Probiotics and Prebiotics: Everything You Need to Know

Food ingredients that help support growth of probiotic bacteria” or “nondigestible substances that act as food for the gut microbiota. Essentially, prebiotics stimulates growth or activity of certain healthy bacteria (probiotic bacteria) that live in your body.

Prebiotic

Prebiotics are specific colonic nutrients, which are resistant to digestive processes in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract.

Functional Effects of Prebiotic

  • Intestinal/colonic function (e.g. fecal bulking, stool production).
  • Resistance to intestinal infection.
  • Bioavailability of minerals, especially Ca and Mg.
  • Immunomodulation.
  • Influence on gastrointestinal peptides especially glucagon like peptides.
  • Satiety and appetite.

Disease risk reduction

  • Management of infectious diarrhea.
  • Metabolic syndrome.
  • Obesity.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
  • Colon Cancer.
  • Examples
  • Non-digestible foods of certain types of carbohydrates; oligosaccharides.
  • Acts as food for probiotic bacteria and ensure that they are healthy.
  • Sources: carbohydrate-rich foods (fruits, grain, and others) and raw vegetables (onion, garlic, and others).

Probiotic

According to WHO (2001) “Live micro-organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”.

Functional effects of probiotic

  • Intestinal/colonic function (e.g. transit time, regularity in stool production).
  • Resistance to intestinal infection.
  • Immunomodulation.

Disease risk reduction

  • Management of infectious diarrhea.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
  • Colon Cancer.

Examples

  • Live microorganism (beneficial bacteria) that involved in the proper way of digestive system functioning
  • Common strains of bacteria: species of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria, and Streptococcus.
  • Sources: fermented dairy products, yogurt, cheese, dietary supplements, and others.

Synbiotic products

“Combination of prebiotic and probiotic products.”

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