'Are they for us, against us or just cohabiting? It’s hard to know what to think about the microbes that live in and on us. In the same week that researchers announced that there is no evidence that probiotic supplements work, the White House launched the National Microbiome Initiative. This $500 million “moonshot” is intended to understand the vast colonies of bacteria, fungi and viruses that coevolved with our bodies, lands and oceans. The hope is that it will lead to breakthroughs in health and many other fields of science.'
New Scientist article - may need free registration:
The above article references this very interesting NHS choices article that is well worth reading - No evidence probiotics are beneficial for healthy adults. '"Probiotic goods a 'waste of money' for healthy adults, research suggests," The Guardian reports. A new review of previously gathered data found no evidence that probiotics improved the balance of gut bacteria in healthy adults.'
The NHS Choices article covers the following points:
- Where did the story come from?
- What kind of research was this?
- What did the research involve?
- What were the basic results?
- How did the researchers interpret the results?
- Conclusions, which ends with the summary:
'Overall, the current state of the evidence does not demonstrate that probiotics have any effect on gut bacteria in healthy people.
Given the limitations of these studies, that is not to say that all probiotics definitely have no effect. Further high-quality research in their use is needed.'
If you are interested in how we try and determine the impact of changes on our health, (and you should be, give that's how we try to determine how to combat CLL) the NHS Choices article is excellent, as it explains why experiment design is so crucial to ensuring that meaningful conclusions can be derived from research.
Photo: Bougainvillea bracts: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bract