Probiotics and prebiotics and in some cases faecal microbiota transplants are increasingly used to influence local and distant microbial communities, although global (clinical) guidelines are lacking, giving physicians a hard task making evidence-based recommendations.
During a workshop hosted in Turku Finland the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) assessed the evidence of probiotics and prebiotics to affect brain, respiratory, urogenital, heart and skin health. The findings of this workshop have been published in Beneficial Microbes .
The researchers concluded that for each of these areas there are many individual studies that have shown beneficial effect. Htough, meta-analyses often fail to show clear effects.. This can be explained by the great diversity in study design, probiotics used, duration, cfu’s and subject groups. The researchers also pointed out that the metabolites probiotics produce may be the mediators in the health effects and this is something we need to know more about. Which specific strains and metabolites are critical and how do they program immunity?