Caister Academic Press

Prebiotics Beyond Fibers

Delphine M. Saulnier and Michael Blaut
from: Probiotics and Prebiotics: Current Research and Future Trends (Edited by: Koen Venema and Ana Paula do Carmo). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2015) Pages: 331-344.


The research on the potential prebiotic properties of polyphenols, human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), polypeptides and polyols - bioactive compounds not being strictly defined as fibers - has increased at a rapid pace. A selective stimulation of members of the microbiota traditionally associated with health benefits, such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, and an inhibition of potentially pathogenic species, has been demonstrated in vitro for most of these compounds. Evidence for health benefits associated with microbiota changes have started to emerge for polyphenols and HMOs in animal studies. An improvement of biomarkers for type-2 diabetes accompanied by an increase in bifidobacteria and lactobacilli occurred in a limited number of healthy subjects in response to the intake of polyphenols. Well-designed double-blind placebo controlled nutritional intervention studies should be conducted to confirm or refute a causal link between changes in microbiota composition and an improvement of type-2 diabetes or obesity. Here we present and discuss our perception of the future trends that we foresee in this field, and provide some recommendations for future research read more ...
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