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World J Gastroenterol. 2013 Mar 14;19(10):1527-40. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i10.1527.

Actual concept of "probiotics": is it more functional to science or business?

Author information

1
School of Gastroenterology, University of Ferrara, I-44121 Ferrara, Italy.

Abstract

It is our contention that the concept of a probiotic as a living bacterium providing unspecified health benefits is inhibiting the development and establishment of an evidence base for the growing field of pharmacobiotics. We believe this is due in part to the current regulatory framework, lack of a clear definition of a probiotic, the ease with which currently defined probiotics can be positioned in the market place, and the enormous profits earned for minimum investment in research. To avoid this, we believe the following two actions are mandatory: international guidelines by a forum of stakeholders made available to scientists and clinicians, patient organizations, and governments; public research funds made available to the scientific community for performing independent rigorous studies both at the preclinical and clinical levels.

KEYWORDS:

Guidelines; Market; Metanalysis; Probiotics; Regulations

PMID:
23539674
PMCID:
PMC3602470
DOI:
10.3748/wjg.v19.i10.1527
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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