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Probiotics concept was first  introduced in the early 20th century, when Nobel laureate Elie Metchnikoff, known as the “father of probiotics,” proposed in The Prolongation of Life: Optimistic Studies that ingesting microorganisms could have substantial health benefits for humans. Microorganisms are invisible to the naked eye and exist virtually everywhere. Scientists continued to investigate the concept, and the term “probiotics”—meaning “for life”—eventually came into use.

Picturing the human body as a “host” for bacteria and other microorganisms is helpful in understanding probiotics. The body, especially the lower gastrointestinal tract (the gut), contains a complex and diverse community of bacteria. (In the body of a healthy adult, cells of microorganisms are estimated to outnumber human cells by a factor of ten to one.) Although we tend to think of bacteria as harmful “germs,” many bacteria actually help the body function properly. Most probiotics are bacteria similar to the beneficial bacteria found naturally in the human gut.

Various mechanisms may account for the effects of probiotics on human health. Possible mechanisms include altering the intestinal “microecology” (e.g., reducing harmful organisms in the intestine), producing antimicrobial compounds (substances that destroy or suppress the growth of microorganisms), and stimulating the body’s immune response.

Probiotics commonly used in the United States include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. There are many specific types of bacteria within each of these two broad groups, and health benefits associated with one type may not hold true for others. For further information you may visit:


Suggested Use & dosage

Probiotic supplements are used for a variety of gastrointestinal conditions such as infectious diarrhea, diarrhea associated with using antibiotics, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease (e.g., ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease). Probiotics are also being used for preventing tooth decay and for preventing or treating other oral health problems such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Some—but not all—probiotic formulations have been widely studied and show considerable promise. However, the rapid growth in marketing and consumer interest and use has outpaced scientific research on the safety and efficacy of probiotics for specific health applications.

According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey in the USA, which included a comprehensive survey on the use of complementary health approaches by Americans, “prebiotics/probiotics” ranked fifth among natural products used for children, but were not among the top-ranking products for adults. Although probiotic products are more popular in Europe and Japan than in the United States, the U.S. consumer market for probiotics is growing rapidly.

Dosage: The usual dosage is, 2 capsules (2 chewable tablets for children) daily after the main meal for a period of at least 15 days. However, dosage varies on individual health condition, age & formulation. Please consult full prescribing information of the manufacturer for detailed information.


Probiotics research

The potential of probiotics to benefit human health in many different ways has stimulated great interest and activity among researchers. For example, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Probiotic and Prebiotic Working Group, a trans-NIH effort to identify gaps and challenges in prebiotic/probiotic research.

Probiotic research is moving forward on two fronts: basic science (laboratory studies) and clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of probiotics for various medical conditions. Many early clinical trials of probiotics have had methodological limitations, and definitive clinical evidence to support using specific probiotic strains for specific health purposes is generally lacking. Nevertheless, there is preliminary evidence for several uses of probiotics, and more studies are under way. In particular, a recent review of the scientific evidence on the effectiveness of probiotics in acute infectious diarrhea concluded that there was evidence that probiotics may shorten the duration of diarrhea and reduce stool frequency but that more research was needed to establish exactly which probiotics should be used for which groups of people.

In 2008, the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases published a special issue on probiotics, which included an overview of clinical applications. Based on a review of selected studies, the authors classified several applications according to the strength of evidence supporting the efficacy of probiotics in prevention and/or treatment. For example, the authors concluded that strong evidence exists for acute diarrhea and antibiotic-associated diarrhea, and substantial evidence exists for atopic eczema (a skin condition most commonly seen in infants). Promising applications include childhood respiratory infections, tooth decay, nasal pathogens (bacteria harbored in the nose), gastroenteritis relapses caused by Clostridium difficile bacteria after antibiotic therapy, and inflammatory bowel disease. The authors also discussed various potential future applications.

Studies also indicate that probiotics may reduce side effects associated with treatment for Helicobacter pylori infection, the cause of most stomach ulcers. A systematic review suggests that there is strong evidence that probiotics may reduce the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis, a severe intestinal condition of premature newborns. Other potential future applications include use in reducing cholesterol levels, treating obesity, and managing irritable bowel syndrome.


