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ISAPP Newsletter – April 19, 2020


Scientific experiments, travel, meetings with colleagues – many things are on pause at present as we all do our part to keep our communities safe. But it’s clear not everything is on pause. We open this newsletter with a message from our Executive Science Officer on behalf of the ISAPP board, conveying how ISAPP continues to move forward with important activities even during these unusual times. One example of how we are working to adapt: we are replacing the in-person ISAPP annual meeting with a program of virtual events that will provide our members with important updates and opportunities for discussion. Details are forthcoming.

This month’s big news in probiotic science is the publication of a long-anticipated paper on the new taxonomic groupings for the genus Lactobacillus. ISAPP, in collaboration with board member and taxonomy paper lead co-author Dr. Sarah Lebeer, has produced a blog post and other resources explaining the name changes of some popular probiotic lactobacilli.

ISAPP board members Mary Ellen Sanders and Dan Merenstein posted a response to a viewpoint published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The JAMA article called into question probiotic efficacy and safety.

Another recent blog post focused on regulation, with an update on the view of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the use of the term ‘probiotic’ from the perspective of an expert in GRAS notifications for probiotics.

In this newsletter we also share some great communication initiatives. In both English-language and Spanish-language blog posts, Gabriel Vinderola describes some exciting outreach efforts related to probiotics, prebiotics, and fermented foods. Then, the ISAPP Students and Fellows Association announces the launch of their blog to showcase early career scientists' perspectives on up-and-coming topics in probiotic and prebiotic science.

ISAPP board member Prof. Gregor Reid closes out the newsletter with his reflections on daily routines in the time of a pandemic.

Connecting with the ISAPP community: Continuing to advance the science of probiotics and prebiotics

 
How can the ISAPP community remain connected and strong through these challenging times? By maintaining a clear sense of purpose and continuing with the activities that help us carry out our mission. Read this open letter to ISAPP members, which describes the organization’s ongoing activities and the importance of ISAPP as a touchstone for accurate scientific information in the field.
 

New names for important probiotic Lactobacillus species

 
April 15th marked an important day in the field of probiotic science, with the publication of a paper describing new names for important probiotic Lactobacillus species. Drs. Mary Ellen Sanders and Sarah Lebeer explain the motivation for these changes and summarize the main points in the blog post below. You can also read the ISAPP EurekAlert press release here.
 

Safety and efficacy of probiotics: Perspectives on JAMA viewpoint

 
In this post, Drs. Mary Ellen Sanders and Dan Merenstein respond to a recent JAMA viewpoint that stimulated discussion in the field, not only about the existing evidence for probiotic safety and efficacy, but also about how to use that evidence. The article addresses each major concern put forth in the JAMA article with a thoughtful response.
 
The FDA’s view on the term probiotics, part 2: Further down the rabbit hole

The FDA’s view on the term probiotics, part 2: Further down the rabbit hole

 
Previously, ISAPP published a guest blog post by food and nutrition regulatory consultant James Heimbach, describing updates to the US FDA’s view on the term 'probiotics'. Part 2 in this series has now been published, providing you with further details on how the FDA views this term.
 
Growing interest in beneficial microbes and fermented foods in Argentina

Growing interest in beneficial microbes and fermented foods in Argentina

 
There’s no doubt that public demand for learning about probiotics, prebiotics, and fermented foods is high. And what are those in the ISAPP community doing to meet that demand? In this blog post, Prof. Gabriel Vinderola explains how he is doing scientific outreach in Argentina through popular TV programs and collaborations with a chef who specializes in fermented foods. The blog post is also available in Spanish, here: Creciente interés en Argentina en microorganismos benéficos y alimentos fermentados.
 
ISAPP Students and Fellows Association announce blog posting: A new way to share our work and perspectives

ISAPP Students and Fellows Association announce blog posting: A new way to share our work and perspectives

 
ISAPP’s students and fellows are a big part of what makes us a vibrant, future-looking organization. In this post, ISAPP Students and Fellows Association (SFA) president Anna-Ursula Happel writes about why the SFA is launching a blog and how the posts will benefit the scientific community.
 
The Horses: Daily Routines in the COVID-19 Era

The Horses: Daily Routines in the COVID-19 Era

 
ISAPP co-founder and longtime board member Prof. Gregor Reid shares a reflection on the routines of daily life in the midst of a global pandemic – a bittersweet tribute to our changing times.
 
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