Some current applications, limitations and future perspectives of lactic acid bacteria as probiotics
Several mechanism and non-mechanism-based studies supporting the claim that lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains confer health benefits and play immune-modulatory roles were examined in this review. Probiotic applications of LAB on global burdens such as obesity and type-2 diabetes were discussed as well as the use of yoghurt and ice cream as important vehicles to convey several beneficial LAB strains. Probiotic and symbiotic dairy products may be used in the nearest future to treat a variety of health disorders. Current studies suggest that lactic acid bacteria possess anti-obesity and anti-diabetic propensities on their hosts and thus can play a crucial role in human health care. Research in the rheological and physicochemical properties of ice cream as well as its applications are also on the increase. These applications face certain hurdles including technological (for less developed countries), consumer acceptability of new functional foods may be influenced by culture, ethics or religion. There is need for more studies on the genetic basis for probiotic properties which will give further understanding regarding novel manipulation skills and applicability in nutrition and health sectors. More studies confirming the direct effects of probiotic LABs in lowering the spread of food-borne and other pathogens are also anticipated.
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