Here are some more facts, figures and observations from the session:
US sales of probiotic supplements rose from $527m in 2009 to $969m in 2013.
Many fermented foods - while beneficial - are not true probiotics (living micro-organisms that when administered in adequate amounts, confer a benefit on the host).
The gut bacteria of obese and lean people is different, but despite some promising studies on mice, human trials have not (yet) demonstrated that probiotics could be used as a tool to help tackle obesity.
The benefits of probiotics are strain-specific (the format is: genus (Lactobacillus): species (Adolphus): strain (NCFM).
It’s hard to draw general conclusions about the efficacy of probiotics as the trials are all so different, with different biomarkers and end points, different methodology, different strains and huge variations in numbers, length, etc.