Probiotics are live microorganisms that when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host. Probiotics have been studied for both human and animal applications, and research on this topic has accelerated in recent years. The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) has released a new video based on its Issue Paper, Probiotics: Their Potential to Impact Human Health, as a contribution to scientific communication on this important topic.
Topics covered in this video and paper include:
· The characteristics of probiotics
· What is known about the microbes that colonize humans
· The impacts of probiotics on human health
· Future research and policy
The public and policymakers alike have been inundated with information about probiotics, and with a variety of media outlets and corporate advertisers spreading information, it is more important than ever that the scientific sector has a clear voice. This CAST video and Issue paper deal with these issues, and as Task Force Chair Dr. Mary Ellen Sanders stated, “To the uninitiated, the list of benefits from probiotics seems too diverse to be possible. But once it is understood that probiotics can impact any colonized regions of the body and that colonizing bacteria have the potential to influence the body locally and systemically, the scope of benefits can be appreciated.”