Health Benefits of Probioticmediated Immunomodulation

As described previously, probiotics are capable of modulating the immune system via both immunostimulation and immunoregulation, and thus have the potential to have an impact on health status and disease conditions that have an inherent immune component. In the case of immunostimulation, probiotics may provide a boosting of the immune system in key aspects of effector mechanisms that are tailored towards combating infectious diseases or intrinsic pathologies, such as neoplasm development. In addition, the ability of probi-

otics to stimulate cytokine secretion may provide an important immunoregula-tory function for the control of immune dysfunctional conditions, such as chronic inflammation and allergies. Research that has sought to investigate these potential outlets for probiotics in health has drawn on both animal studies and human clinical trials for supportive evidence.

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