Prebiotics for infant nutrition
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Frequently asked questions:
What are prebiotics?
According to the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP)3, a prebiotic is a substrate that is selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit.
What is the difference between prebiotic vs. probiotic?
Probiotics are live bacteria that can confer health benefits to the host. Prebiotics are the substances that the “good” gut microbiota can feed on. The consensus defines prebiotic as a substrate that is selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit.
What is prebiotic fibre?
Prebiotic fibre is a subset of dietary fibres that qualify as prebiotics, meaning they can confer a beneficial physiological effect on the host, and this effect should derive at least in part from utilisation of the compound by resident microbes.
What are the well-established prebiotics?
The most commonly studied prebiotics include inulin, fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and galactooligosaccharides, which are all soluble dietary fibres.
How do prebiotics nourish the gut microbiota?
Prebiotics can escape digestion by human digestive enzymes in the upper gastrointestinal tract, and then become substrates and food for the gut microbiota that encode fiber-degrading enzymes. The decomposition of prebiotics at the gut level produces short-chain fatty acids, which are the key energy source for human colonocytes. During this process, intermediate fermentation products are produced for bacterial cross-feeding.
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1Hidaka K, Eida T, Takizawa T, Tokunaga T, Tashiro Y. Effects of fructooligosaccharides on intestinal flora and human health. Bifidobacteria Microflora 1986 5(1):37-50. Additional citations available upon request.
2Digestive claims made with suggested NUTRAFLORA inclusion of a minimum of 1.1 g/day
3International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics https://isappscience.org/
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