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Mapping the available evidence on the  impact of ingested live microbes on  health: a scoping review protocol

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 13:50 authored by Arghya Mukherjee, Ajay Iyer, Beatriz Gómez-Sala, Eibhlís O'ConnorEibhlís O'Connor, John G Kenny, Paul D Cotter

Introduction It has been hypothesised that the regular consumption of safe, live microbes confers health-promoting attributes, including the prevention of disease. To address this hypothesis, we propose a scoping review approach that will systematically assess the large corpus of relevant literature that is now available on this research topic. This article outlines a protocol for a scoping review of published studies on interventions with live microbes in non-patient populations across eight health categories. The scoping review aims to catalogue types of interventions, measured outcomes, dosages, effectiveness, as well as current research gaps.

Methods and analysis The scoping review will follow the six-staged protocol as proposed by Arksey and O’Malley and will include the following stages: defining the research questions (stage 1); defining the eligibility criteria and finalising search strategy (stage 2); selection of studies based on the eligibility criteria (stage 3); development of a data extraction framework and charting of data (stage 4); aggregation of results and summarisation of findings (stage 5); and the optional consultation with stakeholders (stage 6), which will not be performed.

Ethics and dissemination Since the scoping review synthesises information from existing literature, no separate ethical approval is required. The findings of the scoping review will be communicated for publication to an open-access, peer-reviewed scientific journal, presented at relevant conferences, and disseminated at future workshops with all relevant data and documents being available online through the Open Science Framework (



BMJ Open 2023;13:e067766


BMJ Publishing Group

Other Funding information

This work was supported by the Institute for the Advancement of Food and Nutrition Sciences (IAFNS) through an ILSI North America Gut Microbiome Committee grant (grant number: N/A). IAFNS is a non-profit science organisation that pools funding from industry and advances science through in-kind and financial contributions from private and public sector members. Article processing charges for the present work was paid by the Teagasc article processing charges fund.

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