Safety & side effects

It appears that most people do not experience side effects from probiotics or have only mild gastrointestinal side effects such as gas. But there have been some case reports of serious adverse effects, and research on safety is ongoing. A 2008 review of probiotics safety noted that Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG has been widely studied in clinical trials for a variety of conditions and generally found to be safe. Nevertheless, a recent review of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium noted that the long-term, cumulative effects of probiotics use, especially in children, are unknown, and also pointed to evidence that probiotics should not be used in critically ill patients. Similarly, a 2011 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality assessment of the safety of probiotics, partly funded by NCCAM, concluded that the current evidence does not suggest a widespread risk of negative side effects associated with probiotics. However, the data on safety, particularly long-term safety, are limited, and the risk of serious side effects may be greater in people who have underlying health conditions.

Concerns have also been raised about the quality of probiotic products. Some products have been found to contain smaller numbers of live microorganisms than expected. In addition, some products have been found to contain bacterial strains other than those listed as ingredients.



Brand/Product Info

Total Products : 7       
Brand Name Manufacturer/Marketer Composition Dosage Form Pack Size & Price
PROBIO Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Each contains 3 Strains of microorganisms- Lactobacillus (LB) acidophilus 2 billion+ LB bulgaricus 1 billion+ Bifidobacterium bifidium 1 billion CFU with Prebiotics Capsule 30's pack, MRP 240.00
PROBIO CAP Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Probiotic combination 4 Billion CFU Capsule 5x6's: 300.00 MRP
PROTEXIN BALANCE Sandoz/Novartis Each contains 7 Strains of microorganisms- Lactobacillus (LB) casei, LB rhamnosus, LB acidophilus, LB bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus, Bifidobacterium breve & Bifidobacterium longum; TVC 100 million CFU with Prebiotics Capsule 1x15's, MRP 375.00; 2x15's, MRP 720.00; 4x15's, MRP 1320.00
PROTEXIN BALANCE+ Sandoz/Novartis Each contains 7 Strains of microorganisms- Lactobacillus (LB) casei, LB rhamnosus, LB acidophilus, LB bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus, Bifidobacterium breve & Bifidobacterium longum; TVC 100 million CFU with Vit. A 400 mcg+ Vit. C 30mg+ Vit E 5mg and Prebiotics Capsule 1x15's, MRP 375.00; 2x15's, MRP 720.00; 4x15's, MRP 1320.00
PROTEXIN PROTECT Sandoz/Novartis Each contains 7 Strains of microorganisms- Lactobacillus (LB) casei, LB rhamnosus, LB acidophilus, LB bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus, Bifidobacterium breve & Bifidobacterium longum with Garlic concentrate 30mg; TVC 1,000 million CFU with Prebiotics Capsule 1x15's, MRP 390.00; 2x15's, MRP 750.00; 4x15's, MRP 1380.00
PROTEXIN VITALITY Sandoz/Novartis Each Tablet contains 7 Strains of microorganisms- Lactobacillus (LB) casei, LB rhamnosus, LB acidophilus, LB bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus, Bifidobacterium breve & Bifidobacterium infantis (child specific) with 30mg Vit. C; TVC 100 million CFU with Prebiotics Chewable Tablet 2x15's, MRP 720.00; 4x15's, MRP 1320.00
PROTIK VITALITY Kemiko Pharmaceuticals Ltd Each contains 2 Strains of microorganisms- Lactobacillus (LB) acidophilus+ Bifidobacterium lactis with Vit. B1, B2, B3, B6, Vit. C & Zinc Granules in Sachet 5gm Sachet x5's, MRP 100.00 and 3.5gm Sachet x5's, MRP 100.00

Gen. MedInfo

Quick facts.


Probiotics definition.

In 2001, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations -- defined "probiotics" as "live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host."

So far, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved no specific health claims for probiotics. Further, the amounts of probiotics that studies have found to be beneficial vary from strain to strain and condition to condition. In 2007, the FDA enacted regulations requiring dietary supplements to be produced in a quality manner, to be free of contaminants or impurities, and to be accurately labeled. Many probiotic researchers are hoping these regulations will improve the quality of probiotic supplements in the United States.

Are Probiotics Safe for Everyone?

People who are acutely ill or who have a compromised immune system should be cautious about consuming probiotic products and supplements. Researchers are still trying to figure out which types of disease and illnesses should preclude the use of probiotics.

Although no studies have shown probiotics to be harmful in healthy people, Barry Goldin, MS, PhD, a professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, says terminally ill cancer patients and people with conditions with the potential for leaky bowels, including acute pancreatitis, should NOT consume probiotics.

Just to be safe, tell your doctor if you’re thinking about taking probiotics regularly.



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