Understanding Mode of Action can Drive the Translational Pipeline Towards more Reliable Health Benefits for Probiotics

In this review the authors emphasise the concept of a translation pipeline that connects mechanistic insights to probiotic efficacy. This concept can be employed to explain observed clinical effects in human trials by deciphering the underlying physiological changes in the host and the underlying molecular interactions. It provides a framework for the design of clinical trials to convincingly demonstrate the benefit of probiotics to human health in well-defined subpopulations. Consequently, this concept supports the selection and development of improved probiotics.


  • A translational pipeline connecting probiotic mechanism of action to corresponding health benefits can support the application of these health promoting bacteria.
  • Alleviation of lactose maldigestion symptoms by the β-galactosidase of yoghurt bacteria underpins the importance of a translation pipeline.
  • Incompletely defined core properties of probiotics probably explain their health effects in antibiotic associated diarrhoea and necrotizing enterocolitis.
  • Stratification and recognition of the subpopulation that is responsive to specific probiotics will facilitate the delivery of effective health benefits.
  • Understanding the mechanism of action of probiotics will enable the selection and manufacturing of more effective probiotic products.

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