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      Evaluation of Commercial Probiotic Products


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          Although there is a vast number of probiotic products commercially available due to their acceptability and increasing usage, their quality control has continuously been a major concern. This study aimed to assess some commercially available probiotics on the UK market for content in relation to their label claim. Seven products were used for the study. The bacteria content were isolated, identified and enumerated on selective media. The results revealed that all products evaluated contained viable probiotic bacteria but only three out of the seven products (43%) contained the claimed culture concentration or more. None of the multispecies product contained all the labelled probiotic bacteria. Misidentification of some species occurred. The results concurred with previous studies and showed that quality issues with commercial probiotics remain. Since probiotic activity is linked with probiotic concentration and is strain specific, the need exist for a global comprehensive legislation to control the quality of probiotics whose market is gaining huge momentum.

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          Most cited references31

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          Mechanisms of probiotic actions - A review.

          Probiotics are gaining more and more interest as alternatives for antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs. However, their mode of action is poorly understood. This review will present examples of probiotic actions from three general modes of actions into which probiotic effects can be classified. Probiotics might modulate the host's immune system, affect other microorganisms directly or act on microbial products, host products or food components. What kind of effect(s) a certain probiotic executes depends on its metabolic properties, the molecules presented at its surface or on the components secreted. Even integral parts of the bacterial cell such as its DNA or peptidoglycan might be of importance for its probiotic effectiveness. The individual combination of such properties in a certain probiotic strain determines its specific probiotic action and as a consequence its effective application for the prevention and/or treatment of a certain disease. Copyright 2009 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
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            Mechanisms of action of probiotics: recent advances.

            The intestinal microbiota plays a fundamental role in maintaining immune homeostasis. In controlled clinical trials probiotic bacteria have demonstrated a benefit in treating gastrointestinal diseases, including infectious diarrhea in children, recurrent Clostridium difficile-induced infection, and some inflammatory bowel diseases. This evidence has led to the proof of principle that probiotic bacteria can be used as a therapeutic strategy to ameliorate human diseases. The precise mechanisms influencing the crosstalk between the microbe and the host remain unclear but there is growing evidence to suggest that the functioning of the immune system at both a systemic and a mucosal level can be modulated by bacteria in the gut. Recent compelling evidence has demonstrated that manipulating the microbiota can influence the host. Several new mechanisms by which probiotics exert their beneficial effects have been identified and it is now clear that significant differences exist between different probiotic bacterial species and strains; organisms need to be selected in a more rational manner to treat disease. Mechanisms contributing to altered immune function in vivo induced by probiotic bacteria may include modulation of the microbiota itself, improved barrier function with consequent reduction in immune exposure to microbiota, and direct effects of bacteria on different epithelial and immune cell types. These effects are discussed with an emphasis on those organisms that have been used to treat human inflammatory bowel diseases in controlled clinical trials.
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              Health benefits of probiotics: are mixtures more effective than single strains?

              Most studies on probiotics utilise single strains, sometimes incorporated into yoghurts. There are fewer studies on efficacy of mixtures of probiotic strains. This review examines the evidence that (a) probiotic mixtures are beneficial for a range of health-related outcomes and (b) mixtures are more or less effective than their component strains administered separately. Mixtures of probiotics had beneficial effects on the end points including irritable bowel syndrome and gut function, diarrhoea, atopic disease, immune function and respiratory tract infections, gut microbiota modulation, inflammatory bowel disease and treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection. However, only 16 studies compared the effect of a mixture with that of its component strains separately, although in 12 cases (75%), the mixture was more effective. Probiotic mixtures appear to be effective against a wide range of end points. Based on a limited number of studies, multi-strain probiotics appear to show greater efficacy than single strains, including strains that are components of the mixtures themselves. However, whether this is due to synergistic interactions between strains or a consequence of the higher probiotic dose used in some studies is at present unclear.

                Author and article information

                British Journal of Pharmacy
                University of Huddersfield Press
                14 November 2016
                : 1
                : 1
                : 84-89
                [1 ]UCL School of Pharmacy, University College London, 29-39 Brunswick Square, London, WC1N 1AX, United Kingdom
                [2 ]Present address: School of Pharmacy, University of Ghana, Legon Accra LG43
                Author notes
                *Corresponding author. Tel.: +233(0)544836318 E-mail: mansa.fredua-agyeman.11@ 123456ucl.ac.uk

                CONFLICT OF INTEREST

                Part of this work has been previously included in an abridged form in an article entitled “Comparative survival of commercial probiotic formulations: Tests in biorelevant gastric fluids and real-time measurements using microcalorimetry” published in Beneficial microbes, 2015, 6 (1), 141-151.

                © 2016, Mansa Fredua-Agyeman, Shruti Parab, Simon Gaisford

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                Self URI (journal page): http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/journal/bjpharm/
                Research Article

                Medicine,Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine,Health & Social care
                Probiotics,Yakult,Quality and evaluation,Viable counts,Actimel,Symprove


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