In vitro effects of selected synbiotics on the human faecal microbiota composition
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2008.00561.x
Synbiotics are recognized means of modulating gut microbiota composition and activities. However, whether synbiotics are superior to prebiotics and probiotics alone in moderating the gut microbiota towards a purportedly healthy composition has not been determined. Eight selected synbiotics (short-chain fructooligosaccharides or fructooligosaccharides, each combined with one of four probiotics, Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3, Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1, Lactobacillus paracasei 8700:2 or Bifidobacterium longum 46) were added to 24-h pH-controlled anaerobic faecal batch cultures. The prebiotic and probiotic components were also tested alone to determine their respective role within the synbiotic for modulation of the faecal microbiota. Effects upon major groups of the microbiota were evaluated using FISH. Rifampicin variant probiotic strains were used to assess probiotic levels. Synbiotic and prebiotics increased bifidobacteria and the Eubacterium rectale-Clostridium coccoides group. Lower levels of Escherichia coli were retrieved with these combinations after 5 and 10 h of fermentation. Probiotics alone had little effect upon the groups, however. Multivariate analysis revealed that the effect of synbiotics differed from the prebiotics as higher levels of Lactobacillus-Enterococcus were observed when the probiotic was stimulated by the prebiotic component. Here, the synbiotic approach was more effective than prebiotic or probiotic alone to modulate the gut microbiota.