Recent advances in genomic technologies have facilitated in identifying certain microbiota harboring in the human body are involved in the maintenance of normal development, health and disease-prevention.  Further, correlative studies have found that the onset of obesity, colon inflammation disorders, neurological disorders, modulation of drug-efficacy (in treating hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, cancer, etc), and cancer, are associated with microbial imbalance in the human gut. These studies suggest that normal health could be achieved by re-colonizing the missing, good bacteria in the gut. Although the science behind probiotics is still in infant stage, the health-conscious consumers are snapping up bacteria-enriched foods, to restore microbiota balance, thus normal health. This is evident from the global market for probiotics, which was over $35 billion in 2015.  This Elective is designed to promote student’s self-learning in the field of probiotics.  At the end, the student will be in a position to argue the validity of probiotics in a constructive perspective.

Day 1.  The course begins with brief introductory remarks on all aspects of probiotics, including microbial ecology, microbial modulation of human physiology, and microbial metabolism of pharmaceuticals.  Soon after this, each participant in the course will make health-promoting yogurt, starting with raw ingredients.   

Following this, specific topics of pharmacy education-importance will be identified by the class, for the entire course.  Students will do literature search and prepare documents on each of these topics. Students will present these documents in the classroom.  These documents and classroom presentations constitute a portion of the examination.  Students will write reflective essays on the course subtopics on the last day of the course, which will be used the remaining portion of the examination.