Table 1

Probiotics products, uses and claims

Probiotic product*Intended useApplicable claimComments
Dietary supplementGenerally intended for the healthy populationHealth claim (eg, ‘enhances natural resistance’)
  • EU/USA. There are no health claims regarding probiotics approved by the European Food Safety Authority or by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

  • However, individual countries may have regulatory systems permitting probiotic-based claims

Food ingredient
DrugRestricted to a population of patientsMedical claim (eg, for the treatment of diarrhoea)
  • A probiotic product that is marketed as a drug must meet more rigorous requirements

  • A number of probiotic products have registrations; however, often, these are historical registrations

  • In the EU, national authorizations are available for medicinal products to be marketed in one member state only

  • *Depending on the country, the same probiotic microorganism(s) may be available as food supplements, available as registered pharmaceutical products and/or incorporated into foods.