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Chapter 4 : Microbial Succession and Gut Health: Probiotics

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Abstract:

This chapter suggests ways in which knowledge of the microbial ecology of the human bowel can be obtained using modern technologies. Probiotics aimed at altering the composition of oral and vaginal ecosystems have been developed or are under development, most products target bowel health. There is little doubt that lacto-bacilli transit the digestive tract following consumption of probiotic products, but in order to evaluate the probiotics phenomenon, one must consider the microbial ecology of the human gut. Some members of the medical profession, as well as the laity, have greeted with enthusiasm the use of current probiotic products as prophylaxis for atopic diseases (allergies), inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s disease [CD] and ulcerative colitis [UC]), and pouchitis. Regulatory mechanisms generated within the ecosystem (autogenic factors) and by external forces (allogenic factors) permit the episodic persistence of some bacterial populations but the elimination of others in a classical biological succession. The best evidence for the efficacy of probiotics in inflammatory conditions of the bowel comes from studies of the maintenance of remission of pouchitis. Metabolomics is the nontargeted, holistic, quantitative analysis of changes in the complete set of metabolites in the cell (the metabolome) in response to environmental or cellular changes. The study of the metabonome might contribute to a full systems biology approach to understanding and maintaining bowel health. The primary aim of the research will be to understand how all of the heterogeneous parts are integrated, with a supplementary aim of identifying biomarkers of health or disease.

Citation: Tannock G. 2009. Microbial Succession and Gut Health: Probiotics, p 63-79. In Jaykus L, Wang H, Schlesinger L (ed), Food-Borne Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815479.ch4

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Tables

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TABLE 1

Probiotic health claims

Citation: Tannock G. 2009. Microbial Succession and Gut Health: Probiotics, p 63-79. In Jaykus L, Wang H, Schlesinger L (ed), Food-Borne Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815479.ch4
Generic image for table
TABLE 2

GG and atopic eczema/dermatitis

Citation: Tannock G. 2009. Microbial Succession and Gut Health: Probiotics, p 63-79. In Jaykus L, Wang H, Schlesinger L (ed), Food-Borne Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815479.ch4
Generic image for table
TABLE 3

Clinical studies with VSL#3

Citation: Tannock G. 2009. Microbial Succession and Gut Health: Probiotics, p 63-79. In Jaykus L, Wang H, Schlesinger L (ed), Food-Borne Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815479.ch4

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