According to the World Health Organization, “probiotics” are living microorganisms that, when delivered in adequate quantities, promote health benefits for the host organism.
For some time now, there have been many products that, thanks to the probiotic microorganisms that are among their “ingredients”, are sold under the “umbrella” that they are good for health.
Once taken, these supplements remain active in the gut of the user, exerting putative physiological effects. Some microorganisms that are thought to be ingested in certain amounts can contribute to the balance of the intestinal bacterial flora and improve the immune system.
This point has been much discussed and researched in recent years, and no one says for sure that probiotics are as useful as advertising or marketing.
The latest research, the results of which are published in the prestigious journal Science Translational MedicineIt is also not clear that probiotics have any benefit for the end user.
The study, conducted by researchers at St. Louis Medical School in Washington and led by Jeffrey Gordon, director of the Center for Genomic Sciences and Systems Biology at the University of Washington in St. Louis, looked at the community of microbes that live naturally in the gut (human and rodent). that help break down food that the body cannot digest on its own.
This study analyzed the bacterial composition and specific patterns of gene expression of human and mouse gut microbial communities before, during, and after consuming a brand of yogurt for four months.
After this time, and after analyzing the data, the team found that in both humans and mice, yogurt consumption did not alter the species and genetic content of intestinal microbial communities.
However, when delving into the analysis of intestinal bacterial gene expression and substances called “metabolites” in the urine of mice, the researchers saw that yogurt consumption caused changes in metabolic markers, especially those related to carbohydrate processing.
So researchers have found that while it’s unclear whether eating yogurt is a good measure of health, the results show that probiotic or “organic” foods can alter intestinal microbiomes in some more subtle and complex way that requires more research.
A neutral result that supports both the detractors of these products and the companies that produce them. It’s like a glass, half full or half empty. It all depends on what you look at with a magnifying glass.
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