New Probiotics Guidelines Ignore Scientific Evidence

New Probiotics Guidelines Ignore Scientific Evidence

Mislead Consumers About Products that Can Support Their Health

WASHINGTON, D.C.– New American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) guidelines ignore the bulk of scientific evidence related to the health benefits of probiotics.  The guidelines also falsely claim that the natural products industry is unregulated, despite being overseen by not one but two federal agencies to protect consumers from false advertising and bad actors.

“These guidelines are at odds with the overwhelming number of studies supporting the safety and efficacy of probiotics in modern medicine.  Consumers should always consult with their doctors or medical professionals before using probiotics, but these guidelines will only lead to more confusion for consumers,” said Sibyl Swift, NPA Senior Vice President for Scientific and Regulatory Affairs.  “Probiotics are among the most popular supplement products, primarily because consumers trust their safety and the important role they play in supporting their health.”

Thousands of studies have supported the safe use and efficacy of probiotics for a range of treatments and patient populations, including:

  • Probiotics have been shown to reduce health care costs and societal impact of flu-like respiratory tract infections. [1]
  • Treating acute bowl infections; preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhea in healthy children; and preventing necrotizing enterocolitis, a devastating disease that affects bowls in premature infants.[2]
  • Managing irritable bowel syndrome.[3]
  • Improving not only gut health but liver health as well.[4]
  • Reducing the severity of skin rashes in children and eliminate the need for topical corticosteroids to treat symptom flare-ups.[5]
  • Reducing the likelihood of infection during antibiotic treatments, with no adverse events.[6]


[1] Lenoir-Wijnkoop I, Merenstein D, Korchagina D, Broholm C, Sanders ME and Tancredi D (2019) Probiotics Reduce Health Care Cost and Societal Impact of Flu-Like Respiratory Tract Infections in the USA: An Economic Modeling Study. Front. Pharmacol. 10:980. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.00980

[2] Dan W. Thomas, Frank R. Greer, Committee on Nutrition; Section on Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and NutritionPediatrics Dec 2010, 126 (6) 1217-1231; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2010-2548

[3] Moayyedi P, Ford AC, Talley NJ, et al The efficacy of probiotics in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review Gut 2010;59:325-332

[4]  Growing evidence that probiotics are good for your liver. Published April 23, 2018. Updated June 18, 2018.

[5] Navarro-López V, Ramírez-Boscá A, Ramón-Vidal D, et al. Effect of oral administration of a mixture of probiotic strains on SCORAD Index and use of topical steroids in young patients with moderate atopic dermatitis: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(1):37-43.

[6] Johnston BC, et al. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2018;doi:10.1017/ice.2018.84.



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Natural Products Association

The Natural Products Association (NPA) is the trade association representing the entire natural products industry. We advocate for our members who supply, manufacture and sell natural ingredients or products for consumers. The Natural Products Association promotes good manufacturing practices as part of the growth and success of the industry. Founded in 1936, NPA represents over 700 members accounting for more than 10,000 locations of retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids. Visit