Probiotic bacteria are used to treat disturbed intestinal microflora and increased gut permeability which are characteristic to many intestinal disorders. Examples include children with acute rotavirus diarrhoea, subjects with food allergy, subjects with colonic disorders and patients undergoing pelvic radiotherapy and sometimes changes associated with colon cancer development. In all such disease states altered intestinal microflora, impaired gut barrier and different types of intestinal inflammation are present. Successful probiotic bacteria are able to survive gastric conditions and colonise the intestine, at least temporarily, by adhering to the intestinal epithelium. Already existing preparations containing viable lactic bacteria of human origin appear to have value in restoring normal microbial functions and alleviating symptoms in some patients with gastrointestinal infection and other conditions. Current scientifically based research efforts world-wide are now focusing on the development of high quality products containing microorganisms preselected for specific probiotic characteristics.