Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Nutr Health Aging. 2012 Apr;16(4):402-10.

Probiotics in the gastrointestinal diseases of the elderly.

Author information

  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.


Changes of the gut microflora in elderly appear to involve a reduction in numbers of healthy bacteria (lactobacilli and bifidobacteria) and an increase in numbers of potentially pathogenic species. These changes are generally described as gastrointestinal disorders and infections. This review analyses benefits of probiotics in old people, with particular interesting for the latest researches relevant to elderly people, e.g. trials examining enteric infections, antibiotic-associated diarrhea and Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea, functional bowel problems (constipation and irritable bowel syndrome), inflammatory bowel diseases, stimulation of the immune system and prevention of cancer. A growing number of researches indicates that some probiotic strains may help to maintain the health in old people, suggesting both health and cost-saving benefits in offering fermented dairy products. These benefits include: establishment of balanced intestinal microflora; improving colonization resistance and or prevention of diarrhea; reduction of fecal enzymes; reduction of serum cholesterol; reduction of potential mutagenes; reduction of lactose intolerance; synthesis of vitamins; predigestion of proteins.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk