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J Diet Suppl. 2014 Aug 21. [Epub ahead of print]

Probiotic Claims for Gastrointestinal Conditions: Stretching the Truth?

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Miller Scientific Consulting, Inc., Asheville, North Carolina, USA.


Probiotics are live micro-organisms that confer a health benefit on the host when administered in adequate dosages and have been extensively studied for treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. While a growing body of evidence from randomized controlled trials supports the use of probiotics for a variety of GI conditions, the media and internet are saturated with advertisements falsely claiming that specific probiotic strains or strain combinations can improve, or even cure, many GI complaints. These unsubstantiated claims regarding probiotic efficacy are rampant and remain largely unregulated. The probiotic industry is strongly encouraged to close the gap between marketing hype and scientific discovery. Additionally, US regulators are encouraged to improve enforcement efforts in response to misleading probiotic advertising.


consumer; gastrointestinal; health claims; probiotic

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