The use of probiotics has become an increasingly popular supplement. Among all dietary supplements, probiotics have been shown to be the fastest-growing ingredient, with a growth of 10.2% in 2016. This surge in popularity is paralleled with increased research. In recent years there has been a seven-fold increase in the number of published articles on probiotics, totaling more than 1400 in 2014 alone. As the use and diversity of probiotic products grow, so does confusion on optimal product choice.
While scientific research doesn’t yet have all the answers, this course discusses the available evidence base to help provide practical guidance when considering probiotics in practice.
After completing this activity, the pharmacist should be able to:
explain the differences in the biodiversity of gut microbiota, including inter-individual variations within the population;
list the different species of probiotics and the considerations that surround the use of probiotics in practice;
outline the evidence base surrounding the efficacy of different strains of probiotics and their use in specific conditions.