Probiotics and mucosal barrier in children

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Purpose of reviewColonization by the microbiota plays an important role in intestinal tract maturation of newborn. Once installed, indigenous microbiota maintains this modulation and also protects against infectious aggression. Due to these abilities, gut microbiota can be considered a ‘microbial organ’ that contributes to health of human host. Factors can affect microbiota colonization as well as its maintenance and ingestion of probiotics is a promissory way to counteract these perturbations. This review discusses recent papers dealing with the use of probiotics and their effects on intestinal barrier in children.Recent findingsData obtained from experiments in animal models or cell cultures as well as from clinical trials suggest that probiotics may prevent infectious and inflammatory diseases in which reduction of mucosal barrier functions is involved.SummaryRecent results suggest that probiotics control maturation and maintenance of the intestinal barrier in children. However, human data are limited and more biological and well controlled clinical trials must be carried out for a more precise understanding of the mechanisms underlying the probiotic action and the balance of the complex gastrointestinal ecosystem with which probiotics are expected to interact.

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