Skip to main content

Open Access Probiotic lactic acid bacteria in the gastro-intestinal tract: health benefits, safety and mode of action

Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have received considerable attention as probiotics over the past few years. This concept has grown from traditional dairy products to a profitable market of probiotic health supplements and functional foods. Extensive research is done on novel potential probiotic strains, with specific emphasis on their health benefits and mode of action. Criteria for the selection of probiotic strains have only recently been formulated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (FAO/WHO). Several in vitro techniques have been developed to evaluate the probiotic properties of strains. In many cases, this is followed by in vivo tests. Safety studies are also obligatory, as a few cases of bacteremia caused by LAB have been reported. This review focuses on the health benefits and safety of LAB probiotics, the criteria used to select a probiotic, mode of action and the impact these organisms have on natural microbiota in the gastro-intestinal tract.

Keywords: lactic acid bacteria; probiotics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Beneficial Microbes is a peer-reviewed scientific journal with a specific area of focus: the promotion of the science of microbes beneficial to the health and wellbeing of man and animal. The journal contains original research papers and critical reviews in all areas dealing with beneficial microbes in both the small and large intestine, together with opinions, a calendar of forthcoming beneficial microbes-related events and book reviews. The journal takes a multidisciplinary approach and focuses on a broad spectrum of issues, including safety aspects of pro- & prebiotics, regulatory aspects, mechanisms of action, health benefits for the host, optimal production processes, screening methods, (meta)genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, host and bacterial physiology, application, and role in health and disease in man and animal. Beneficial Microbes is intended to serve the needs of researchers and professionals from the scientific community and industry, as well as those of policy makers and regulators.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Partnerships
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content