The Disagreements Over the Health Effects of Probiotics Essay

1491 Words 6 Pages
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…
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 whom of which disagree with the term as it apparently states an immeasurable health claim. The disagreements with probiotics will be discussed further in this essay.
The most commonly used bacterium strains for probiotics are Gram-positive Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. casei. and numerous Bifidobacterium species, B. longum and B. bifidum. There many are other strains of bacteria that have been described as probiotic but have failed to meet standards in clinical trials, this is due to their low resistance to low pH levels and bile salts in the gastrointestinal tract (Hekmat, 2006).
There is certain criterion that must be met before bacteria can be named or used as probiotics; they must be vigorously tested in clinical trials on humans and
Open Document