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Probiotics as functional foods: documented health benefits

S. Sarkar (Department of Quality Assurance, Metro Dairy Limited, Kolkata, India)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 22 March 2013

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1160

Abstract

Purpose

Probiotics confer protection against pathogens owing to their capability to compete with pathogens or their displacement by adhering to intestinal epithelial cells. Diverse health benefits extended by probiotics led to their application as functional foods. The aim of this paper is to explore probiotics as functional foods.

Design/methodology/approach

Endeavour has been made to explore prerequisites for a cultured milk product to be called as a probiotics food. Potentiality of probiotics for their exploitation as functional foods has also been delineated.

Findings

Probiotics demonstrate various prophylactic properties and their efficacy are influenced by strain of cultures employed. Probiotics confer diverse human health benefits such as normalization of intestinal flora, anticarcinogenesis, hypocholesterolemic effect, alleviation of lactose malabsorption and allergy. Beneficial properties of probiotics suggest their application as functional foods.

Originality/value

Ingestion of cultured milk products containing probiotic cultures may provide health benefits and could be recommended for consumption as functional foods.

Keywords

Citation

Sarkar, S. (2013), "Probiotics as functional foods: documented health benefits", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 43 No. 2, pp. 107-115. https://doi.org/10.1108/00346651311313445

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited