Current interest in probiotics is motivated not only by the clinical data showing the efficacy of some probiotic bacteria, but also by the increasing antibiotic resistance of pathogenic bacteria (particularly in hospitals) and the rise of consumers demand for natural substitutes of drugs.
Among probiotic applications, reduction of diarrhea is probably the best-documented effect confirmed by recent meta-analyses. Research on Helicobacter pylori indicates that probiotics are unable to eradicate the infection, but could be useful in decreasing infection levels and as adjuvants of therapy-associated side effects. Studies performed in inflammatory bowel disease suggest that high doses of probiotics and most likely a combination of different lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are more effective in decreasing inflammatory score and maintaining patients in remission than a single probiotic strain. Probiotic studies evaluating amelioration of symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome would require more sustained patient numbers, but the efficacy seems to be strain-dependent. Not enough probiotic intervention trials have been reported on colon cancer to allow any firm conclusion.
Few randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled human trials are available, and some involved only small numbers of patients. They are difficult to compare because of the differences in probiotic strains employed, doses and formulation. However, the accumulated data is encouraging.
Carla Holmes | alfa
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The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
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