We know that many people use probiotics and prebiotics and that they are prescribed at
times by doctors, but what do we know about these products? What do they do? How do
they work and when should they be used? This module helps answer these important
The human gastrointestinal tract or ‘gut’ contains a complex ecosystem of bacteria and other
micro-organisms, most of which are non-pathogenic (i.e. do not cause disease) and help to
protect against disease and maintain health.
It has long been known that the micro-organisms in the human gut play an important role in
digestive health. However, more recent research indicates that our gut bacteria may relate to
wider aspects of health, including immunity and disease prevention.
This module discusses gut health and the role of gut bacteria, probiotics, and prebiotics. The
module also looks at antibiotics and the adverse effects of antibiotics on our gut bacteria.
The front shop staff in the pharmacy are well-placed to engage pharmacy customers on the
role of the gut flora in maintaining health and the use of probiotic and prebiotic products.