The most commonly used bacterium strains for probiotics are Gram-positive Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. casei. and numerous Bifidobacterium species, B. longum and B. bifidum. There many are other strains of bacteria that have been described as probiotic but have failed to meet standards in clinical trials, this is due to their low resistance to low pH levels and bile salts in the gastrointestinal tract (Hekmat, 2006).
There is certain criterion that must be met before bacteria can be named or used as probiotics; they must be vigorously tested in clinical trials on humans and animals to ensure their safety for commercial use and if so will be listed on GRAS (Generally Recognised As Safe) list. There also needs to be evidence to whether or not they actually provide beneficial effects to the host. Other ideal properties for probiotic s...
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...s, other health professionals in NHS trusts will be advising patients on the use of probiotics and likewise comparable advice will be given. Patients with AAD or CDAD will not be recommended to use probiotics due to the lack of supporting evidence, however it is under the discretion of the patient whether to use them or not (Wilcox, 2013).
Live active cultures versus probiotics
There seems to be misperception between the terms live active cultures and whether it just means probiotics. Probiotics are live active cultures however not all live active cultures can be considered probiotic. This is due to the rigorous clinical trials probiotics go through in order to gain that label. Live active cultures are bacterial species found in certain food products; they cannot be called probiotics, as there is no evidence to suggest that these cultures actually benefit the host.
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