Probiotics and gut health: A special focus on liver diseases

Silvia Gratz, Hannu Mykkanen, Hani S. El-Nezami

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


Probiotic bacteria have well-established beneficial effects in the management of diarrhoeal diseases. Newer evidence suggests that probiotics have the potential to reduce the risk of developing inflammatory bowel diseases and intestinal bacterial overgrowth after gut surgery. In liver health, the main benefits of probiotics might occur through preventing the production and/or uptake of lipopolysaccharides in the gut, and therefore reducing levels of low-grade inflammation. Specific immune stimulation by probiotics through processes involving dendritic cells might also be beneficial to the host immunological status and help prevent pathogen translocation. Hepatic fat metabolism also seems to be influenced by the presence of commensal bacteria, and potentially by probiotics; although the mechanisms by which probiotic might act on the liver are still unclear. However, this might be of major importance in the future because low-grade inflammation, hepatic fat infiltration, and hepatitis might become more prevalent as a result of high fat intake and the increased prevalence of obesity. (C) 2010 Baishideng. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-410
Number of pages8
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2010


  • Probiotics
  • Liver
  • Gut
  • Endotoxin
  • Barrier function
  • Ethanol
  • Bacterial overgrowth
  • Translocation
  • high-fat-diet
  • epithelial barrier function
  • lactobacillus-rhamnosus GG
  • irritable-bowel-syndrome
  • alcholoic steatohepatitis
  • bacterial translocation
  • aflatoxin B-1
  • CACO-2 cells
  • injury
  • model


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