Published online Feb 16, 2015. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v3.i2.156
Peer-review started: July 28, 2014
First decision: September 16, 2014
Revised: October 9, 2014
Accepted: October 28, 2014
Article in press: October 29, 2014
Published online: February 16, 2015
Core tip: The intestinal microbiota of elderly manifested a reduction in the diversity, characterized by a large interindividual variability, with lower numbers of Firmicutes, Bifidobacteria, Clostridium cluster XIV, Faecalibacterium Prausnitzii, Blautia coccoides-Eubacterium rectal and higher in Enterobacteriaceae and Bacteroidetes. These derangements may not necessarily aging-correlated, but they can be consequent to the decline of general state of health, malnutrition and increased use of drugs. As regards probiotics, the main double-blind studies in the elderly have shown that use is safe and could represent an interesting support to reduced frequency and/or duration of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, other than to help for constipation.