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ISAPP Newsletter – November 18, 2019

ISAPP board members and collaborators have had a busy month, participating in various activities and working groups that serve to advance probiotic and prebiotic science globally.

In this newsletter, we bring you the latest on the discussions with Codex Alimentarius about global harmonization of probiotics. We highlight a blog post that tackles a misleading Wall Street Journal article about probiotics and gut health, and another with ISAPP’s measured response to a recent study on L. rhamnosus-associated bacteremia in hospitalized, critically ill patients.

In the next post, founding ISAPP board member Prof. Gregor Reid reflects on his upcoming retirement and, using words of wisdom from his favorite musical groups, reflects on how far probiotic science has come and where he sees it going.

ISAPP now has a website page dedicated to consumer frequently asked questions (FAQs)! Read about it below—and feel free to email us with additional questions you’d like to see our science translation committee to address on this new page.

Harmonized Probiotic Guidelines to be discussed at Codex Alimentarius meeting November 24 – 29

The issue of global harmonization of probiotics is set to be discussed at the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme, Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods For Special Dietary Uses, Forty-first Session, to be held 24 – 29 November. This ISAPP post outlines some of the main issues under discussion, and summarizes progress that's been made to date:

Those probiotics may actually be helping, not hurting

Gut health is a popular but often misunderstood concept. In this new post on the ISAPP science blog, Mary Ellen Sanders and Prof. Gregory Gloor respond to a Wall Street Journal article that misconstrued the relationship between probiotics and gut health. Importantly, Sanders and Gloor clarify what we know about relationship of fecal microbiota diversity to gut health.

Lactobacillus bacteremia in critically ill patients does not raise questions about safety for general consumers

In the scientific field of probiotics, it is very important to interpret the results of trials within an appropriate clinical framework. In this blog post, ISAPP board members and colleagues describe the clinical relevance and take-home messages of a recent paper describing the occurrence of L. rhamnosus-associated bacteremia in six critically ill individuals.

Reflections on a career in probiotic science, from ISAPP founding board member Prof. Gregor Reid

In 2002, one year after participating in the FAO/WHO working group that proposed the first definition for the word “probiotic”, Prof. Gregor Reid hosted ISAPP’s inaugural global meeting in his home city of London, Canada. Since then, he has brought remarkable energy and focus to ISAPP activities, as board member and Past President. At next year’s annual meeting, Reid will retire from his position at Western University and from his ISAPP duties. In this post, he reflects on his long and remarkable career in probiotic science.

ISAPP's new webpage dedicated to consumer frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Questions about probiotics, prebiotics, and fermented foods come up frequently in many digital discussion forums and social media platforms. Members of ISAPP science translation committee took it upon themselves to collect some of these questions; they have put together a list of answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) for the ISAPP website, including links to where consumers can find additional resources. Check out the new webpage here.

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