In a world where eating habits have been leading to countless diseases, ‘greener’ and healthier options are increasingly being proposed by experts and amateurs alike. Probiotics feature on this very list. But, are they really that salubrious?
A new research conducted by scientists from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark explain that this might not be the case: probiotics, described by many as being healthy because of its ‘good bacteria’-content, might not be generating the benefits associated with them.
This was concluded after the team analysed the effects of 7 different probiotic products mentioned in 7 studies. The participants of these studies consumed probiotic capsules, biscuits, sachets or drinks for around 21 to 40 days. The results show that the consumption of these food items do not lead to chances in faecal bacteria in healthy adults. Proponents of probiotics will normally argue that they are able to positively influence the gut microbiota of people; since they contain good bacteria, they are said to promote the growth of the beneficial gut bacteria, thereby enhancing digestion. Apparently, this is not absolutely true.
However, the researchers of the new study did find a weak link in one of the studies between gut bacteria and people taking probiotics, as opposed to those who did not. But, “no convincing evidence” substantiates the effect of probiotics on microbiota composition in the faeces of healthy adults, says one of the authors, Nadja Buus Kristensen.
It is to be noted that the team does add that a study based on a larger sample size should be done to confirm their results. Still, if this was true, it would be a total waste of money to spend on probiotics.
Furthermore, to be able to understand the impact of probiotics on disease prevention, more elaborate clinical trials will be needed, points out co-author, Oluf Borbye Pedersen.