Probiotics are particularly beneficial living microorganisms that help improve human health. Although probiotics have long been used as nutritional supplements in various cultures around the world, new research has investigated their antimicrobial and immune boosting effects in individuals. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are popular probiotics used worldwide that benefit human health by acting as antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agents, reducing pathogen binding to the host receptor and thus capturing pathogenic microorganisms. Probiotics have been shown to be beneficial in a variety of bacterial and viral diseases worldwide. The regulation of the host’s immune response is one of the most important mechanisms of probiotic action. Immunomodulatory effects of probiotic-derived compounds have been characterized using genomic and proteomic analysis. These compounds have the ability to regulate and initiate mucosal immunity against various diseases. Probiotics produce many bactericidal compounds, which inhibit the growth of pathogenic microorganisms and their toxins, promoting the sustainability and structural integrity of enterocytes. This chapter focused on recent scientific research findings that help us better understand how probiotics regulate the host immune response and how they can be used to prevent and treat disease and there beneficial role to improve the health status of individuals.
Part of the book: Prebiotics and Probiotics