Frontiers in Gastroenterology |24 October 2023 | doi: 10.3389/fgstr.2023.1293448
Chattopadhyay S, Murugaiyan G, Hajela N and Ramakrishna BS (2023)
Since the first use of the term ‘microbiome’ by Joshua Lederberg, the microbial community in the human body received wide attention from microbiologists and clinicians. Data accumulated on the gut microbiota of healthy and diseased individuals have guided us to revisit the microbial solution of maintaining health through the use of probiotics. Although the credit of recognizing the benefits of gut-friendly microbes goes to Élie Metchnikoff, the consumption of beneficial microbes has existed since ancient times in many cultures. Currently, the consumption of probiotics — well characterized strains of specific microbial species that are ‘generally recognized as safe (GRAS)’ – has become fairly common across cultures. However, our fundamental knowledge of probiotic mechanisms and efficacy is weaker than in many other areas of science and medicine, partly because of the fact that attention on this subject is relatively new. In this editorial we discuss six published papers under the topic “Benefiting from microbes: challenges in getting the ‘pros’ and avoiding the ‘cons’”. These papers highlight how probiotics are integral to maintaining high-quality healthy life, prevention of disease, recovery from disease, and also how the status of the gut microbiota can be monitored using inexpensive biosensor devices.