Can Probiotics Treat Certain Gut Disease?

The human gut microbiota, which consists of trillions of microbial cells, plays a crucial role in intestinal health. It helps with the digestion of complex carbohydrates and produces beneficial substances like short-chain fatty acids. However, disruptions in the balance of the gut microbiota, known as dysbiosis, can lead to various diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD), and colorectal cancer (CRC).

The Relationship between Probiotics and the Gut Microbiota

Probiotics are live microorganisms like bacteria and yeast that have positive effects on human health. They are currently being studied and considered as potential treatments for various intestinal diseases. Clinical trials and experiments have shown that probiotics can shape the gut microbiota and help control bowel diseases while promoting overall wellness.

Probiotics in Gut Microbiome-Associated Diseases

Probiotics have been found to have nutritional and immune modulatory effects, particularly in patients with IBD. They can reduce inflammation and improve clinical outcomes in these patients. Probiotics also offer other health benefits like preventing constipation and enhancing the immune system. Their positive effects have been demonstrated in numerous clinical trials.

One specific condition where probiotics have shown promise is antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD). AAD is a common side effect of antibiotic treatment and is caused by disruptions in the gut microbiota. Probiotics can help prevent AAD by restoring the balance of the gut microbiota and inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria.

Another area where probiotics have been studied is in the treatment of IBD, specifically ulcerative colitis (UC). While there is promising evidence for the use of probiotics in UC, the efficacy of probiotics in Crohn’s disease (CD) is still unclear, and more research is needed to make generalized recommendations.

Overall, probiotics have the potential to play a significant role in maintaining intestinal health and preventing and treating various gut microbiome-associated diseases. Further research is necessary to better understand the specific mechanisms and optimal usage of probiotics in the treatment of these conditions.

Source: Kim SK, Guevarra RB, Kim YT, Kwon J, Kim H, Cho JH, Kim HB, Lee JH. Role of Probiotics in Human Gut Microbiome-Associated Diseases . J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2019;29:1335-1340.

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