Prebiotics and probiotics: potential strategies for reducing travellers' diarrhoea in athletes competing abroad
Walton, G. E., Lim, Y., Ng, Y., Hannah, R. and Hunter, K. (2010) Prebiotics and probiotics: potential strategies for reducing travellers' diarrhoea in athletes competing abroad. Food Science and Technology Bulletin: Functional Foods, 6 (9). pp. 105-114. ISSN 1476-2137
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Official URL: http://www.foodsciencecentral.com/fsc/ixid15860
Travellers’ diarrhoea (TD) is the most common gastrointestinal illness to affect athletes competing abroad. Consequences of this debilitating condition include difficulties with training and/or participating in competitions which the athlete may have spent several years preparing for. Currently, there are no targeted strategies to reduce TD incidence in athletes. General methods used to reduce TD risk, such as avoidance of contaminated foods, chemoprophylactics and immunoprophylactics, have disadvantages. Since most causative agents of TD are microbial, strategies to minimise TD risks may be better focused on the gut microbiota. Prebiotics and probiotics can fortify the gut microbial balance, thus potentially aiding the fight against TD-associated microorganisms. Specific probiotics have shown promising actions against TD-associated microorganisms through antimicrobial activities. Use of prebiotics has led to an improved intestinal microbial balance which may be better equipped to combat TD-associated microorganisms. Both approaches have shown promising results in general travelling populations; therefore, a targeted approach for athletes has the potential to provide a competitive advantage.