Probiotics and health: An evidence-based review

Lorenzo Morelli, Paolo Aureli, Anna Maria Castellazzi, Fabrizio Ernesto Pregliasco, Lucio Capurso, Mario Clerici, Marcello Giovannini, Andrea Poli, Filippo Salvini, Gian Vincenzo Zuccotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

176 Citations (Scopus)


The intestinal microbiota is an ecosystem formed by a variety of ecological niches, made of several bacterial species and a very large amount of strains. The microbiota is in close contact with the intestinal mucosa or epithelial interface which is, after the respiratory area, the largest surface of the body, occupying approximately 250–400m2. The physiological activities of the microbiota are manifold and are just being unraveled. Based on the observations of the multiple roles played by the microbiota in health and disease, the notion of modifying it with appropriate formulations, i.e. probiotics, is being tested in several settings. This review summarizes the current knowledge on probiotics and discusses both limitations and acquired evidence to support their use in preventive and therapeutic medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-376
Number of pages11
JournalPharmacological Research
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Immune system
  • Microbiota
  • Probiotics


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