Study Popular Probiotic Works by Altering Gut Composition: It Takes A Village


Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Doctors thought probiotics impact some aspect of the gut itself but a recent study suggests a popular probiotic - Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) - does its work by changing the composition of the gut. It only took a couple of weeks on the probiotic for it to have a significant effect on gut composition.

The researchers used new technology to assess the fantastically complex gut flora
"This is a new idea, that some probiotics may work by affecting the overall ecosystem of the gut," said Prof. Fraser. "Previously we tended to think that LGG and other probiotics worked directly on the host. I think this finding has many exciting implications." For one, Fraser says, it lends support to the idea that we need to look at the microbes in the gut as an interconnected ecosystem rather than a series of solitary bacteria. Modifying the behavior of microbes already in the gut may be just as important as adding any single species to this population.

It points to the rapid growth occurring in this field

"Dr. Fraser's study is not only fascinating, but it will help advance a rapidly emerging research area," said Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, who is also the vice president for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean of the School of Medicine. "In coming years, scientists will learn a great deal about the microbes that exist within us. I'm sure that Prof. Fraser, the Institute and the School of Medicine will be deeply involved in these trailblazing efforts."

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