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Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014 Aug;11(8):506-14. doi: 10.1038/nrgastro.2014.66. Epub 2014 Jun 10.

Expert consensus document. The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics consensus statement on the scope and appropriate use of the term probiotic.

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Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.
University Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Ciberehd, Barcelona 08035, Spain.
Lawson Health Research Institute and Departments of Microbiology &Immunology, and Surgery, University of Western Ontario, 268 Grosvenor Street, London, ON N6A 4V2, Canada.
Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, The University of Reading, Whiteknights, PO Box 226, Reading RG6 6AP, UK.
Department of Family Medicine, Georgetown University Medical Center, Building D 240, 4000 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA.
Center for Infection and Immunity, Institut Pasteur de Lille, 1 Rue Prof Calmette, Lille 59019, France.
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Via Emilia Parmense 84, Piacenza 29122, Italy.
Department of Translational Medical Science and European Laboratory for the Investigation of Food Induced Diseases, University of Naples Federico II, Naples 80131, Italy.
Microbiology Group, Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, University of Aberdeen, Greenburn Road, Bucksburn, Aberdeen AB21 9SB, UK.
Functional Foods Forum, University of Turku, Turku 20014, Finland.
Human Development and Health Academic Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK.
International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics, 7119 S. Glencoe Court, Centennial, CO 80122, USA.


An expert panel was convened in October 2013 by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) to discuss the field of probiotics. It is now 13 years since the definition of probiotics and 12 years after guidelines were published for regulators, scientists and industry by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the WHO (FAO/WHO). The FAO/WHO definition of a probiotic--"live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host"--was reinforced as relevant and sufficiently accommodating for current and anticipated applications. However, inconsistencies between the FAO/WHO Expert Consultation Report and the FAO/WHO Guidelines were clarified to take into account advances in science and applications. A more precise use of the term 'probiotic' will be useful to guide clinicians and consumers in differentiating the diverse products on the market. This document represents the conclusions of the ISAPP consensus meeting on the appropriate use and scope of the term probiotic.

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