2018, Number 4
Rev Cubana Pediatr 2018; 90 (4)
Update in prebiotics
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ABSTRACTIntroduction: Prebiotics are not-digestible food ingredients or substances with beneficial effects for health.
Objectives: To update the criteria on prebiotics and their effect in intestinal microbiota and human health.
Methods: Databases as PubMed, SciELO and Latindex and related books were reviewed looking for publications on prebiotics in Spanish and English made until November 30, 2017.
Results: The definitions of the prebiotics term are presented, from the first in 1995 and the ones informed by experts and medical organizations to the most recent international consensus of 2016. The classification of non-digestible oligosaccharides and gastrointestinal effects of prebiotics by fermentation in the colon of the bacterial population of Lactobacillus and Bifidus are detailed. It is analyzed the stimulation in the production of short-chain fatty acids and the main characteristics of classic prebiotics that are beneficial for health and scientific evidence (insulin, fructooligosaccharides, galactooligosaccharides, lactulose and the oligosaccharides of breast milk), as well as emerging prebiotics and new candidates, natural sources and obtaining procedures.
Conclusions: Prebiotics as food ingredients are of interest in the modulation of the colon microbiota by stimulation of the population of Lactobacillus and Bidobacteria through fermentation of their population to produce short chain fatty acids and reduction of potentially harmful bacteria such as Bacteroides, Clostridium and Fusobacterium. The traits of recognized prebiotic non-digestible carbohydrates, emerging ones and new candidates are reviewed and the beneficial gastrointestinal effects are related.