ILSI Europe releases freely available, updated Concise Monograph on Dietary Probiotics, Prebiotics and the Gut Microbiota in Human Health in seven languages

Naomi Venlet
Scientific Project Manager

February 1, 2023

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BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - The ILSI Europe Probiotic and Prebiotic Task Forces have released the newly updated Concise Monograph on Dietary Probiotics, Prebiotics and the Gut Microbiota in Human Health in English and six additional languages: Chinese, French, Japanese, Portuguese, Slovak and Spanish. Initially published nine years ago, this monograph has been updated and translated to provide an easily accessible introduction to the abundant scientific knowledge on prebiotics, probiotics, the intestinal microbiota and how they impact human health.
Based on up-to-date, evidence-based science, ILSI Europe’s concise monograph is a valuable reference work, aimed at informing a wide audience about the intestinal microbiota and the prebiotic and probiotic nutritional concepts. It provides an easily understandable and objective source of information for interested non-specialists across (food) industry, academia, healthcare and governmental agencies.

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This updated monograph covers definitions that have changed, including the updated nomenclature of relevant microbes.  The new science around health effects and insights into mechanisms of action, for well-known benefits like digestive, immune and metabolic health, are included. The monograph also addresses emerging research associated with the gut-brain axis, for example, mental health. Advances in technology have allowed novel and more in-depth analyses of the intestinal microbiome and cross-talk with the host, which has also been revised

Elaine Vaughan, Sensus, member of the Prebiotic Task Force - “The revision of this valuable monograph has highlighted the substantial developments in research findings on pro- and prebiotics. Stronger evidence for benefits has been realised, with prebiotics having made considerable progress since the previous version. This has been supported by related ground-breaking advances in the human gut microbiome technologies, and knowledge on crosstalk with the gut-brain and gut-lung axis, that are implicated in the health effects. This will bring greater scientific credibility to the pro- and prebiotic fields.”

This second edition of the monograph on Probiotics, Prebiotics and the Gut Microbiota is fully revised, refreshed and again approved by the International Scientific Association of Pro- and Prebiotics (ISAPP), and is now available in seven languages. This monograph aims to inform non-experts across industry as well as healthcare practitioners about the role of prebiotics and probiotics in human health to support normal bodily functions and reduce the risk of disease through good nutrition. The monograph can also be used as an educational tool to introduce students to the intestinal microbiota, as well as the nutritional concepts of pre-and probiotics.


In 2013, ILSI Europe published the Concise Monograph on Probiotics, Prebiotics and the Gut Microbiota. Since then, research to understand the composition and function of the microbiota has expanded dramatically with the development of more sensitive analytical techniques, increased computer power, as well as greater knowledge on the human gut microbiome and potential beneficial effects. Therefore, the ILSI Europe Task Forces on Probiotics and Prebiotics recognized the need for an update to one of ILSI Europe’s most downloaded monographs.

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Marc Heyndrickx, ILVO, Scientific Advisor of the Probiotic Task Force - “The monograph has been updated to take into account new developments in research on gut microbiome and the role of pro- and prebiotics on human health. It gives a well-balanced and scientifically justified overview of how pro- and prebiotics can have a positive effect on our health from childhood up to older age. In an era where we are confronted with different types of information, I find it very useful to have this kind of monographs where different specialists from academia and industry work together to gather relevant information into one science-based document.”

About the authors

The experts who contributed to this monograph—Oliver Chen, Marc Heyndrickx, Alexandra Meynier, Arthur Ouwehand, Bruno Pot, Bernd Stahl, Stephan Theis, Elaine Vaughan and Michela Miani—are among the leading scientists in the field from both industry and academia. This representation across multiple sectors ensures objective and reliable content.

Arthur Ouwehand, IFF, chair of the Probiotic Task Force“The monograph was compiled by academic and industrial experts in the field. It was an interesting exercise for all of us: explaining the latest science in an understandable, objective and scientifically correct way. But I am really happy with the result, it is very useful for customers, interested lay people and students alike. On top of that, we now have this in several languages.”


ILSI Europe is the European branch of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), a global, non-profit federation with 10 entities around the world. Our mission is to develop, communicate and disseminate science-based guidance to tackle food, public health, and sustainability challenges. We facilitate collaboration and consensus-building between academic, industry and public service experts. Learn more at