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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2000 Dec;16(4):531-6.

The use of probiotics in medical practice.

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Clinical Microbiology Department. L. Sacco Teaching Hospital, University of Milan, Via G.B. Grassi, 74, 20157 Milan, Italy.


Probiotics are defined as living organisms, beneficial to health when ingested. Different species of microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria or yeasts have been proposed for human use. These microorganisms differ from each other and it is, therefore, unlikely that they will act in the same way. Probiotics could be used for several conditions such as diarrhoea, candidal vaginitis, urinary tract infections, immune disorders, lactose intolerance, hypercholesterolaemia and food allergy. The effects of probiotics in some of these conditions have been directly observed, in others it has been only suggested on the basis of in vitro studies and from experimental animal models. Controlled trials are needed to determine the scientific basis for their use, the correct formulation and ways of administration in different clinical situations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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