Prebiotics and Probiotics

Topics: Bacteria, Probiotic, Lactobacillus Pages: 5 (1198 words) Published: April 13, 2013
Fundamental of Human Nutrition.

Topic: Prebiotics and Probiotics

“A non-digestible food ingredient that beneficially affects the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon, and thus improves host health.” Or

“A selectively fermented ingredient that allows specific changes, both in the composition and/or activity in the gastrointestinal micro flora that confers benefits upon host well-being and health.”

Fructo-oligosaccharides: These are found in fruits like tomatoes, banana, and kiwi. They feed the good bacteria, and promote the absorption of vital vitamins and mineral like Vitamin D and calcium.

Xylo-oligosaccharides: These types of prebiotics are found in vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce, Jerusalem artichokes, onion and garlic. Kiwi fruit is also rich on in xylo-oligosaccharides. These types are also effective at lowering blood sugar and cholesterol.

Soybean-oligosaccharides: These are derived from soybean and other legumes and nuts like peanuts. These types are broken down by probiotics into lipids that form the mucus lining in the intestines. They are also proven to help lower bad cholesterol and blood sugar; hence, they are helpful for heart disease as well as to those that have diabetes. Galacto-oligosaccharides: These are prebiotics which are synthetically made and commonly added to some foods. The common foods to which this type of prebiotics is added include biscuits, crackers and baby food. Just like the other natural prebiotics, this type is claimed to be able to promote the growth of probiotics it the digestive system as well as help easy constipation.

Prebiotics can be found naturally in a variety of foods, such as: * artichokes, barley, bananas, kiwi, berries, chicory, flax, garlic, greens, honey, leeks, legumes, onions, dairy products, brown rice, whole grains, soy beans and soy products. Prebiotics are also added to some processed foods, such as:

* drink mixes, meal replacement items, breads, cereals and yogurt, , spreads and snacks.

Increase the activity of healthy bacteria in the human intestine. The prebiotics stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in the gut and increase resistance to invading pathogens. This effect is induced by consuming functional foods that contain prebiotics. These foods induces metabolic activity, leading to health improvements. Healthy bacteria in the intestine can combat unwanted bacteria, providing a number of health benefits.

Probiotics is live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. Probiotics are live organisms, in most cases bacteria, that are similar to beneficial microorganisms in the gut. Probiotics are often referred to as "friendly" or "good" bacteria.

There are several strains of lactobasillus with the most notable referred to as L. acidophilus, L casei and L. sporogenes. The lactobasillus type of probiotic serves to aid in treating urinary tract infections, diarrhea and yeast infections. The Mayo Clinic indicates these forms of probiotics come in capsule, tablet and powder supplements. Foods containing lactobasillus include yogurt and other fermented milk products. The World Health Organization concludes that this type of probiotic evidences significant benefit to humans. Bifidobacteria

The bifidobacteria strain of probiotics serves to facilitate digestion, regulate bowel function and alleviate gastrointestinal infections. Bifidobacteria bifidum is the most usual type of probiotic used in supplements for regulating the intestinal and digestive system. The World Health Organization explains that this type of probiotic may remediate inflammatory conditions of the intestines by regulating the unhealthy bacteria, however, research is ongoing regarding long-term...
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