Prebiotics as Gut Microflora Management Tools


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Abstract

Functional foods is an often-used term applied to dietary ingredients that serve to improve consumer health. Over the last few decades, these foods have gained in popularity with sales continuing to increase rapidly. Recent scientific, and some lay, reports have shown the popularity of both probiotics and prebiotics. These serve to elicit changes in the gut microbiota composition that increase populations of purported beneficial gut bacterial genera, for example, lactobacilli or bifidobacteria. Probiotics use live microbial feed additions, whereas prebiotics target indigenous flora components. As gastrointestinal disorders are prevalent in terms of human health, both probiotics and prebiotics serve an important role in the prophylactic management of various acute and chronic gut derived conditions. Examples include protection from gastroenteritis and some inflammatory conditions.

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