IPA paper outlines landscape for probiotics as food, supplements and live biotherapeutics

The review, published inย Frontiers in Microbiology,โ€‹ is authored by an international panel of experts from academia and industry, led by Prof. Irina Spacova from the University of Antwerp in Belgium.

“We believe this publication will help stakeholders develop and implement probiotic products more efficiently by understanding the implications, requirements and opportunities within each probiotic product category,” said Prof. Spacova.

The paper was conducted under the patronage of the International Probiotics Association (IPA).

Commenting on the review, George Paraskevakos, IPAโ€™s executive director, told us: โ€œThere is a plethora of commercialized probiotics in the market targeting a wide range of consumers and applications, but if we can underline one of the key takeaways from this concise analysis – it always comes back to the intended use and geographic environment.

โ€œIf stakeholders keep this in mind when analyzing or even reviewing probiotic products and their choices, it would clear up some of the unfounded myths we hear about probiotics not being regulated or even effective.โ€


The paper starts by defining probiotic food and probiotic dietary supplements as foods and supplements containing probiotics (โ€œlive microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the hostโ€, Hill et al, Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatolโ€‹, 2014โ€‹), that are โ€œintended to maintain or enhance a healthy state in a healthy or at-risk populationโ€.

Fermented foods are not necessarily probiotic foods, added the authors, unless they contain live microbes that are characterized to the strain level and have a documented health benefit.

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