Alterations in intestinal microbiota and inflammatory response play a key role in disease progression and development of complications in liver diseases, mainly in cirrhosis and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Probiotics can be useful to delay disease progression and to prevent development of complications due to their ability to modulate intestinal flora, intestinal permeability and inflammatory response. Several studies have shown the efficacy of probiotics in the treatment of minimal hepatic encephalopathy and the prevention of episodes of overt hepatic encephalopathy. Probiotics have also been observed to prevent postoperative bacterial infections and to improve liver damage in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. However, more studies are needed in order to confirm the efficacy and safety of probiotics in patients with liver diseases, and to better understanding of the mechanisms implicated in their effects.
- Bacterial translocation
- Liver diseases