Prebiotics are dietary substances that mostly consist of non-starch polysaccharides and oligosaccharides that nurture a selected group of microorganisms residing in the human intestine. These components are poorly hydrolyzed by our digestive enzymes. Prebiotics preferentially favour the growth of probiotic organisms like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium that are helpful in gut health maintenance, colitis prevention, cancer inhibition, immunopotentiation, cholesterol removal, reduction of cardiovascular disease, prevention of obesity and constipation. The natural sources of prebiotics are certain fruits and vegetables like asparagus, banana, chicory, garlic, onion, wheat and tomato. Considering increasing market demand of prebiotics, commercial production of them is standardized from wastes of food industries as well as from other sources. Due to their therapeutic support and history of safe use, fructo-oligosaccharides and galacto-oligosaccharides are now widely used for pharmaceutical formulations, combined with probiotics.
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