Probiotics and prebiotics
Gibson, G., (2011) Probiotics and prebiotics. The Biomedical & Life Sciences Collection, Henry Stewart Talks Ltd, London.
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The human large intestine is an intensively colonised area containing bacteria that are health promoting, as well as pathogenic - This has led to functional food developments that fortify the former at the expense of the latter - Probiotics have a long history of use in humans as live microbial feed additions - In contrast, a prebiotic is a non digestible food ingredient that beneficially affects the host by targeting indigenous components thought to be positive - Dietary carbohydrates, such as fibres are candidate prebiotics but most promise has been realised with oligosaccharides - As prebiotics exploit non-viable food ingredients, their applicability in diets is wide ranging - 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.