New insights into probiotic mechanisms
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There has been continued and expanding recognition of probiotic approaches for treating gastrointestinal and systemic disease, as well as increased acceptance of probiotic therapies by both the public and the medical community. A parallel development has been the increasing recognition of the diverse roles that the normal gut microbiota plays in the normal biology of the host. This advance has in turn has been fed by implementation of novel investigative technologies and conceptual paradigms focused on understanding the fundamental role of the microbiota and indeed all commensal bacteria, on known and previously unsuspected aspects of host physiology in health and disease. This review discusses current advances in the study of the host-microbiota interaction, especially as it relates to potential mechanisms of probiotics. It is hoped these new approaches will allow more rational selection and validation of probiotic usage in a variety of clinical conditions.
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