An overview of probiotics and prebiotics
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An overview of probiotics and prebiotics

Gareth C Parkes Specialist registrar gastroenterology, Research Division, Department of Nutrition, King’s College London

This article reviews the origins and background of probiotics. Evidence for the potential mechanisms of probiotics and prebiotics, and their interactions with the gastrointestinal tract and the immune system are discussed. Evidence is examined for the use of probiotics to treat infantile diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and atopic dermatitis.


Nursing Standard. 21, 20,43-47. doi: 10.7748/ns2007.

Published in print: 24 January 2007

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review