A new review, from the American Gastroenterological Association, reveals that probiotics are not beneficial for the majority of people including those with gut diseases rather they could be hazardous for people having compromised immune systems.
Probiotics are living pathogens, especially bacteria and yeast that are considered beneficial for human health. They are generally taken in the shape of supplements or in the form of fermented foods.
Probiotics are typically helpful as they create a balance of good bacteria inside the human gut, says Dr. Sharon Bergquist from Emory School of Medicine. They have been regarded to provide a vast range of health benefits to the human body.
However, this belief is now thought to be far fetched and in question after the review by the American Medical Association. The pre-existing research work on probiotics is backed by the fact that they considered both single stain and multi-strain formulations of probiotics separately.
Probiotics have enjoyed increased hype in recent times after researchers found out about their benefits for the intestinal or gut area. They are thought to be efficient in altering microbiome to our welfare.
But the research and validation of this matter are quite inadequate. Finding a good probiotic means a lot more than just picking a product randomly.
Their use is also not well-maintained in the regions where they are not considered as pharmaceutical drugs such as America and Europe. This leads gullible consumers to be misled through sly marketing tricks.
All of this has led to unasked fuss among the customers. “Patients routinely ask clinicians whether they should be taking probiotics — and if so, which products. These questions present a dilemma, given that none of the probiotic preparations being studied are currently manufactured as drugs”, says the technical review with new instructions.
Probiotics can even lead to medical issues in people with certain immune diseases such as cancer, HIV, etc. such people need to remain cautious of them, says Dr. Preidis.
Probiotics are sold all over the world with a market share that is expected to reach 78.3 billion USD by 2026, with supplements being very costly. Depending upon the area you live, they’re sold over the counter or with a prescription.
With these loopholes being discussed, it is not reasonable to completely rule out the use of probiotics, as suggested by McFarland. She says that none of these probiotics are similar by means of benefits, in fact, some of them are highly specific for their role in certain diseases.
The review did in fact find some credibility in the usage of probiotics under certain circumstances, such as they can help replenish good bacteria when you’re on an antibiotic.
You can use some probiotics in order to reduce the time spent with full feeds and in the hospital for pre-term babies who’re underweight.
They can also help in avoiding of Clostridium difficile infections in children and adults who use antibiotics.
The review also revealed that probiotics prove to be useful in pouchitis, a consequence of ulcerative colitis which is normally treated using surgery.
Meanwhile, the use of probiotics for C. difficile infection, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis are not supported by enough evidence. Professionals refrain people from their usage due to high cost and no outcome.
The review also proved that probiotics weren’t good for children in North America with acute gastroenteritis and diarrhea.
Ironically, the review by the American Gastroenterological Association only has the outcomes of a survey conducted in the US and not in some developing countries where probiotics were proactive against diarrhea in children.