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Harvard Medical School Continues Education About Benefits of Probiotics
Date:7/8/2009

BOSTON, July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- An emerging body of scientific research about probiotics was presented today at the academic conference, "Protective Nutrients, Are They Here To Stay?" an annual Harvard Medical School Division of Nutrition Annual Postgraduate Nutrition Symposium. Every year, cutting-edge topics are selected to provide education about emerging topics in nutrition to key opinion leaders and healthcare providers, and this year probiotics took center stage.

The symposium brought together world-class researchers to discuss the interactions between diet and protective nutrients, such as probiotics, and to describe the mechanisms at work behind their specific health benefits. Probiotics are defined by FAO/WHO as "live microorganisms, which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host."

Dr. W. Allan Walker, Director of the Division of Nutrition at Harvard Medical School, opened the day and a half symposium taking a look into the scientific and academic journal standard for protective nutrients. Mary Ellen Sanders, Ph.D., Executive Director of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP), provided an overview about probiotics highlighting that specific strains of probiotics function uniquely in different conditions since (collectively speaking) they are a diverse group of microorganisms. "A probiotic must undergo controlled evaluation to document health benefits in humans," she said. The ISAPP recently clarified the FAO/WHO definition, including this detail.

Philip Sherman, M.D., FRCP(C), FAAP, Gastroenterologist and Senior Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and Professor of Paediatrics in the Department of Microbiology and Dentistry at the University of Toronto, who moderated the session, discussed the precise mechanisms of action by which probiotics function. "Some probiotics affect integrity of the
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SOURCE The Dannon Company, Inc.; Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd.
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