Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 607–611 | Cite as

The Role of Probiotics in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • Jennifer L. Jones
  • Amy E. Foxx-Orenstein
Review Paper


The human intestine contains 300–500 different bacterial species. Concentrations of living bacteria in the large intestine may reach 1011–1012 cells/g of luminal contents [1]. Some of these bacteria are protective, some neutral and others pathogenic [2]. This dynamic community of intestinal microflora plays a critical role in maintaining intestinal health. Metabolic and digestive functions include fermentation of nondigestible dietary residue and mucous, salvage of energy from this residue, production of vitamin K, and absorption of ions. Trophic functions include control of proliferation and differentiation of intestinal epithelial cells, and development and balance of the immune system. These bacteria also protect against pathogens and maintain the epithelial barrier [1]. Probiotics, originally derived from cultured foods and milk products, are viable microorganisms with beneficial physiologic or therapeutic properties [2]. Although the definition of a probiotic has...


Probiotics Inflammatory bowel disease Crohn's disease Ulcerative colitis Review Bacteria 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Gastroenterology and HepatologyRochesterUSA

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