians are said to have consumed fermented foods 9000 years ago (mainly for reasons of preservation). Since Nobel laureate Ilya Metchnikov hypothesized over 100 years ago that lactic acid bacteria from fermented milk could prevent the growth of “harmful” bacteria in the intestine and “autointoxication” with potential toxins, the discussion about the actual benefits and effectiveness of probiotic bacteria, whether in food or now in the form of probiotic supplements, has flared up. For several years, intensive research has been taking place on the efficacy of probiotics in the treatment of various intestinal diseases to other chronic diseases and depression: with contradictory results and the growing realization that the microbiome may be more complex than we think.

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But who do probiotics really help and, if so, what factors count for the effectiveness of a probiotic? How do they act in the gut and systemically on the body? Does a healthy intestine need probiotics to possibly prevent chronic diseases – The findings from research keep raising new questions, but there are also already some answers.

Can the complex, natural ecosystem of microbes in the gut be manipulated by probiotics?

The current state of evidence on efficacy and side effects of probiotics and probiotic foods in digestive disorders.

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