Importance of Probiotics in Human Health

  • Dibyendu BanerjeeEmail author
  • Tushar Jain
  • Sagarika Bose
  • Vivek Bhosale


Probiotics are live microorganisms like bacteria and yeast that are consumed along with food for various health benefits. These microorganisms play a very important role not only in intestinal microbial balance but also in maintaining health protection of the host organism against harmful microbiota. Probiotic term means “for life.” The sale of these products has increased worldwide, and sale figures are estimated to cross $45B by the year 2018 due to its wide range of health profits. Humans have used probiotics for decades and centuries involuntarily. Food additives like fermented milk and yogurt have been a major part in regular meals and diet in several parts of the world. Nowadays, probiotics are the most important prescription by gastrointestinal physicians’ because of its potential role in curing certain diseases for which treatment options are limited. The use of probiotics that were initially restricted for antibiotic-associated diarrhea now extends as powerful anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory factors. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the most important probiotic groups; however, the probiotic potential of Pediococcus, Lactococcus, Bacillus, and yeast is also well known. Probiotics are not only used as food to enhance health but also to cure specific gastrointestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and infectious diarrhea (caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites). They also play an important role in improving skin conditions like eczema. Urinary and vaginal health, allergy prevention, colds, and oral health can be treated with probiotics. This chapter throws light on different probiotics, their health benefits, and regulatory or safety issues linked with their usage.


Probiotics Functional food Gut microbiome Probiotic bacteria Gut health 



The authors would like to acknowledge CSIR-CDRI for infrastructure and other support necessary for writing the book chapter. TJ would like to thank CSIR for his junior and senior research fellowships. The manuscript bears the CDRI communication number 9484.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dibyendu Banerjee
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tushar Jain
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sagarika Bose
    • 1
  • Vivek Bhosale
    • 3
    • 2
  1. 1.Molecular and Structural Biology DivisionCSIR-Central Drug Research InstituteLucknowIndia
  2. 2.Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR)ChennaiIndia
  3. 3.Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineCSIR-Central Drug Research InstituteLucknowIndia

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