Table of Contents
Volume 2011, Article ID 841651, 13 pages
Review Article

Potential Application of Probiotics in the Prevention and Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

1Centro de Referencia para Lactobacilos (CERELA-CONICET), Chacabuco 145, San Miguel de Tucumán T4000ILC, Argentina
2Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG-ICB), Belo Horizonte, MG, CEP 31270-901, Brazil

Received 13 August 2010; Accepted 25 November 2010

Academic Editor: Gyula Mozsik

Copyright © 2011 Silvina del Carmen 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.


Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) represent a heterogeneous group of microorganisms that are naturally present in many foods and possess a wide range of therapeutic properties. The aim of this paper is to present an overview of the current expanding knowledge of the mechanisms by which LAB and other probiotic microorganisms participate in the prevention and treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases. These include changes in the gut microbiota, stimulation of the host immune responses, and reduction of the oxidative stress due to their antioxidant properties. A brief overview of the uses of genetically engineered LAB that produce either antioxidant enzymes (such as catalase and superoxide dismutase) or anti-inflammatory cytokines (such as IL-10) will also be discussed. This paper will show that probiotics should be considered in treatment protocols of IBD since they provide many beneficial effects and can enhance the effectiveness of traditional used medicines.