Published online Mar 14, 2013. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i10.1527
Revised: December 18, 2012
Accepted: January 11, 2013
Published online: March 14, 2013
It is our contention that the concept of a probiotic as a living bacterium providing unspecified health benefits is inhibiting the development and establishment of an evidence base for the growing field of pharmacobiotics. We believe this is due in part to the current regulatory framework, lack of a clear definition of a probiotic, the ease with which currently defined probiotics can be positioned in the market place, and the enormous profits earned for minimum investment in research. To avoid this, we believe the following two actions are mandatory: international guidelines by a forum of stakeholders made available to scientists and clinicians, patient organizations, and governments; public research funds made available to the scientific community for performing independent rigorous studies both at the preclinical and clinical levels.