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The Introduction To Prebiotics And Probiotics/Health Beyond Wealth

Introduction To Prebiotics And Probiotics

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The Introduction To Prebiotics And Probiotics/Health Beyond Wealth

The Introduction To Prebiotics And Probiotics/Health Beyond Wealth

Prebiotics And Probiotics/Health Beyond

Various types of microorganisms known as gut microbiota are inhabitants of the human gastrointestinal tract.

The resident microbial groups in the stomach, small and large intestine are crucial for human health.

The majority of these microorganisms, which are mostly anaerobes, live in the large intestine. 

Prebiotics are a form of dietary fibre that feed the friendly bacteria in the gut. In order words, they are compounds in

food that induce the growth or activity of beneficial microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi.

The most common example is the gastrointestinal tract, where prebiotics can alter the composition of organisms in

the gut microbiome.

This allows the gut bacteria to produce nutrients for colon cells, which leads to a healthier digestive system. Some of

these nutrients include short-chain fatty acids like butyrate, acetate and propionate.

These fatty acids can be absorbed into the bloodstream and improve metabolic health.

The following criteria are used to classify a compound as a prebiotic:

1. It should be resistant to acidic pH of the stomach, cannot be hydrolyzed by mammalian enzymes and also

2. Should not be absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract.

3. It can be fermented by intestinal microbiota, and 

The Introduction To Prebiotics And Probiotics/Health Beyond Wealth

Also, Read The Introduction To Mycotoxins

(i) Fibres are carbohydrates with a degree of polymerization (DP) equal or higher than 3 (three) and 

(ii) Endogenous enzymes in the small intestine cannot hydrolyze them. 

(iii) The growth and /or activity of the intestinal bacteria can be selectively stimulated by this compound and this

process improve the host’s health. 

Although not all prebiotics are carbohydrates, the following two criteria can be exploited to distinguish fibre

from carbohydrate derived prebiotics:

(i) Fibres are carbohydrates with a degree of polymerization (DP) equal or higher than 3 (three) and 

(ii) endogenous enzymes in the small intestine cannot hydrolyze them. 

TYPES OF PREBIOTICS 

There are many types of prebiotics. The majority of them are a subset of carbohydrate groups and are mostly

oligosaccharide carbohydrates (OSCs). But there are also some pieces of evidence proving that prebiotics is not only

carbohydrates. 

1) Fructans: This category consists of inulin and fructo-oligosaccharide or oligofructose. Their structure is a linear

chain fructose with β (2 →1) linkage. Previously, some studies implicated that fructans can stimulate lactic acid

bacteria selectively. However, over recent years, there are some investigations showing that the chain length of

fructans is an important criterion to determine which bacteria can ferment them. 

2) Galacto-oligosaccharide: This is the product of lactose extension, which can greatly stimulate Bifidobacteria

and Lactobacilli. Bifidobacteria in infants have shown high incorporation with galactooligosaccharides.

Enterobacteria, Bacteroidetes and firmicutes are also stimulated by galacto- oligosaccharide, but to a lesser extent

than Bifidobacteria

3) Starch and glucose-derived oligosaccharide: There is a kind of starch that is resistant to the upper gut

digestion known as resistant starch (Rs). Rs can promote health by producing a high level of butyrate; so it has been

suggested to be classified as prebiotics. 

4) Other oligosaccharides: Some oligosaccharides are originated from a polysaccharide known as pectin. This

type of oligosaccharide is called pectic oligosaccharide (POS). They are based on the extension of galacturonic acid

(homogalacturonan) or rhamnose (rhamnogalacturonan 1).

5) Non-carbohydrate oligosaccharides: Although carbohydrates are more likely to meet the criteria of

prebiotics definition, there are some compounds that are not classified as prebiotics, such as cocoa-derived flavanols.

In vivo and in vitro experiments demonstrate that flavanols can stimulate lactic acid bacteria. 

The Introduction To Prebiotics And Probiotics/Health Beyond Wealth

Also, Read 10 Foods That Lower Risk Of Heart Disease

SOURCES OF PREBIOTICS 

  1. Chicory root: This comes from a flowering plant in the dandelion family. It’s popular for its coffee-like
  2. flavour and has historically been used in cooking and medicine. Approximately 68% of chicory, not fibre comes
  3. from the prebiotic fibre inulin, which improves digestion and bowel function and helps relieve constipation. Chicory is not high in antioxidant compounds that may protect the liver from oxidation damage.
  4. Garlic: Garlic acts as a prebiotic by promoting the growth of beneficial Bifidobacteria in the gut. It also helps prevent disease-promoting bacteria from growing. 
  5. Onions: These are tasty and versatile vegetables linked to various health benefits. Similar to garlic, onions are rich in inulin and fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS). FOS strengthens gut flora, help with fat breakdown and boost the immune system by increasing nitric oxide production in cells. 
  6. Asparagus: This is a popular vegetable rich in prebiotic fibre and antioxidants. It promotes healthy gut bacteria and may help prevent certain cancers. 
  7. Bananas: Are more than delicious fruits, they are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre and they contain small amounts of inulin. Unripe (green) bananas are high in resistant starch which has prebiotic effects. 
  8. Oats: Whole oats are a healthy grain rich in beta-glucan fibre. They increase healthy gut bacteria, improve blood sugar control and may reduce cancer risk.   
  9. Barley: This is high in beta-glucan fibre, which promotes healthy bacteria in the gut. It can also lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. 
  10. Apples: These are a delicious fruit with fibre. They are rich in pectin fibre. Pectin promotes healthy gut bacteria and helps decrease harmful bacteria.
  11. Seaweed: This is a form of marine algae with surprising health benefits. The seaweed is rich in prebiotics and can be used in dishes like sushi rolls, soup, and stews, salad, supplements and smoothies. It can increase the population of friendly bacteria, block the growth of harmful bacteria and enhance immune function.
  12. Cocoa beans: These are actually seeds from the Theobroma cacao tree. Not only are they used to making chocolate, but they are delicious and healthy. Cocoa beans contain flavanols that increase healthy gut bacteria while reducing harmful bacteria. 
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