Probiotics may not be the gastro miracle some expect - research

Probiotics is a fast growing industry sweeping through health blogs, chemists and supermarkets, but new research suggests these good bacteria might not be the gastro miracle some are expecting.

Probiotics, or good bacteria, have been touted as a wonder remedy for gut health. It has become the nutritional buzzword on every health conscious lip and on every shelf.

"Gut health is very much on trend at the moment," said dietitian Jan Hales.

"She says probiotics are being linked to immunity, mood and mental wellbeing.

"But I think it's something that people actually feel themselves."

But new research from the Weizmann institute suggests it might not be the fix some are hoping for.

"Within the next I think five or 10 years it will become quite clear that it's not good enough to just grab an off the shelf probiotic from the supermarket or the local pharmacy," said doctor Olivier Gasser from Malaghan Institute of Medical Research.

The research shows just taking probiotics isn't enough to guarantee they'll stay in your stomach and in some cases could actually slow gut health recovery.

"There are many ways to be healthy, there are many ways to be unhealthy and we're still trying to understand which bugs or which bacteria are really good ones. And sometimes a probiotic containing a good strain of bacteria might actually be detrimental in other instances," said Dr Gasser. 

It makes sense that companies would want to get in on it. The probiotic industry is growing by the day, its expected to top $100 billion in the next five years."

Ms Hales said, "What is a probiotic and whether it actually does what one would expect in the gut is a different story.

Dr Gasser said how you feel defines whether something is working for you or not, "and this is very subjective".

Experts agree more evidence is needed to fully understand the stomach supplements.

Probiotics are a fast growing industry sweeping through health blogs, chemists and supermarkets. Source: 1 NEWS