Many human diseases have found the healing touch in a balanced diet with necessary supplements. The prebiotics are dietary fibers that have found application in many such cases. However, the polysaccharides cannot be digested by the human beings under normal circumstances. Therefore, a combination of prebiotics with probiotics (called synbiotics) can be the best remedy. e.g., fibers containing dietary supplements are advised to patients with chronic constipation problems but emerging results prove that an inclusion of probiotics can alleviate the problem manifold as compared to the intake of fibres alone.
Prebiotics Could Enrich The Probiotic Population
Although the human body lacks the polysaccharidases (the enzymes needed to digest the polysaccharides) to digest the prebiotics or the dietary fibers, when added to the nutritional regime of an individual have been found to cause sufficient health benefits. So, who can be reason behind their proper utilization? Studies have revealed that the microbes residing within the human gastro-intestinal linings have the necessary efficiency to degrade these saccharides. However, one major concern is that besides the beneficial microflora in the GI tract there is also pathogenic flora whose growth and proliferation rate needs to be curbed. A good prebiotic is one which will result in the enrichment of the growth of the probiotics specifically. Inulin like polysaccharides, galactooligosaccharides, fructans and some other classes of carbohydrate food have been reported to act as probiotic enrichment media. According to the work of Ranadheera and his group, the nutrition is one of the determining factors for the regulation of microbial colonization of the GI tract. The study also suggests that the bacteria may be buffered by the food and its functional components through the extreme conditions of the stomach. There are also possibilities of potential interactions between the substrates and the microbes. Gibson and Sanders have shown that an increase in prebiotic diet helps maintaining a good and healthy microflora of the host gut. Natural prebiotics are an essential ingredient of many food products that enhances the functionality of the probiotics. The contents of the food may be manipulated accordingly to increase the efficacy of the probiotics. e.g., prebiotics supplemented alongwith meat and diary products, beverages, cereals, baby food, etc to increase the efficacy of the beneficial bacteria. Many other food ingredients have been found to be effective for this purpose that includes whole parts and extracts of plants, microbial metabolites, fatty acids. Therefore, there is enough scope for the concomitant use of prebiotics and probiotics to exert a synergistic beneficial effect. [Read more…]