Affiliations: [a] Department of Biochemistry, Biology and Genetics, School of Medicine, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy. e-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Probiotics represent a potential important therapy resource. Nevertheless, no clear-cut evidence about their use has yet been established. In fact, numerous studies exist on the application of probiotics in gastrointestinal disease but results are often controversial or produced from an inadequate study design. The aim of this review is to analyze the main experimental data regarding the use of probiotics. In particular, analyses have identified what probiotic strains could be used in acute diseases such as diarrhea and in chronic ones like inflammatory bowel diseases, irritable bowel syndrome, dysbiosis, Helicobacter pylori colonisation, and necrotizing enterocolitis. Finally, this review also provides an observation about the actual need of efficient research on the safety of products containing probiotics, verifying the effects of probiotic therapy at short, medium, and long term. This information is very important and could ensure a safer and more conscious use of such therapeutic agents.