Project #63294 - Probiotic Research Evaluation Questionnaire



This assignment consists of locating a peer-reviewed journal article using about probiotics (based on a Randomized Clinical Trial) using a purposeful PubMed search. You will strategically select an article that is related to a dietary supplement or food product that contains a bacterial strain of probiotic. You will use the information in the article to evaluate the product. You should take the viewpoint that the product is either beneficial or not beneficial. Locate a primary research, peer-reviewed journal article (Randomized Clinical Trial) which is directly related to the bacterial strain that you select.


Product Questions:

1. What is the name of the product and the company name?

2. What is the full corporate contact information?


3. Indicate the full title of your primary research article.   Provide a full citation for the article using the format for the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


4. What are the supposed benefits of the probiotic product?



5. What is the identification for the specific bacterial strain(s)?  Please be specific.  If there are more than one type of strain, list all of them.  
Instructor Note:  State which of these strains is addressed in the research article that you are using.




6. What is the number of viable organisms stated for the product?  It will usually be provided in the unit of measure known as Colony Forming Units (CFU).  This may be indicated per serving size, by capsule, by dose. 



7. What is the supposed mechanism of how the product works?  Please be specific to receive full credit. For example:  "Product stimulates proliferation of bifidobacteria in the gut and this helps to replenish flora post-antibiotic treatment.  This reduces gastrointestinal distress associated with treatment."   The mechanism is not the same thing as the benefits of the product.  The mechanism is an underlying explanation of HOW the benefits occur.






8. What is the recommended dose or serving size?  What special instructions, if any, are stated to consume the product?

9. What contra-indications, if any, exist for this product?  Why do these contra-indications exist?
Instructor Note:  In other words who should NOT take this product and why?



10. How should the product be stored?

Examples:  The product should be stored away from sunlight and at room temperature.

The product should be refrigerated at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.


11. What is the shelf life or expiration?



Research Summary Questions:

1. Indicate the full citation in the format of Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for the article you selected which relate to your chosen product.   Instructor Note:  The topic of your article needs to be directly related to at least one of the specific bacterial strains in your probiotic product.




2.  What is the funding source for the research?  How could the funding source present a bias or conflict of interest?   If the funding source is not indicated, report “Not stated”



3. In your own words state the overall purpose of the study.


4. Summarize the inclusion criteria for the population: [number of participants, age, gender, ethnicity, disease/health state, IRB summary, etc.]. 
INSTRUCTOR NOTE: Your article may not clearly state each of these.  It is your job to explain to the "lay person" who was involved in the study in detail but in a simple manner which does not look like it was "cut and pasted" from the abstract or digital text of the full article


5. Summarize the exclusion criteria.  In other words describe the characteristics of subjects who were NOT eligible to participate in the study.


6. Outline the research protocol.  In other words, describe “What happened?”- In doing so, summarize the basic types of questions a reporter or astute reader would examine
(Who?, What?, Where?, When?, How?)
INSTRUCTOR NOTE:  DO NOT CUT AND PASTE THE ABSTRACT!  Your response must use active reading and paraphrasing into your own words.  Your work may be matched with the hard-copy of the article.  The assignment will also be processed through the Blackboard SafeAssignment feature.  It is unethical to attempt to complete an assignment of this nature by cutting and pasting from the abstract.







7. Describe the results or conclusions that were reached.  What is the “bottom line” about what was found in the study?
INSTRUCTOR NOTE:  You should sum up the bottom line in a way that is straight-forward and clear. You can cite some simple statistics which summarize the findings. This is not a statistics class therefore you should keep any statistical summary very straight-forward and simple.


8. In your opinion answer the questions “Who cares, and, so what?”
INSTRUCTOR NOTE:  You are being asked to comment on YOUR perceived value of this study.  There is not really a right or wrong answer to these questions.  This question is a simple way to uncover a basic understanding of the outcome measures.  Outcome measures look at what is the value and applicability of the research in the real world.  The author may or may not state the outcome measures in a clear manner.  You can re-iterate the author’s view or draw your own conclusion.  If the author does not state the outcome (which is often the case) state so and offer your own opinion.
Fictitious Example of “WHO CARES”: The population that cares is clinicians who treat patients with Chrohns disease.
Fictitious Example of “SO WHAT”:
   The author did not state any outcome measures.  In my opinion the researcher found that large doses of probiotic supplements lead to increased amounts of beneficial flora in the intestinal tract as demonstrated by lab measures.  However the doses were so high that 100% of the research subjects experienced acute diarrhea.  Therefore more research is needed before any practical guidelines can be established for patient care.

9. What do you think of the marketing for the product?  Please comment from the point of view of whether it seems geared to credible information or sensationalism.



10. Would you recommend this product to a loved one?  Why or why not?


Subject Science
Due By (Pacific Time) 03/31/2015 12:00 am
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