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Human studies with probiotics and prebiotics: clinical implications

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2007

J. M. Saavedra*
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 600 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA Nutrition Division, Nestlé USA, 800 North Brand Blvd., Suite 20, Glendale CA 91203, USA
A. Tschernia
Division of Pediatric GI, Nutrition and Liver Diseases, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York NY, USA
*Corresponding author: Professor J. M. Saavedra, fax +1 818 549 5704, email
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Probiotic agents have been shown to have significant clinical beneficial effects in the prevention and management of gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal conditions. These observations have led to work demonstrating that an important mechanism of these agents is their close interaction with the gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) and suggested immunomodulatory effects on systemic immune response. Studies on the possibility that prebiotic agents might directly or indirectly induce similar immunomodulation have only recently begun. The preliminary findings of several recent human clinical trials reviewed in this article indicate that prebiotics may indeed prove to be a clinically beneficial dietary supplement, in the context of novel nutritional strategies for the management of gastrointestinal and systemic conditions.

Research Article
Copyright © The Nutrition Society 2002


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