The Intestinal Microbiota and the Microbiome

The Intestinal Microbiota and the Microbiome

2021-12-08

Binding of pathogenic organisms is influenced by the underlying microbial ecology through competition for binding sites or nutrients, production of inhibiting agents, alteration in pH and synthesis of growth factors; thus the growth of competitive nonpathogenic strains of bacteria may protect the infant. Probiotics are living microorganisms in food and dietary supplements which have beneficial health effects beyond their inherent nutritive value. Ideally a probiotic should exert a beneficial effect without pathogenic or toxic side-effects, be capable of surviving and metabolizing in the gut, remain viable during storage and use, retain the ability to colonize the gut, and have well-understood properties including knowledge of its susceptibility to antibiotics. There are many commonly cited probiotics – primarily Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These organisms are also components of commensal microflora. Probiotics have been shown to decrease the incidence and severity of diarrhea in children (91), and improve weight gain and feeding tolerance in preterm infants (92).

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