Posted 25th July 2018 by Jane Williams
As a microbiologist in the field of probiotics, I am often asked, “Will probiotics improve my health?” I always give the same answer: studies show specific benefits of probiotics for certain conditions, but there is not conclusive evidence that they will improve health for an already healthy person.
I know this is an unsatisfying answer. It is a careful answer and one that relies on the tenets of scientific research – large samples sizes, causation over correlation and repetition of experimental results. At this point, I cannot say with confidence that research supports the idea that ingesting a certain probiotic can make you a healthier person.
Posted 11th July 2018 by Jane Williams
This article was originally published in Health Europa Quarterly on 3 May 2018, and is published here with permission.
Johan van Hylckama Vlieg is the vice-president for microbiome and human health innovation at Chr. Hansen A/S, a global leading bioscience company that develops and produces cultures, enzymes, probiotics and natural colours for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries.
Speaking at the 5th Microbiome R&D & Business Collaboration Forum: Europe, van Hylckama Vlieg provided a valuable insight into some of the exciting potential application areas of probiotics.
Posted 19th March 2018 by Jane Williams
Following on from his previous article about his research into the effects of everyday cosmetics on the skin microbiome, Kit Wallen-Russell delves deeper into the issues of the skin microbiome, by comparing the differences between biodiverse skin care and probiotic skin care.
Posted 27th December 2017 by Jane Williams
Defined health outcomes are increasingly being linked to prebiotic ingredients and supplements. For example, mounting evidence recently led the FDA to issue a qualified health claim regarding the ability of digestion resistant starch to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. With the direct annual cost of diabetes recently estimated to be $825B (1), the potential application of prebiotics to reduce disease risk is appealing from both health care and business investment perspectives.
Posted 18th December 2017 by Jane Williams
2017 has been another big year for microbiome research. Not only is funding at an all-time high but the shift from 16S to whole-genome sequencing means that we are able to deduce the role it plays in health more effectively.
Posted 13th December 2017 by Jane Williams
A prebiotic is defined as “a substrate that is selectively utilised by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit”. This updated consensus definition from the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics expands the application outside the digestive tract.
Posted 4th October 2017 by Jane Williams
Interest in microbiota has reached all areas of human health and disease. As a result, the therapeutic potential of probiotics has expanded. 2013 saw a surge of investment into prebiotics and probiotics, coinciding with an increase in microbiome funding. In the last decade, investment has quadrupled.