versión impresa ISSN 0212-1611
This article revises the concepts of prebiotics, probiotics and symbiotics, and their use in different situations of daily clinical practice. With a high level of evidence, it is concluded that the use of certain strains of probiotics significantly reduces the risk for antibiotic-induced diarrhea. Although further studies are needed, the use of probiotics, prebiotics, and symbiotics in people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (particularly ulcerative colitis, and pouchitis) might improve the rates of remission induction/maintenance. The administration of probiotics and symbiotics to patients with liver transplant, severe acute pancreatitis, and intensive and surgical care patients, emerges as a promising therapeutic option that seems to reduce the number of infections; however, it is currently no possible to establish evidencebased recommendations, with a need for a higher number of better designed works. About safety of probiotics and symbiotics, the benefits/risks ratio clearly favors the former since the risk for infection is low, even in immunosuppressed patients. There are, however, selected groups of patients in which caution is advised.
Palabras clave : Probiotics; Prebiotics; Symbiotics; Nutrition.