Updating the concept of prebiotics
Prebiotics are dietary substances (mostly consisting of nonstarch polysaccharides and oligosaccharides).
Strictly speaking, however, the term “probiotic” should be reserved for live microbes that have been shown in controlled human studies to impart a health benefit. Reproduced with permission of Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Du Y-Q, Su T, Fan J-G, Lu Y-X, Zheng P, Li X-H, et al.
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This multi-part series will help you understand what prebiotics are, what they do, and how they may improve the health of your patients. Fibers, starches and sugars are actually all carbohydrates.
The administration or use of prebiotics or probiotics is intended to influence the gut environment, which is dominated by trillions of commensal microbes, for the benefit of human health. Effect of the prebiotic oligofructose on relapse of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea: a randomized, controlled study. Hauser G, Salkic N, Vukelic K, Jajac Knez A, Stimac D. Impact of Lactobacillus reuteri Supplementation on Anti-Helicobacter pylori Levofloxacin-Based Second-Line Therapy.
Both probiotics and prebiotics have been shown to have beneficial effects that extend beyond the gut, but this guideline will focus on gut effects. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol Off Clin Pract J Am Gastroenterol Assoc. Probiotics for standard triple Helicobacter pylori eradication: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. These were early predecessors in a scientific field that has blossomed. Meta-analysis: the effect of supplementation with probiotics on eradication rates and adverse events during Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy. Today, a search of Pub Med for human clinical trials shows that over 1500 trials have been published on probiotics and close to 350 on prebiotics. As described in the first part of the series (Part One: Overview on Prebiotics), a prebiotic (1) resists digestion in the upper gastrointestinal tract, (2) is fermented by the microbiota in the large intestine, and (3) selectively stimulates the growth and/or activity of the gastrointestinal microbiota, thus conferring benefits upon host health.. IMOs are a mixture of short-chain carbohydrates (i.e., oligosaccharides) that has digestion-resistant property.