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J Nutr. 2000 Feb;130(2S Suppl):403S-409S. doi: 10.1093/jn/130.2.403S.

Probiotic immunomodulation in health and disease.

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Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, University of California, School of Medicine, Davis 95616-8643, USA.


Probiotics, microorganisms that have a favorable influence on physiologic and pathological processes of the host by their effect on the intestinal flora, may play a role in improving human health. One of the putative effects is the modulation of immune function. Thus, the mucosal immune system and methods to assess its function are reviewed briefly. Probiotic modulation of humoral, cellular and nonspecific immunity is reviewed, with emphasis placed on immune response in disease models. There are very few reports of human intervention studies with probiotics. However, some of the possible future directions for research with respect to probiotics, immunity, and human health are discussed. Although the application of probiotics has demonstrated trends with respect to altered aspects of immune response, the underlying mechanisms by which that occurs are unclear.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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