World Gastroenterology Organisation

Global Guardian of Digestive Health. Serving the World.


WGO Practice Guideline

Probiotics and Prebiotics


Probiotics are live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.  Lactobacilli, along with species of Bifidobacterium, have historically been common probiotics. In 2020, the genus Lactobacillus underwent a major restructuring to better address the wide diversity of microbes assigned to the genus. Twenty-three new genera were defined, including some with well-studied probiotic species.

Prebiotic is defined as a selectively fermented ingredient that results in specific changes in the composition and/or activity of the gastrointestinal microbiota, thus conferring benefit(s) upon host health.

Translated Versions

English (newly updated) French Portuguese (newly updated)
Mandarin (newly updated) Russian Spanish (newly updated)


Review Team

  • Francisco Guarner (Chair, Spain)
  • Mary Ellen Sanders (Co-Chair, USA)
  • Hania Szajewska (Co-Chair, Poland)
  • Henry Cohen (Uruguay)
  • Rami Eliakim (Israel)
  • Claudia Herrera (Guatemala)
  • Tarkan Karakan (Turkey)
  • Dan Merenstein (USA)
  • Alejandro Piscoya (Peru)
  • Balakrishnan Ramakrishna (India)
  • Seppo Salminen (Finland)

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