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Immunological Effects of Probiotics and their Significance to Human Health

  • Harsharn S. Gill
  • Sunita Grover
  • Virender K. Batish
  • Preet Gill

Abstract

Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit upon the host (FAO/WHO, 2001). Lactic acid bacteria, particularly Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species are commonly used as probiotics. Other less commonly used probiotics include the yeast Sacchromyces cerevisiae and some non-pathogenic Escherichia coli and Bacillus species. Studies over the past 20 years have demonstrated that probiotic intake is able to confer a range of health benefits including modulation of the immune system, protection against gastrointestinal and respiratory tract infections, lowering of blood cholesterol levels, attenuation of overt immuno-inflammatory disorders (such as inflammatory bowel disease, allergies) and anti-cancer effects. However, the strongest clinical evidence for probiotics relates to their effectiveness in improving gut health and modulating (via stimulation or regulation) the host immune system. This chapter provides an overview of the current status of our knowledge regarding the immunostimulatory and immunoregulatory effects of probiotics on the immune system and their significance to human health.

Keywords

Ulcerative Colitis Atopic Dermatitis Treg Cell Phagocytic Activity Probiotic Strain 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations

AD

atopic dermatitis

AEDS

atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome

APC

antigen presenting cells

CD

Crohn’s disease

CRC

colorectal cancer

DCs

dendritic cells

DM

diabetes mellitus

GALT

gut-associated lymphoid tissue

GIT

gastrointestinal tract

IBD

inflammatory bowel disease

IEC

intraepithelial cells

ND

not done

NK cells

natural killer cells

ORC

open-label controlled trial

ORPC

open randomised placebo-controlled

PAMP

pathogen-associated molecular patterns

PMN

polymorphonuclear cells

RA

rheumatoid arthritis

RDBPC

randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled

SCORAD

SCOring atopic dermatitis

Tc

T cytotoxic cells

Th

T helper cells

TLRs

Toll-like receptors

UC

ulcerative colitis

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harsharn S. Gill
    • 1
  • Sunita Grover
    • 2
  • Virender K. Batish
    • 2
  • Preet Gill
    • 3
  1. 1.Animal Production Sciences ResearchDPI (Department of Primary Industries)MelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.National Dairy Research InstituteKarnalIndia
  3. 3.School of MedicineGriffith UniversitySouthportAustralia

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