IMPACT OF PROBIOTICS, PREBIOTICS AND SYNBIOTICS IN MAINTAINING GASTROINTESTINAL MICROBIOTA: AN UPDATED REVIEW
Subhankari Prasad Chakraborty
The human gastrointestinal (GI) tract is colonised by a complex ecosystem of commensal microorganisms. Intestinal bacteria undergo a synbiotic co-evolution along with their host. Beneficial intestinal bacteria have various important functions such as production of various nutrients for their host, prevention of infections caused by intestinal pathogens, and modulation of normal immunological response. Modification of the intestinal microbiota is required in order to achieve, restore, and maintain favourable balance in the GI ecosystem. The activity of GI microorganisms is necessary for the improvement of health condition of the host. Probiotics have become a popular approach for managing digestive and immune health and are being recommended more frequently as effective therapeutic interventions by medical professionals. Probiotics are live microorganisms that promote health benefits upon consumption, but prebiotics are nondigestible food ingredients that selectively stimulate the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the GI tract. The introduction of probiotics, prebiotics, or synbiotics into human diet is favourable for the intestinal microbiota. They may be consumed in the form of raw vegetables and fruit, fermented pickles, or dairy products. Another source may be pharmaceutical formulas and functional food. This paper provides a review of available information and summarizes the current knowledge on the source, selection criteria, beneficial action and mechanism of action of probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics on human health.
Keywords: Probiotic bacteria, prebiotics, synbiotics, human health, gut microbiota, clinical benefit.
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