|Mohamed Hadi Nahaisi1,†, Shreeya Ravisankar2,† and Giuliana D Noratto2*|
|1Department of Food Science, Faculty of Agriculture Tripoli, Libya|
|2School of Food Science, Washington State University/ University of Idaho, USA|
|†These authors have contributed equally to this work|
|Corresponding Author :||Giuliana Noratto
School of Food Science, Washington State University, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
|Received August 11, 2014; Accepted September 07, 2014; Published September 15, 2014|
|Citation: Nahaisi MH, Ravisankar S, Noratto GD (2014) Probiotics as a Strategy to Improve Overall Human Health in Developing Countries. J Prob Health 2:118. doi:10.4172/2329-8901.1000118|
|Copyright: © 2014 Nahaisi MH, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.|
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Probiotic strains can be successfully incorporated and manufactured into highly acceptable food products while retaining their viability and functionality. The development of successful probiotic products depends on the selection of probiotic strains for human consumption, proof of a therapeutic effect, strain survival, viability at the time of consumption and storage requirements. Dairy products have proven to be an excellent vehicle for the delivery of probiotics. Developing countries are reeling under the problems of acute and antibiotic associated diarrhea, HIV/AIDS and poor nutritional status due to improper hygiene, sanitation, unavailability of safe drinking water and lack of awareness. Results of this review suggest a promising role of probiotic products in the inhibition of pathogenic microorganisms, reduction of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, alleviation of acute diarrheal diseases especially in infants and children, protection against HIV/AIDS, management of lactose intolerance, lowering blood cholesterol levels, improving the nutritional status of the population, allergy prevention and as a vaccine adjuvant in developing countries. Educational campaigns to inform the population and policy makers about the health benefits of probiotics could help alleviate these problems in a safe way without great effort and with minimal increase in the cost of such probiotic products.
Helicobacter pylori is another gram negative pathogen that was found to cause peptic ulcers, gastric cancer and type B gastritis and its infection is common in developing countries due to lack of proper hygiene, sanitation and safe drinking water . Various lactic acid bacteria such as L. johnsonii La1 have proven to be effective against this pathogen (tested in 20 adults with mean age of 33 years) and the hypothesized mechanism is the probiotic induced decrease of urease enzyme activity which is required for their sustenance in the acidic environment of the stomach [8,32]. Other human studies have also shown reduction in H. pylori infection by treatment with L. brevis lyophilized bacteria or yogurts containing L. acidophilus, B. lactis and L. gasseri . Moreover, the incidents of side effects produced by the use of antibiotics used to treat H. pylori infection was reduced by half when using a combination therapy of antibiotics and probiotics . However few studies showed controversial evidence about the beneficial effects of probiotics in treatment against H. pylori infection and hence long term studies on the specific strain, doses and administration are required [34,35].
Other therapeutic approaches, of high relevance for developing countries, are the reduction of parasite infections by the use of specific probiotic strains. As reviewed by Marie-Agn`es Travers et al. , it was found that the administration of L. reuteri 4000 to mice, 7-15 days before infection with Cryptosporidium parvum bought about a 50-100% reduction in the parasite infection and the probiotics L. acidophilus NCFM, B. breve ATCC15698 or B. longum ATCC15707, B. brevis, E. faecium and P. alcaligenes showed similar reduction in Cryptosporidium parvum infection in cell culture models. Furthermore, L. johnsonii La 1, L. casei and Enterococcus faecium showed 75-100% reduction in Giardia lamblia infection in cell culture and mouse models and the probiotic L. casei was effective in reduction of Babesia microti, Plasmodium chabaudi, Trichinella spiralis and Trypanosoma cruzi infections in mouse models . More studies and human clinical trials from developing countries are needed to demonstrate the benefits of probiotics as an anti-parasite therapeutic alternative.