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Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Sep;7(9):503-14. doi: 10.1038/nrgastro.2010.117. Epub 2010 Jul 27.

Probiotics and the gut microbiota in intestinal health and disease.

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Cell Biology Program, Research Institute, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, ON M5G 1X8, Canada.


The use of probiotics is increasing in popularity for both the prevention and treatment of a variety of diseases. While a growing number of well-conducted, prospective, randomized, controlled, clinical trials are emerging and investigations of underlying mechanisms of action are being undertaken, questions remain with respect to the specific immune and physiological effects of probiotics in health and disease. This Review considers recent advances in clinical trials of probiotics for intestinal disorders in both adult and pediatric populations. An overview of recent in vitro and in vivo research related to potential mechanisms of action of various probiotic formulations is also considered.

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