Probiotic and prebiotic influence beyond the intestinal tract

Irene Lenoir-Wijnkoop, Mary Ellen Sanders, Michael D. Cabana, Esber Caglar, Gerard Corthier, Nada Rayes, Philip M. Sherman, Harro M. Timmerman, Mario Vaneechoutte, Jan Van Loo, Danielle A.W. Wolvers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Probiotics and prebiotics have long been appreciated for their positive influences on gut health. Research on the mechanisms and effects of these agents shows that their impact reaches beyond the intestine. Effects on the microecology and pathology of the oral cavity, stomach, and vaginal tract have been observed. Likely mediated through immune influences, systemic effects such as reduced severity of colds or other respiratory conditions, impact on allergy incidence and symptoms, and reduced absences from work or daycare have also been noted. These observations, among others, suggest a broader spectrum of influence than commonly considered for these unique substances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-489
Number of pages21
JournalNutrition Reviews
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Microbiota
  • Prebiotic
  • Probiotic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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