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A Non-Dairy Probiotics (Poi) Influence on Changing the Gastrointestinal Tract’s Microflora Environment

Amy C. Brown, PhD, RD, Anne Shovic, PhD, RD, Salam A. Ibrahim, PhD, Peter Holck, PhD, Alvin Huang, PhD

Probiotics are defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit to the host.” It is believed that microflora contribute to the host’s health by improving the intestinal tract’s microbial balance.1 Fermented dairy products such as yogurt and buttermilk are common probiotics. The idea of purported health benefits from probiotics dates back nearly 100 years to Elie Metchnikoff who suggested that Bulgarian peasants lived longer lives because of their yogurt consumption. Certain people in Asia thought the same way and a Japanese physician, Minoru Shirota, suggested in the 1930s that the right concentration of intestinal flora could prevent disease. The Okinawans, some of the longest living people on earth, regularly consume miso soup, a traditional Japanese soup that includes miso (a thick paste made from fermented soybeans with salt).

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