The Disagreements Over the Health Effects of Probiotics Essay

Decent Essays

Since the year 1965, the term probiotics has been used. Lilly and Stillwell were the first to describe probiotics as substances secreted by one organism, which stimulated growth of other organisms (Gupta, 2009). It was however, Elie Metchnikoff in the 1900s who first suggested that there were health properties in lactic acid bacteria from fermented food products (Anukam, 2007). Since then, the meaning has undergone some changes, one of the most recent definitions is that probiotics are beneficial live microorganisms, which must be consumed in a sufficient amount for the desired health effect (Guarner, 1998). The Food and Agriculture Organisation/World Health Organisation has adopted this definition but there are many other organisations …show more content…

Therefore the bacterium ability to tolerate different pH levels is a crucial factor in determining their probiotic use. Ability to attach to the gut epithelial cells and adequate production of antimicrobial substances are also other important properties of probiotics (Granato, 2010). In terms of commercial use and manufacturing, probiotics must be resilient and maintain cell viability during periods of processing, packaging and storage (Saarela, 2009).
The number food companies that are now using strains of Lactic acid bacteria and Bifidobacteria in their food products has increased considerably and it is now diary probiotic products that are making between 60%-70% of the functional food market (Mohammadi, 2012). Fermented milk and yogurt beverages are the main source of probiotics in supermarkets but there are also capsule and powder formations in addition. The popularity of these products has increased due to the number of documented benefits of consuming probiotic bacteria and support from media and marketing.
The documented health and nutritional benefits from consumption of probiotic food products show alleviating gastrointestinal problems and many other health benefits (Granato, 2010). Various randomised controlled trials have shown that in children with acute diarrhoea, probiotics has reduced the duration of diarrhoea by reducing stool frequency. It has shown to be a safe intervention however the size of the

Get Access