Prebiotic is the indigestible dietary fibre which is the food for good colonic bacteria. Thus, they promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut and improve the digestion of food. It is important to note that all prebiotics are fibre but all fibre is not prebiotic.
Prebiotics are present in fibre-rich fruits and vegetables such as raw chicory root, raw asparagus, raw onion, raw garlic, raw bananas, flaxseed, apple wheat, etc. Some products may have added prebiotics like baby formula, bread, cereal, cookies, yogurt.
Prebiotics are carbohydrates. The main constituent of prebiotic food is an oligosaccharide, inulin, etc. These constituents get fermented in the colon and the acid pH produced is beneficial to good bacteria in the colon thus preventing the growth of invading pathogenic bacteria in the gut.
Prebiotics have many health benefits
B complex vitamins
Prebiotics increase the number of good bacteria which produce Vitamin B complex vitamins.
Reduction of risk of inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn’s disease
Prebiotics maintain a healthy balance between beneficial and pathogenic bacteria. They help in proper regular bowel movements. Thus, prebiotics is useful in constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, infectious diarrhea.
Immune system improvement
Prebiotics are useful to improve the immune system. Prebiotics moderate the immunity in GALT, secondary lymphoid tissues, and external circulation. Increase in bacteriocin synthesis by lactobacilli.
Prebiotics assists in increase the absorption of calcium and other minerals which increases bone density.
They help to suppress the appetite by influencing satiation and satiety. Prebiotics regulate the secretion of endogenous glucagon-like peptide-1 in the gut. This hormone is the key modulator of food intake by increasing satiety.
Prebiotics promote the growth of good bacteria and reduce the growth of pathogenic bacteria due to which the development and progression of neoplasia do not occur. Prebiotic reduce intestinal inflammation, increase immune function. Prebiotics has antitumor activity by reducing the binding to food carcinogens and reduction in bacterial enzymes which hydrolyze pre -carcinogenic compounds.
It is found a decrease in the absorption of glucose in the blood when the amount of fibre is increased in the food consumed.
Prebiotics absorb the fat and phospholipids in the lower intestine thus promote their excretion. In this way, prebiotics decreases the LDL., C REACTIVE protein, apolipoprotein.
Prebiotics produced short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) are absorbed in the portal vein and metabolized in the liver which subsequently affects various metabolic processes resulting in lowering BP.
Excess consumption of prebiotics can increase gas, bloating, or bowel movement.
- The use of Prebiotics in baby’s food is useful so that their sterile gut can be colonized by good bacteria.
- The elderly individuals’ Prebiotics is useful as they help in digestion, control BP, lower cholesterol, lower blood sugar, lower weight gain.