The gut microbiota is composed of several microbial strains, with diverse and variable combinations in healthy and sick persons, changing at different stages of life. A healthy balance between host and gut microorganisms must be maintained in order to perform the normal physiological, metabolic, and immune functions and prevent disease development. Disturbances in the balance of the gut microbiota by diverse reasons initiate several health issues and promote the progression of certain diseases. This review is based on published research and reports that describe the role of probiotic microorganisms in the sustainability of health and the alleviation of certain diseases. Information is presented on the GRAS strains that are used as probiotics in the food industry for the production of fermented milk, yogurt, fermented food, functional foods, and probiotic drinks. To maintain a healthy microbiota, probiotic supplements in the form of freeze-dried live cells of probiotic strains are also available in different forms to consumers. The health benefits of lactic acid bacteria and other microorganisms and their role in the control of certain diseases such as gut inflammation, diabetes, and bowel cancer and in the safeguarding of the gut epithelial permeability from the invasion of pathogens are discussed.
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- lactic acid bacteria
- intestinal microbiota
- Lactic acid bacteria
- Intestinal microbiota