Table of Contents
ISRN Nutrition
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 481651, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2013/481651
Review Article

Health Benefits of Probiotics: A Review

1Microbiology Department, Sismanoglion General Hospital of Athens, 15126 Athens, Greece
2Internal Medicine Department, APPK, Laiko Hospital of Athens, 11527 Athens, Greece

Received 22 November 2012; Accepted 11 December 2012

Academic Editors: E. Devrim and R. Moore Carrasco

Copyright © 2013 Maria Kechagia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Probiotic bacteria have become increasingly popular during the last two decades as a result of the continuously expanding scientific evidence pointing to their beneficial effects on human health. As a result they have been applied as various products with the food industry having been very active in studying and promoting them. Within this market the probiotics have been incorporated in various products, mainly fermented dairy foods. In light of this ongoing trend and despite the strong scientific evidence associating these microorganisms to various health benefits, further research is needed in order to establish them and evaluate their safety as well as their nutritional aspects. The purpose of this paper is to review the current documentation on the concept and the possible beneficial properties of probiotic bacteria in the literature, focusing on those available in food.