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Br J Nutr. 2017 Jan;117(1):93-107. doi: 10.1017/S0007114516004037.

Can probiotics modulate human disease by impacting intestinal barrier function?

Author information

1
1NIZO Food Research and BE-Basic Foundation,Kernhemseweg 2,6718ZB Ede,The Netherlands.
2
2Wageningen University,Host Microbe Interactomics Group,De Elst 1,6708WD Wageningen,The Netherlands.
3
3Faculty of Medicine and Health,Örebro University,Fakultetsgatan 1,SE-701 82 Örebro,Sweden.
4
4Metabolism and Nutrition Research Group,WELBIO - Walloon Excellence in Life Sciences and BIOtechnology,Louvain Drug Research Institute,Université catholique de Louvain,Avenue E. Mounier,73 B1.73.11,1200 Brussels,Belgium.
5
5Nestlé Research Center,Nutrition and Health Research,route du Jorat 57,1000 Lausanne 26,Switzerland.
6
6Barts and The London school of Medicine and Dentistry,Blizard Institute,Queen Mary University of London,Mile End Road,London E1 4NS,UK.

Abstract

Intestinal barrier integrity is a prerequisite for homeostasis of mucosal function, which is balanced to maximise absorptive capacity, while maintaining efficient defensive reactions against chemical and microbial challenges. Evidence is mounting that disruption of epithelial barrier integrity is one of the major aetiological factors associated with several gastrointestinal diseases, including infection by pathogens, obesity and diabetes, necrotising enterocolitis, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. The notion that specific probiotic bacterial strains can affect barrier integrity fuelled research in which in vitro cell lines, animal models and clinical trials are used to assess whether probiotics can revert the diseased state back to homeostasis and health. This review catalogues and categorises the lines of evidence available in literature for the role of probiotics in epithelial integrity and, consequently, their beneficial effect for the reduction of gastrointestinal disease symptoms.

KEYWORDS:

CD Crohn’s disease; NEC necrotising enterocolitis; TJ tight junction; TLR Toll-like receptor; UC ulcerative colitis; Gastrointestinal disorders; Gut barrier; Gut microbiota; Immunity; Probiotics

PMID:
28102115
PMCID:
PMC5297585
DOI:
10.1017/S0007114516004037
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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