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Quigley E.M.M.,Alimentary Pharmabiotic Center
Pharmacological Research | Year: 2010

A new era in medical science has dawned with the realization of the critical role of the "forgotten organ", the enteric microbiota, in generating a variety of functions which sustain health and, when disrupted, lead to disease. Central to this beneficial interaction between the microbiota and man is the manner in which the bacteria contained within the gut "talk" to the immune system and, in particular, the immune system that is so widespread within the gut itself, the gut-associated (or mucosa-associated) lymphoid system. Into this landscape come two new players: probiotics and prebiotics. While many products have masqueraded as probiotics, only those which truly and reproducibly contain live organisms and which have been shown, in high quality human studies, to confer a health benefit can actually claim this title. Several human disease states have benefited from the use of probiotics, most notably, diarrheal illnesses, some inflammatory bowel diseases, certain infectious disorders and, most recently, irritable bowel syndrome. Prebiotics promote the growth of "good" bacteria and, while a variety of health benefits have been attributed to their use, prebiotics have been subjected to few large scale clinical trials. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

O'Toole P.W.,Alimentary Pharmabiotic Center
Clinical Microbiology and Infection | Year: 2012

The human intestinal microbiota comprises a complex community whose composition has been resolved in fine detail by recent culture-independent methodologies. The adult intestinal microbiota is stable within individuals, and individual specific when examined at high resolution. Infants and older persons, however, represent stages of life in which the microbiota is in flux. Since changes in the intestinal microbiota are associated with certain diseases or health issues, we have examined the composition and function of the intestinal microbiota in 500 subjects over 65years of age in Ireland. Medical, biochemical and immunological parameters were measured for all subjects. Faecal microbiota was measured by amplicon pyrosequencing. The data revealed significant inter-individual variation, especially in the proportions of some major bacterial phyla, and significant differences in the microbiota compared with younger adults. These data support the notion of modulating the intestinal microbiota of older people to promote enhanced nutrition utilization and to improve general health © 2012 The Author. Clinical Microbiology and Infection © 2012 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Source

Quigley E.M.M.,Alimentary Pharmabiotic Center
Gastroenterology Clinics of North America | Year: 2011

Several recent observations have raised the possibility that disturbances in the gut microbiota and/or a low-grade inflammatory state may contribute to symptomatology and the etiology of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Consequent on these hypotheses, several therapeutic categories have found their way into the armamentarium of those who care for IBS sufferers. These agents include probiotics, prebiotics, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory agents. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. Source

Shanahan F.,Alimentary Pharmabiotic Center
Nutrition Reviews | Year: 2012

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease, represent the heterogeneous outcome of three colliding influences: genetic risk factors, environmental modifiers, and immune effector mechanisms of tissue injury. The nature of these inputs is complex, with each having distinct and overlapping contributions to ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Identification of specific genetic risk factors has improved the understanding of specific pathways to disease, but the primacy of environmental or lifestyle factors linked to changes in the gut microbiota, particularly in early life, is increasingly evident. Clarification of the molecular basis of host-microbe interactions in health and in susceptible individuals promises novel therapeutic strategies. © 2012 International Life Sciences Institute. Source

Shanahan F.,Alimentary Pharmabiotic Center
Gastroenterology Clinics of North America | Year: 2012

Probiotics have a long record of safety, which relates primarily to lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. Experience with other forms of probiotic is more limited. There is no such thing as zero risk, particularly in the context of certain forms of host susceptibility. There is poor public understanding of the concept of risk, in general, and risk/benefit analysis, in particular. Uncertainty persists regarding the potential for transfer of antibiotic resistance with probiotics, but the risk seems to be low with currently available probiotic products. As with other forms of therapeutics, the safety of probiotics should be considered on a strain-by-strain basis. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. Source

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