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Probiotics in digestive, emotional, and pain-related disorders

Roman, Pabloa,b; Abalo, Raquelc,d,e,f; Marco, Eva, M.g; Cardona, Dianaa

doi: 10.1097/FBP.0000000000000385

In recent years, interest in the relationship between gut microbiota and disease states has grown considerably. Indeed, several strategies have been employed to modify the microbiome through the administration of different diets, by the administration of antibiotics or probiotics, or even by transplantation of feces. In the present manuscript, we focus specifically on the potential application of probiotics, which seem to be a safe strategy, in the management of digestive, pain, and emotional disorders. We present evidence from animal models and human studies, notwithstanding that translation to clinic still deserves further investigation. The microbiome influences gut functions as well as neurological activity by a variety of mechanisms, which are also discussed. The design and performance of larger trials is urgently needed to verify whether these new strategies might be useful not only for the treatment of disorders affecting the gastrointestinal tract but also in the management of emotional and pain disorders not directly related to the gut.

aDepartment of Nursing, Physiotherapy and Medicine, University of Almería, Almería

bDepartment of Nursing, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón

cArea of Pharmacology and Nutrition, Department of Basic Health Sciences, University Rey Juan Carlos (URJC), Alcorcón

dAssociated Unit I+D+i to the Institute of Medicinal Chemistry (IQM), Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

eAssociated Unit I+D+i to the Institute of Research in Food Sicence (CIAL), Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

fGroup of Excellent Research URJC-Bank of Santander-Multidisciplinary Group in Pain Research and Treatment (i+DOL)

gDepartment of Physiology (Animal Physiology II), Faculty of Biological Sciences, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain

Correspondence to Eva M. Marco, PhD, Department of Physiology (Animal Physiology II), Faculty of Biological Sciences, C/Jose Antonio Novais 12, Universidad Complutense, 28040 Madrid, Spain E-mail:

Received July 17, 2017

Accepted February 1, 2018

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