Author(s): Dicks LM, Botes M
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Abstract Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have received considerable attention as probiotics over the past few years. This concept has grown from traditional dairy products to a profitable market of probiotic health supplements and functional foods. Extensive research is done on novel potential probiotic strains, with specific emphasis on their health benefits and mode of action. Criteria for the selection of probiotic strains have only recently been formulated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (FAO/WHO). Several in vitro techniques have been developed to evaluate the probiotic properties of strains. In many cases, this is followed by in vivo tests. Safety studies are also obligatory, as a few cases of bacteremia caused by LAB have been reported. This review focuses on the health benefits and safety of LAB probiotics, the criteria used to select a probiotic, mode of action and the impact these organisms have on natural microbiota in the gastro-intestinal tract.
This article was published in Benef Microbes
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology